“Am I ready?”
It’s something I asked myself repeatedly five years ago, when considering whether it was the time to complete the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) process. Had I been working in public relations for a few years? Yes. Had I been taking on progressively complex project work? Yes. Did both my work and home situation allow the time needed to prepare and study? (mostly) Yes.
I decided to take the plunge and haven’t looked back. Everyone’s path to attaining accreditation looks different, which makes the process so beneficial. Here are three of my own takeaways from the process.
- Theory, theory, theory. With a journalism background, I didn’t have theoretical, university or college training in communications or public relations. While I had a number of years of practical experience, I often didn’t know the why behind it. Through studying and reading books on theory and strategy, I gained knowledge I felt I missed.
- Work (sample) it. The first step of the whole process is your work sample. Picking a project that you’ve worked on that you can analyze, write about and self-evaluate seemed daunting. The biggest takeaway for me was: the project you select doesn’t have to be huge. Does your project have good research? Measurable goals? Robust evaluation? Not sure? Reach out to a communicator who has their APR and ask for advice!
- Phone a friend! While it didn’t come as a surprise, there’s a tremendous amount of support and help from the CPRS community along your APR journey. Whether it’s a local study group, a national study group, incredible mentors, I felt so well supported throughout the entire process.
Are you ready? Have questions? As APR chair this year, I’m eager to help! Reach out any time by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org.