ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
January 19, 2011

Pursuing APR: A Significant Growth Experience


Katherine Voss, APRMy name is Katherine Voss and I’ve been practicing public and media relations for 11 years, mostly in the health care field. I have worked for major international PR agencies and on the corporate side for large hospital systems during that time.

After 11 years in the business, I felt it was time to set my sights on achieving my APR. I had always kept that goal in the back of my mind.

From the time I applied to the time I sat for the computer-based Examination, it was one year. I started by reading two hours a day based on the APR Study Guide and Effective Public Relations, 10th Edition. I also followed the Online Study Course, which was helpful in keeping me motivated and in setting a time frame for Readiness Review and the Examination.

Having access to the facilitators with the online course helped me tremendously in preparing for the Readiness Review. I felt a little discouraged in the beginning because I wasn’t understanding exactly what was expected. But then it all started to “gel,” and that effort helped me walk into the room of the Readiness Review panel with confidence.

After receiving notice I’d been Advanced, I hit the books even harder, spending weekends and evenings with the study guide and 10th Edition Effective PR. I also studied the Primer of Public Relations Research, since I wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with research methodologies.

I completed the Readiness Review on Sept. 10, 2010, and took the Examination Oct. 2, 2010. Receiving the results immediately on the Examination was very exciting, instead of having to wait a few weeks for a pass/fail letter to arrive.

Overall, achieving my APR was a huge growth experience. It has not only significantly changed how I practice, but will continue to provide benefits in the long term.

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