Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
May 14, 2013

My Journey to APR: The “Self-Study” Edition

My journey to APR was a long process (at least in my mind) that was interrupted by my youngest child (what an awesome surprise) and that culminated in March 2013. While my path was different than most, although not unique, it consisted of a “self-study” plan.

My “self study” syllabus included:

What to Expect at the Readiness Review

  • Be comfortable, yet be powerful.
  • Think 50 percent job interview, 50 percent big presentation.
  • Just because APRs are leading it, they don’t know everything about public relations. You can teach them something new and/or give them a new strategy/tool/tactic to employ.
  • Remember, you have a shared vocabulary (the KSAs), but we all bring something unique to the table.
  • Shine!

What to Expect From the Computer-Based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations

  • Three hours and 45 minutes can seem like a long time and a short time (weird).
  • Your mind will wander because you’ve been reading voluminous amounts of text.
  • You may begin to wish the Examination was “over already” so you just get your score.
  • You will begin to wonder, “Why didn’t I study that more?”
  • After you submit your Examination, the screen will go blank; and those are the longest 30 seconds of your life. (I felt my heart beating in my chest waiting for the results.)
  • Finally, if you’ve lived the APR Examination, you will pass. If you went at it half-heartedly or you aren’t humble, you will fail — it’s as simple as that.

When I saw that I’d passed, the first thing I did was send a tweet … seriously — then I called my husband. Crazy, I know. But I’d made this process so public that I felt that I should share my results publicly as soon as possible.

APR in a Nutshell

  • My process took almost two years from the moment I decided to take the APR until the moment I obtained it.
  • I studied in the way that worked for me. You should do the same.
  • I took the opportunity to learn while doing; it’s the best way to study.
  • I never felt bad for saying, “Well, the textbook said …,” while at work. Trust me, that is how you know that the information has sunk in.
  • Get support from those closest to you; you’ll need their help and encouragement.

Good luck with your APR journey!

Accredited public relations professional and award-winning educator, Jenifer Daniels “friendraises” for candidates and causes.

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