The new APR+M credential provides an important new tool for military public affairs professionals to both develop their skills and demonstrate high proficiency in military communications activities. However, it transcends those benefits. The APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) is the oldest, most recognized communications credential — valued by public, private and government sectors in the selection of trusted counsel to organizational leaders. Accreditation is not only recognized by military PA leaders, but it can be helpful to those who may want to pursue a public relations career after leaving active duty and for Reserve or National Guard military public affairs personnel trying to advance their civilian careers.
Also, it can help civilian employers identify job candidates with valuable military public affairs experience who have taken the next steps to ensure their skills are relevant to today’s PR needs.
I earned my APR in the late 1980s, after serving as a military photojournalist on active duty and completing my degree; I also continued to serve in a National Guard public affairs detachment. In those days, the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations and preparation process were a lot different.
The Examination was offered twice a year, and technology had not yet evolved to make it easy to find resources to prepare for the Examination. Our preparation program was done through local PRSA Chapters — still done today — but now there are many more online and in-person opportunities available. And, the Examination can be taken any time. This makes it much more practical for military PA professionals stationed overseas or not located in areas that are convenient to participate in live study and prep groups. It’s a much more flexible and convenient process.
The Examination process now includes a Readiness Review in-person interview. APR+M candidates will be interviewed by a panel of military public affairs professionals who already hold the APR+M designation. They will review your portfolio and assess your skills to ensure you’re ready for the computer-based Examination administered in Prometric testing centers throughout the United States.
APR+M is available to qualified active or retired military and Department of Defense civilian professionals who demonstrate a level of experience and competence in PA knowledge, skills and abilities. This is a great opportunity to distinguish yourself, particularly for seasoned NCOs, PA officers and civilian PAOs. Be one of the first to earn the APR+M. Learn more at:
Robert Giblin, APR, specializes in public relations and issues management within the agriculture and food industries. He also is a retired military public affairs officer. He is a delegate to the Universal Accreditation Board, representing the Agricultural Relations Council.
Are you ready for your APR+M? Make history this October in Washington DC at the PRSA 2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress and have the distinction of becoming one of the first APR+M practitioners and complete your application by Sept. 13.
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