Life is full of challenges , personally and professionally. Earning the privilege to add “APR” after your name is one challenge all public relations practitioners serious about the profession and long-term career growth should consider. The Accredited in Public Relations designation is awarded to those who complete a rigorous process that gauges your knowledge of accepted public relations practices, ability to apply that knowledge and real life experience. It’s a testimony to your commitment to the profession and to yourself.
There are three key steps in the Accreditation process:
1. Complete a detailed survey that addresses your experience and knowledge of modern public relations practices.
2. Undergo a Readiness Review analysis performed by a panel of APRs, and present a portfolio of work.
3. Successfully pass the computer administered Comprehensive Examination that tests your knowledge, skills and abilities in accepted public relations practices and theories.
Administered at ProMetric testing centers around metropolitan Chicago, the online examination is updated regularly to keep the questions in line with modern public relations practices. The Comprehensive Examination covers the following 10 areas of professional practice.
- Research, planning, implementing and evaluating programs
- Ethics and law
- Communication models and theories
- Business literacy
- Management skills and issues
- Crisis communication management
- Media relations
- History of and current issues in public relations
- Using information technology efficiently
- Advanced communication skills
Interested and ready for this leap in career and personal development? First, make sure you are qualified. Accreditation is open to members of PRSA and participating organizations who have at least five years of paid, full-time experience in the professional practice of public relations, or in the teaching or administration or public relations courses in an accredited college or university. Second, learn more by visiting the Become an APR web page.
The APR process is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board, a consortium of nine industry organizations, include the Public Relations Society of America. The UAB has developed several tools to help guide candidates through the Accreditation process, including:
- An Online Demonstration of the examination.
- An Online Study Guide preparation resource.
- A Short Bookshelf of suggested texts.
For questions, contact PRSA Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRSA Chicago: APR Testimonials
Anne O’Connell, APR, Director of PR and Marketing, College of Lake County: “I toyed with the idea of pursuing my APR about five years ago when a colleague said she was going to embark on the process and wanted to know whether I wanted to join her. I was in a job transition at the time, so that was my handy excuse. Fast forward to about a year ago when I decided to apply. I had no more reasons not to do so. I was employed, my son was off at college, and I had the time. I likely did not fully appreciate what I had signed myself up for until I had begun, but once I commit to something, I do it. Continue reading here.
Julie Schaefer, APR, Founder and Chief Advisor, Winning Presence, LLC: “As a communications professional for more than 25 years, I am proud to carry the APR mark. I love when someone outside of our industry asks me what that acronym means because it gives me a great opportunity to talk about shared ethics, expertise, judgment, broad practical knowledge, and ongoing professional development. I believe we are stronger as an industry when we share this powerful mark.”
Steven C. Knipstein, APR, Vice President, KemperLesnik|PR, Sports Marketing: “Earning the APR cemented my commitment to our profession and connected me with like-minded leaders in our industry. Accreditation enabled me to join leadership groups within public relations, expand my knowledge and network, and helped me grow my professional brand.”
Andrea Rodgers, APR, Vice President, Communications & Public Relations, John G. Shedd Aquarium: “While obtaining the APR underscores the value and importance of continuous learning in our profession, becoming accredited in public relations is more importantly a distinction that validates a commitment to providing strategic, research-based counsel and planning as an ethical practitioner. It enables you to set yourself apart from others and compels you to stay relevant, focused, and dedicated to doing your part to advance the profession. Holding the credential has benefited me both personally and professionally.”
Terry Ryan, APR, Communications Coordinator, Northbrook School District 28: “The APR process is one that can take many different paths. Being able to set your own schedule and absorb information at your own pace was a great asset. I highly recommend the process as a great mid-career boost. As eyes turn to the ‘younger’ crowd as masters of social media, having an APR gives me credentials and confidence to compete in the workplace. In PR we’re always learning new things and there are so many ways to apply our expertise. Using the research and objective writing parameters that are a cornerstone to professional practice helps keep me sane!”
John Brooks, APR, Director of Communications, Associated Colleges of Illinois: “Seeking the APR credential was a helpful discipline that taught me a lot about public relations in today’s world, and taught me the importance of staying current with practices and developments in the field. It also helped qualify me for an unanticipated and wonderful career as a college instructor in public relations, a great opportunity to learn and grow even more.”
Katie Feltz, APR, Integrated Marketing and Communications Strategist, KH Feltz Consulting: “Working toward my accreditation was a wonderful opportunity to feel like a student in my own profession by taking a new look at the fundamentals as well as other disciplines I don’t typically engage in my current work. It was such a valuable experience to help me develop an ear for “why we do what we do” and arm me with tools to challenge the planning and measurement process – skills I bring to my teams every day.”
For More Information
For more information, contact PRSA Chicago at email@example.com.