For me, gaining the Accreditation in Public Relations was a long process that was all about timing and never giving up. I’m thankful for the process because I truly learned so much along the way.
Just a short two months after having my second child, I found myself taking the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. I had been Advanced through my Readiness Review and knew I had a short time until I would go back to work full time, with a one-year-old and a newborn. I so badly wanted to achieve my APR before life got even crazier. Needless to say, I went for it. And when I saw those three little words after submitting the Examination — Did Not Pass — my heart was broken. But I knew my journey wasn’t over. I was not going to give up.
Fast forward a few years and I felt I was ready. I had a little more experience, felt more confident and was better prepared. But I still had to study. With two small kids, studying didn’t come easy. I spent every moment I could making sure I understood the material. Over a four-month period, I studied consistently and took that knowledge to my work where I found myself becoming a better communicator and an even better strategic thinker.
I’m thankful for those who helped me through the process, and my colleagues who gave me the courage to try again. Just because I didn’t pass the first time didn’t mean I wasn’t a good public relations professional or I didn’t know my stuff. It just meant that I needed more time to gain experience, study and truly understand the material.
Going through the APR process (twice) has made me a better public relations professional, and I’m thankful for that. Staying positive and asking for help goes a long way, and so does not giving up.
Celeste Burks, APR, has been in the public relations profession for ten years where she has practiced internal communications, media relations and community affairs. She currently works for Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City, handling internal communications. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Central Missouri.