Accreditation in Public Relations

Reteaching an Old Dog Old Tricks

So it turns out that not only can you teach an old dog new tricks, but you also can reteach an old dog old tricks!

My career began in television news as a reporter and producer. Once I had kids, I moved into public relations for a better work-life balance. But before I made that transition, I took some public relations courses at a nearby university. There, my professor, an older gentleman who proudly wore an APR pin, touted the importance of Accreditation. Not knowing or caring about this process, I swiftly dismissed it.

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I took a job at a not-for-profit that offered great promise and an opportunity to try new things. But 10 years later, those “opportunities” had become expectations far removed from my original PR responsibilities. Tasked with fundraising and event planning, I was doing little, if any, strategic public relations planning. I felt I had lost my way, and I began to doubt myself and my abilities. How did I get so far off track from my original goals? I was so beaten down and had so many misgivings about my future that I quit my job, hit the books and decided to fast track the Accreditation process.

My PRSA Chapter offers an eight-week intensive APR prep course, and within two weeks I could feel the old wheels spinning again. “Hey, I remember this!” I recall saying. Of course, it was always there, I just needed someone to help me clean out the cobwebs and give me a much needed confidence boost.

And as it turns out, the old professor was right. Accreditation IS important on so many levels. Not only did I become a lot more self-assured, but I gained instant credibility within my field and among my colleagues. I regained a fluency in public relations beyond my media relations background. I gained a newfound respect for myself, my profession and my place in the PR field. No longer do I question myself and my skills. This old dog now has a bag of old AND new tricks! And the confidence to put them to work.


Tammy Sander, APR, is a decorated journalist and public relations professional. After working over 10 years in television news, she made the leap to public relations. She is now the proud owner of Mother of Pearls Public Relations where they specialize in media relations, media training and crisis communications.

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