Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PRSA Designates April as APR Month

Did you know that more than 5,000 public relations professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) mark? That statistic is a fairly small number when you consider it in comparison to how many PR and communication professionals work in this field. For those who don’t know, the APR is a mark of distinction for public relations practitioners who commit to the profession through ethical practices and sound judgment, demonstrating both broad and deep knowledge of best practices, and use of the research, planning, implementation and evaluation (RPIE) process. 

Another fun fact for you: Did you know the APR remains the only nationally recognized certification of the public relations profession and it celebrates 50 years in 2014?! Why wouldn’t you want to have those three powerful letters behind your name? It is a mark of distinction that demonstrates your competency to employers, colleagues and clients.  
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about becoming accredited because PRSA has deemed April as “APR month.” I will be the first to tell you that becoming accredited is no small feat, but after going through the process less than a year ago I can truly appreciate and understand all the hard work that goes into preparing. For me personally, my APR affords me the opportunity to be taken seriously by the C-suite and other industry colleagues.

Earning my APR is a value-add for my clients and my agency because it has helped me learn to be more thoughtful and strategic. And of course, studying for the APR exam was a great “refresher course” for reviewing best practices and the strategic building blocks of our profession – research! I am now better equipped to offer sound advice and counsel as I help clients achieve the goals and objectives they have outlined in their business plans as well as effectively evaluate a campaign’s success.

My APR also symbolizes my commitment to helping advance the industry of public relations while enabling me to serve as an advocate for obtaining this certification.

Join me in helping PRSA promote this month as “APR month.” In fact, PRSA Dallas has a few events coming up this month to promote the APR including a @NuPRos APR Twitter chat (#NuProsChat) at noon on April 15 followed by a NuPros/APR happy hour the following day on April 16. You can find more details about these two events on the PRSA Dallas Facebook page.

As the APR turns 50 years old this year, consider giving the best birthday gift of all – earn your APR! Or, if you’re already accredited, join me and other APRs as we celebrate the credential and promote its value to prospective candidates! Happy birthday APR! 

This post was contributed by Leah Ekmark Williams, APR. @leahcpc


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