Editor’s note: This is the part of an ongoing series of articles from communicators who have earned their Accreditation in Public Relations, describing what led them to become accredited and what the accreditation experience was like for them.
There are a few public relations professionals out there who claim that the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is no longer relevant to the modern practice of public relations. My response? These individuals have clearly not explored the process or fully understand what it takes to earn Accreditation or practice as an APR.
While there might be one or two things that always could be updated about the content of the study guide and the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations questions to better reflect current events, the foundation of strategic planning does not change.
The process itself, while achievable on your own time, is a commitment that still takes a lot of good old-fashioned work. The three components: the essay application, the Readiness Review presentation and the computer-based Examination test different skill sets, all applicable to practitioners on a daily basis. This testing is an opportunity for professionals to prove their proficiency in planning, ethics and strategic thinking based on both professional experience and extending learning. Candidates are challenged to reflect on how these concepts apply to both past and current campaigns.
The classes and study materials helped greatly throughout the process, but as with all things of value, the APR is an investment in time. And yes, it is designed to be intimidating. I printed my first APR study guide in 2010, but didn’t muster the courage to start the process until 2014!
Through obtaining my APR, I have been reminded that there is always more to be learned in this field, and why I’m so proud to be a part of it. The APR designation indicates that not only is a professional qualified to address the rigors of the public relations planning process, but that the practitioner also is committed to the profession.
True, there are many talented individuals who have succeeded without it, but the APR denotes someone with the grit to see the process through to the end. An APR has demonstrated commitment to the practice of public relations and has made the investment to pursue additional knowledge and challenges to better himself or herself professionally. Why wouldn’t you want to be among those ranks?
Allison A.B. Schroeder, APR, is a public relations and social media consultant based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She works with a variety of B2B and B2C clients on a regional and national basis. Follow her on twitter @abrinkman.
This post was really helpful as a student in PR. I have been thinking about getting my APR after I graduate and this explanation is definitely helping in my decision making process.
As a PR student, it is so helpful to see how an APR is truly beneficial upon completing my degree. I appreciated your honesty about the process and its difficulty. The APR is just one display that PR is not “spinning news” – it is about communicating ethically. Now that you have an APR, do you think that your career has changed in any way? If so, how?
This post really helped me understand the benefit of obtaining Accreditation in Public Relations. It really does show your dedication and the high level of skills you have for this field. As a current PR student, I will definitely be considering this for my future.
I am currently in my third year studying PR and I found this article incredibly helpful. It wasn’t until this year that I started considering whether or not I should try to get my APR after school. I wasn’t really aware of what the benefits of doing that would be. This was helpful in giving a clearer understanding of why someone in the field of PR should consider getting their APR.