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April marks the 50th Anniversary of the Accreditation in Public Relations designation

Back when I made the decision to seek the APR, I am not sure I could put into words (or at least words I was willing to put onto paper) the reason or reasons why it was an important step in my career. Over the last few weeks, much has been written about the process, and about the reasons why it is important.

For me, the decision was personal. It was an internal challenge within me to see if my knowledge and skills were enough to pass the readiness review and more importantly, the exam itself. My APR journey is far from the perfect scenario of getting it done. My readiness review was held at a different chapter from where I took the exam because in the middle of the process I changed jobs, Hurricane Katrina hit, and my employer relocated. So it is safe to say, the process took longer than anticipated.

My advice for others is first and foremost, there is no perfect time to begin. There is always going to be a project at work or family situation that can be a challenge. The ultimate reason for pursuing accreditation in my opinion is that deep down within you, you really, really, want to achieve and be recognized as one of the top ranked professionals in our field.

The process is not a group activity, it is a personal journey. If you study better with a study buddy, get one. If you don’t, there is no need for group discussion.

To help you make the decision about whether or not you are ready, get out the readiness review documents and see if you can complete them. If you cannot, you will become self-aware about the areas you need to improve. The APR chair will be happy to review a draft of your documents and give you pointers.

There are numerous on-line tools to help you through the process, and just about all of the accredited professionals I know will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have.

I found the process to be beneficial and stressful at the same time, but in the end it is valuable and worth the effort.

 This post is courtesy of Jill R. Alexander, APR, and Fellow PRSA member. She is known for transforming real life situations into learning moments, both in the classroom and the boardroom. Her strong work ethic and commitment have earned her the reputation as a role model for students and coworkers. Her life journey has included a career in public relations since 1984 when she hit the streets of New York to find her dream. The voyage featured the Big Apple, the industrial world of a chemical plant in the Deep South and currently the corporate world of a publicly-traded gaming company in the Mid-West. She earned a degree in journalism from the State University College of New York at Buffalo, and earned Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of South Alabama.

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1 Comments

  1. Tressa L. Robbins

    Apr. 18, 2014

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing, Jill.