There’s nothing I’ve done in recent years that has helped me more in my work than completing the process for Accreditation in Public Relations. I think and act differently. Since my APR experience, I spend considerably more time working on communication planning for my organization, building relationships and ethical concerns.
For me, the APR process was a great learning experience and a challenge. Three “practices” helped me complete this process. First, I was able to take a two-month sabbatical from my job to complete the application and portfolio. It’s worth exploring if you have such an option. In my case, my organization’s human resources department helped me plan my initial work. What a gift! I was able to concentrate exclusively on my portfolio, finish the application and prepare for the Readiness Review panel, which went very well.
A second big help for me was using the online study course, coupled with two recommended textbooks that I purchased. (One of the textbooks was written by a former professor of mine. It had its own online test, which I went over several times.) What was particularly helpful was reviewing the online study course’s PowerPoint slides followed by a review of the printed materials with each section. The textbooks were a great supplement to the online course. I would not have succeeded with the exam without the online course.
Finally, I recommend minimizing distractions while studying for the test. I spent most of a summer studying. Beginning in May, I went to the local library three nights a week, for two hours each time, to get away from distractions at home. Being able to concentrate was well worth it — I passed the test in August.
By John Brooks, APR, is director of the News Service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and associate executive director, ELCA Communication Services. He works at the church’s national office in Chicago, and resides in Park Ridge, Ill.
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/.