Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
April 4, 2014

Building a Career, Advancing the Profession: Public Relations Accreditation Month

April is Accreditation month at PRSA!

PRSA has designated April as Accreditation Month. Members can learn more about APR through many special events, including:

I’ve always been fascinated and motivated by people. The way we think, how we perceive the world around us, what inspires us to connect with others and why we establish the bonds we do. It’s not surprising that I decided to build a career in communications.

Working in public relations is as much an art as it is a science. There isn’t a manual that tells you how to respond to specific situations or which campaign tactics to implement to generate the biggest return on investment. It takes a concentrated combination of knowledge, insight and instinct to achieve success in this business. That’s why I decided to pursue my Accreditation in Public Relations last year.

The Accreditation process gave me a pathway to develop new skills and reinforce my knowledge of communication models and theories, campaign planning and implementation, media relations, business management, ethics and more.

In addition, earning my APR helped me establish credibility as a professional and a leader. I believe that Accreditation is important to the health of our organization and the strength and integrity of the public relations profession. As president of the New Mexico Chapter of PRSA, it’s important to me to lead by example.

The APR process is simple. Deciding to do it and filling out the application took little to no time at all. Filling out the Readiness Review questionnaire required time and thought, but it was a great way to evaluate the role I play in my company.

My favorite part of the APR process was going in front of the Readiness Review panel. It was exciting to present my work, discuss public relations practice and showcase my expertise. The feedback I received from the panelists helped me move forward.

Taking the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations was the most difficult step for me because tests make me anxious! Participating in a local APR academy, listening to the webinars on the PRSA website and studying topics based on each knowledge, skill and ability (KSA) helped ease my anxiety. By the time I took the Examination, I was confident in my knowledge.

What surprised me most about the APR process is how much I enjoyed going through it. While it took a lot of time, work and commitment, it was worth it. Because of this experience, I’m a better communications professional and I bring more value to the organizations I serve.

Annemarie Ciepiela Henton, APR, is president of the New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She is the public relations and media specialist for the American Society of Radiologic Technologists in Albuquerque, N.M.

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