Accreditation in Public Relations

A PRo is Always in Game Shape

Maybe it’s because my beloved Tar Heels are playing in the NCAA championship…

Maybe it’s because I now look fondly back on the better part of my college career playing hoops…

Maybe it’s because my husband is a high school basketball coach, and we watch a lot of games. I mean, A LOT…

Basketball is on my mind as March Madness ends and #APRMonth begins.

Finely-tuned Athletes Require Continuous Practice

Each and every year, I am struck by the amount of time spent practicing – team work, individual skill work – and scouting the competition a player and coaching staff undertakes versus the actual time any of them are in game situations. Optimistically, it is a 10 to 1 ratio. For some, the divide is greater. They practice the same amount, don’t play as much, but still show up every day ready to grind (as my husband’s players would say).

The game today is not what it was when I played. It is faster paced, more physical and has a greater element of show – whether you like that or not. Without daily, weekly and monthly work, a player cannot adapt to and get better at an evolving sport. Without burning, driving dedication, a player doesn’t reinvest themselves again and again.

What keeps that drive going in a player? Love of the game. Thrill of a solid move to lose the defender and make the shot. For me, it was always blocking the shots of other players. The physically and emotionally satisfying feeling of a win, maybe several wins, even a championship. APRDriven by Passion, Elevating the Profession

No one reading this blog is practicing public relations today the same way they did five, 10, 20 years ago. When the game changes, you investigate, pursue and – over time – sharpen new knowledge, skills, or abilities. As a skilled PR professional, you know that your success is dependent on staying relevant, resourceful, and inspired. A new drill here. A new play there. 

Even when the fundamentals stay the same, they must be practiced until they are razor sharp and second nature. Dribble, shoot…SWISH! Dribble, shoot… SWISH!

Every one of us works hard to adapt and to excel. During #APRMonth, celebrate your success!

It Takes A PRo

It takes a professional – someone with exceptional experience, broad expertise, and strong dedication and values – to thrive at what you do. Preparing for the APR provided you with uniquely comprehensive, relevant, and forward-thinking PR skillsets and personal career insights that ensure the versatility and viability of the next generation of public relations leaders.

The APR credential certified your drive, professionalism and principles. Being an APR confirms your commitment and adherence to industry best practices and ethics, and properly positions you as a leader and mentor in our competitive public relations field.

The APR conveys your dedication to learning and self-improvement, and distinguishes you by demonstrating a cultivated approach to staying abreast of the challenges and solutions in today’s shifting public relations world and your capabilities in a challenging professional assessment process.

Take the time to celebrate, to remember your journey, to invite others to take the same even if it requires work. Then, get back to your grind.

Elizabeth McMillan, APR is Director of Corporate Communications at Fiserv, Global Brand. her passion is strategic communications to advance sales, marketing, public relations and company culture. For more than 14 years, Elizabeth has positioned, polished and pitched companies (large or small), their leaders (willing or reticent) and products (new or legacy) in financial services, high tech and consumer spaces. Through rigorous planning, research and purposeful communications, Elizabeth has helped launch start-ups, position companies for acquisition, transition companies through mergers, rebrand products and organizations, grow marketshare and minimize the impact of crises.

About the author

Elizabeth McMillan, APR


  • Well said. I earned my APR more than 20 years ago, and I continue to draw on what I learned to this day.

  • Well said. I earned my APR more than 20 years ago, and I continue to draw on what I learned to this day.

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