Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
May 27, 2014

APR: Advancing Public Relations

Accredited in Public Relations - 50th Anniversary

If you’re anything like me, earning your Accreditation in Public Relations is something you’ve long thought about and intended to do. Whether it’s April and National APR month or any month, let this be the time you stop thinking about it and intending to do it, and instead apply and pursue it.

2013 was the year for me. What began as a journey of personal and professional growth, soon turned into a renewed commitment and contribution to advancing the public relations profession.

Like I said, pursuing my APR was something I long thought about. In fact, I can trace it all the way back to my PR 101 course in college when I first heard about the APR. I knew then that I wanted to pursue it as a part of my professional path and growth. It wasn’t until my application was approved, I completed the questionnaire and began preparing for my Readiness Review with my mentor that I began to see and witness the greater impact earning my APR would have not only for my clients and employer but for my other public relations professionals and friends.

As they say, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The perception of our profession will always be a result of the whole view. But that view is made up of many parts — you, me, your colleague. Together we make an even greater whole.

Renewing my commitment to the public relations profession meant pledging to work honestly, ethically and for the enhancement and advancement of our industry.

Whether it was preparing for the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations and reading about the:

  • Early pioneers like George Creel, chairman of the Committee on Public Information, and his creation of our nation’s first spokespeople with The Four Minute Men mobilizing the public during World War II when I studied the History of PR;
  • Or, getting excited about ways in which I could activate the Diffusion of Innovation Theory in my next client campaign,

Studying for my APR reenergized my passion for this great profession and gave me pride for the intricate and dedicated work many PR professionals do day-in and day-out with a whole lot of guts and minimal glory.

But, that’s what it’s really all about. Our whole.

The true measure of our PR profession is not the “parts” in the number of earned media impressions, clicks or converted customers. But, in the “part” each individual professional takes in continuing their education and professional development, connecting and supporting one another and selflessly serving and advancing the PR profession. Let this be the year you contribute your part to the whole, stop planning or intending and actively pursue and earn your APR.

If you’re like me, you’ll find no greater enriching and personally satisfying professional experience.

Katherine Mason, APR, works at Jackson Spalding (JS) in Atlanta, Ga., and is a key member of the Primrose Schools Franchise PR Team. She previously served as lead for National Campaigns with the JS PR Team for Chick-fil-A. She has spent most of her career counseling a variety of clients across diverse industries with media relations, strategic planning and project management support. She served a brief stint in non-profit work as Director of Communications at Leadership DeKalb working in community relations, service and leadership. She pursued her APR for continued professional growth, credibility and expertise, as well as to reaffirm her commitment to the professionalism of the PR profession.

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