As the senior manager for public relations in my organization, I often write and review strategic communications plans and provide direction on them to a very well-established public relations team with decades of combined experience.
The APR taught me the language honored, used and recognized by the public relations discipline. Sharing this knowledge with this veteran PR team resulted in adjustments to their own usage of well-known but often misused terms like “goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.” Through weekly PR strategic planning meetings that we embarked upon after I obtained the APR, I have been able to help the team apply the four-step RPIE process and the 10-step PR Plan process, standardizing and greatly improving our strategic public relations practices.
Obtaining the APR also has allowed me to motivate members of our PR team to embark on the undertaking. Within two weeks of Accreditation, seven members have committed to becoming Accredited themselves. The material these professionals will come to know will create a shared understanding and vision for what public relations means in our organization and in the profession. The APR experience has been both unifying and visionary for my organization’s PR team.
Toni DeLancey, Ph.D., APR, is the senior manager for public relations at the U.S. Postal Service.