Since receiving accreditation, I have had numerous debates with co-workers about the value of APR.
The value of APR is based on the individual as there are many benefits. For me personally, the greatest benefit is reinforcing the principles of public relations that produce strong results. The APR process gave me an opportunity to commit to approaching communication using the RPIE method (Research, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation) and following PRSA’s code of ethics.
Accreditation can provide a strong foundation for future career growth. While not everyone recognizes the value of the APR designation, it is recognized throughout the profession. There are many professionals, including me, who gravitate to public relations pros who have their APR as it gives me confidence that they have a firm understanding of the RPIE approach.
Pursuing accreditation is a personal decision. It takes time and patience, but most importantly, it requires a commitment to increase your knowledge and broaden your perspective in order to elevate your career.
The good news is that you do not have to do it alone – there are many accredited professionals who will mentor you throughout the process. A strong mentor can make a difference and give you the guidance and tools to ease the way forward.
Personally, I found the accreditation process to be enjoyable. I met numerous people who provided inspiration and motivation. Although I have two degrees in public communication, I still gained valuable knowledge that helped to compliment my formal education. Since it had been many years since I took a test, I enjoyed the challenge of test-taking (surprisingly!).
I would encourage anyone to pursue their accreditation as I believe it expands and enhances the experience of being a public relations professional. The APR process is valuable for professional and personal growth and will provide immense long-term benefits.