I remember what crossed my mind the first time I heard about the APR process and I shook my head thinking, “Who has that kind of time?” I was about to embark on a massive public relations campaign at work and my experience from past projects told me I’d barely have time to do much else.

Although I knew the benefits were obvious: An accredited public relations professional holds significantly higher weight in a world full of self-proclaimed public relations people. Fundamentally, the certification represents separating the best from the rest. All companies only want to hire and retain the best, and so it was an easy sell to the C-suite.

However, even after I achieved approval to proceed, I hesitated. In many cases, journalists, colleagues and the C-suite do not understand our world at all. I never had formal public relations training, so naturally I had self-doubt. What if I really don’t know what I’m doing? What if I don’t pass the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations? We can’t always produce neat and tidy Excel spreadsheets in communications. Some people think I post everything I eat on Twitter or that I get to go do all the “fun” stuff because they only see the end result of strategic effort or a tactic in the vast arsenal of public relations tools.

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