My APR experience was a tumultuous one. I may be the exception because everyone always talks about the good, but then glazes over the unpleasant. Yes, becoming Accreditation in Public Relations was a career-long quest and I feel quite the sense of accomplishment. It wasn’t easy; I failed along the way (a couple different ways) and had to coach myself back. The best way to pass along what I’ve learned is a list of “dos and don’ts.”
- Buy three to four of the books on the short and long bookshelf; there are many budget-friendly books on Amazon — where I purchased my references.
- Actually read the books — cover to cover — more than once.
- Answer the questions at the end of the chapters. It will help you solidify the material.
- Follow the PRSA Study Guide. It is practically handing you the test.
- Join a study group. Ask your Accreditation chair who else is in the process in the area. Even long distance study partners work.
- Dedicate time weekly to study with a schedule to help you stick to it — and write that schedule down!
- Use the three hours and 45 minutes provided for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. Take your time thinking out the questions for the best possible answer.
- Ask your company to help pay for the process. If not the Examination, maybe the books?
- Realize what you learn will help you in your job every day!
- Think you can do it on your own — ask for help when you get stumped. Your local Accreditation chair is a great resource.
- Take too long after the Readiness Review to take the Examination.
- Think you can just memorize the material. The Examination is really “theory-based.”
- Get discouraged if you fail the Readiness Review or the Examination. Just pick yourself up and take them again.
- Use the feedback provided and work with your Accreditation chair. They want you to succeed in every way!
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions on the APR process. I want you to succeed too!
Michelle Scheuermann, APR, is the director of communications for The Sportsman Channel, a national cable network based in Milwaukee, Wisc.
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!
To learn more about Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), visit http://www.prsa.org/PD/apr/.
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