Accreditation in Public Relations PR Training

APR: Making The Transition Beyond Tactician

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APR-Est-1964The holidays are over, the new year has begun, and you’re still on track with your new year’s resolutions, right? No? Already fell off the wagon? Well, I’m not a big fan of setting new year’s resolutions. I’ve tried it and have learned I am more successful meeting my personal and professional goals when I adjust them throughout the year. That is the art and science of being successful in PR — is it not? Surveying our environment, recognizing issues and opportunities, creating goals and objectives, evaluating and adjusting, if needed. As I reflect on professional opportunities and challenges ahead of me in this new year, I am feeling optimistic and hopeful. I haven’t always felt this way, however.

My journey to become Accredited in Public Relations began with a feeling almost two years ago — nonchalant. I was in a phase of my career, after working for the same employer for more than a decade, where I needed to push to the next level, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. My inner being craved something more. One day I read about the APR in an email from my local PRSA Chapter. That was it! Why didn’t I think about it sooner?

As I began that journey, my unfamiliarity with many aspects of public relations became clear. I had mostly been a tactician and realized there was more to practicing PR than news releases and events. I met several credential-minded colleagues at a PR Boot Camp sponsored by my local PRSA Chapter. We had all recently been approved to sit for the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, so we created a study cohort. During study sessions (and over email), I forged friendships, was challenged by my peers and came to deeply respect each of them as people and professionals.

I passed the Examination in December 2015, well within my two-year goal, and I’ve found that receiving my APR sparked within me a new passion. I am noticing that I am more confident in my career. No longer nonchalant, I am noticing opportunities to improve existing practices, set strategic goals and measurable objectives, and include evaluation feedback into my day-to-day work. Working toward receiving my APR has been one of the most challenging and rewarding goals I’ve ever set in my career. Don’t delay; take that first step toward becoming Accredited today!

About the author

Craig Lawrence Balben, APR

Craig Balben, APR, is the public affairs representative II for the San Diego County Water Authority in San Diego, Calif.

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