The holiday season is famous for not only receiving gifts, but giving them as well. This year, my mind quickly goes to something that I was able to give to myself nearly 12 months ago as I unofficially “passed” my Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations on Dec. 5, 2012, and received the confirmation letter less than two weeks later.

There are those on both sides of the fence about earning an APR, with either “It adds value” or “It has no value.” A quick scan of the comments about this topic on PRSAY is a good illustration. While PRSA is currently looking at ways to enhance the perception and the reputation of the certification, at the end of the day, it’s about what you think it is.

This was a self-inflicted battle that I put myself through the past couple of years of “will I” or “won’t I” pursue the APR. Is it better/worse/worth my time compared to other certifications or even degrees? Will an APR really help me both now and later in my career journey? What if I start down the path of an APR, but don’t get it? Does that mean I should rethink my profession?

Finally, after taking the online practice test several times — spanned over the course of two years to gauge my improvement with knowledge of the profession — I decided to make it a goal to get it done by the end of 2012. The preparation read like a public relations version of the “The Twelve Days of Christmas”:

Continue reading " A Personal Gift That Can Last a Lifetime — an APR "