- Posted by Carisa Turner
- On April 26, 2021
- Accreditation in Public Relations, public relations
Earning my APR was one of the best decisions I have made in my career, because it transformed the way I both think about and exist within the public relations industry. It deepened my understanding of the vital and lasting business value and impact a PR practitioner can bring to the table as a trusted advisor, strategic counselor and visionary thought partner—and it showed me how to step into those spaces with clarity of purpose.
Throughout April, we celebrate the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) process. It is a credential that is widely respected in the field and certifies one’s professionalism and drive to succeed as a strategic communicator, particularly solidifying your role as a leader and mentor in the field. Earning your APR demonstrates one’s commitment to the practice and gives a PR professional a level of distinction. We affectionately think of it as the gold standard of public relations.
“The APR process helped solidify the ‘why’ in what we do when it comes to strategic communications,” says Paquin. “It helped reinforce my skills and also put a laser focus on the process, which immediately translated to my daily work on behalf of clients.”
The APR process is a two-part assessment which typically takes about a year to complete. During the process, you study and learn about the history of public relations, theories and models of communication, ethics, laws related to the PR practice and the coveted RPIE process, the acronym from which any great PR campaign is built: research, planning, implementation and evaluation.
After studying the official APR study guide along with multiple textbooks, the first test is a panel discussion where you develop and present a strategic communications campaign and walk seasoned PR practitioners through the RPIE process. If you pass the panel, you then move on to a computer-based examination which includes multiple choice scenario-based questions that test your knowledge, skills and abilities in an array of areas.
“The RPIE is the bedrock of any great communications campaign, and we implement it daily in helping our clients,” says Hammond. “It is so fulfilling to share our knowledge with our entire team as we use best practices in all our strategic communication on behalf of clients.”
One additional value of the APR is that it creates a collective understanding and ethical standard for how we work with our organizations, with our clients and with each other. Further demonstrating our commitment to the field, accredited professionals – particularly Poston’s APRs – continue supporting the process by teaching courses, serving on APR panels, and coaching and mentoring candidates working their way through the process. As the accredited community of PR practitioners continues to grow, so does our potential for impact across our industry and society as a whole.
To learn more about the APR process, click here.