As a self-proclaimed “old-school” public relations strategist for more than 13 years, I found myself becoming concerned that the integrity, credibility and prestige of the communications field might be waning. Without a way to measure expertise, how could true strategists separate ourselves in the field?
I was thrilled to discover that the Accreditation in Public Relations exists. It legitimizes our profession and builds accountability. At first glance, it seems a daunting task. And make no mistake, from the questionnaire to the Readiness Review to the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, it takes commitment, dedication and time … lots of time.
But once I began, it was stimulating to delve deeply into the theories and methods we use every day. Frankly, it renewed my passion and excitement for communications strategies. I was excited to realize that I use RPIE — research, planning, implementation and evaluation — habitually in my practice and that the core competencies lead my decision making. Plus, I learned new concepts that have made me a better professional and enabled me to perform my job at a higher level.
My best advice is: There is no time like the present. Sure, studying for the APR is time-consuming. The process can at times be overwhelming. And it is intimidating to think about what you might not remember — or even worse — not know. But in the end, it is absolutely worth pushing past these and other negative thoughts.