I think I’d always known that I wanted to become Accredited in Public Relations (APR). One of my professional mentors took the leap a few years before I did, but with her encouragement (and with the support of a few others I’ve met along the way), I decided to officially begin my APR pursuit in late 2008.
I am a member of the PRSA Orlando Chapter, and I must admit that this particular Chapter does a lot of things right when preparing candidates for Accreditation. Living in Florida, a state that also has its own statewide public relations association (FPRA), I was not sure how the two entities would work together, or separately, to encourage public relations professionals in the area to go after Accreditation. Fortunately, this potential barrier has been structured instead to benefit those in pursuit of the APR designation. All local candidates, whether their affiliation is with PRSA or FPRA, were joined as a single group for workshops and preparation sessions. This grouping, in my opinion, resulted in a more diverse set of ideas, backgrounds and experiences as we all prepared for Accreditation together.
The workshops, which occurred weekly for approximately 10 weeks, were where I found the greatest value in the process, followed closely by my Readiness Review preparation. While this exercise was certainly time-consuming, I found it very beneficial in my preparation for the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. Applying the RPIE concepts to my own campaigns incited an introspective look at my previous work, which has led to a more strategic approach in my current and future work.
The process of obtaining my Accreditation lasted for approximately eight months, but I’m excited to continue my pursuit of lifelong learning and professional development for as long as this profession will have me.
By Lauren Leetun, APR, is a senior account executive at Massey Communications in Orlando, FL, where she has worked for six years. She is also a die-hard Florida Gators fan.
Ready to accelerate your career? Join Michele L. Hujber, APR, Bob Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA and Jason S. Kirsch, APR for a a four-day intensive for candidates to prepare and advance though the Readiness Review and take the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations at PRSA’s APR Boot Camp, Wednesday, August 26–Saturday, August 29, in New York, NY!