All posts by Jenn Elting

PRSA Cleveland & Akron Chapters Rejuvenate APR Classes

by Chris Lynch, APR, Fellow PRSA

Is obtaining your APR on your career “bucket list?”  You may have heard or thought that the preparation and studying process may be too hard, or confused by the requirements for the Readiness Review and the computerized exam.

Have no fear…

PRSA’s Cleveland and Akron Chapters are once again teaming up again this year to provide our members with a series of classes designed to help APR candidates prepare for both the review session and the computerized exam.  Our upcoming sessions will help candidates navigate the testing process specifically on the knowledge skills and abilities considered essential to achieving accreditation.

If you’re interested in learning more about accreditation, our introductory session will be held next month (in 3 weeks or so, but at a time mutually viable for all interested parties!) There is no fee to attend – any – of the classes. Please contact one of the instructors, Christian Hunter, APR, ChristianTHunter@gmail.com or Nora Jacobs, APR jacobs@crisiscommunications.com if you would like to attend. Or learn more about the process.

In the first session, you’ll come away with:

  • An overview of the APR process
  • An understanding of the portfolio readiness review
  • Timeline for studying for the APR
  • Materials needed to succeed!

Based on interest, additional classes will be held 3-4 times throughout the summer, with our targeted goal to have the 2019 ‘class’ take their examination in early September.

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is the mark of distinction for public relations professionals – a visible and ongoing commitment to the knowledge, ethics and experience that define the public relations industry in today’s fast-paced environment. Earning the APR is a noteworthy milepost in any PR professional’s career and a personal mark of achievement you can proudly add to your credentials.

Act now and make 2019 the year you get your APR!  Note that any member of the profession is welcome to sit for the APR exam, but at least five years of experience is recommended in order to best prepare for the range of questions that will be addressed in both the readiness review and computerized exam.

6 Accredited PR Pros on Why They Pursued Their APR (reprinted from PRsay)

 

“Having been a practitioner for 25 years, I had always wanted to apply for my APR, but never found time to do so. Last year, at a PRSA meeting, Stacey Sunday and I were approached about it by Professor Alison L. Gaulden from the University of Nevada-Reno. With her encouragement and support, we are both proud APRs!”

— Suzanne B. Hendery, MA, APR
Chief Marketing Officer and VP, Marketing and Communications, Renown Health
Reno, Nevada

 

“As an independent communications and PR consultant, I felt that pursuing my Accreditation in Public Relations was vital for the integrity of my practice and for demonstrating to clients that I can deliver faithfully on the services I offer.”

— Catherine Brozena, APR
Owner and Creative Director, ColorThisWorld Communications
Oakland, Calif.

 

“After 13 years of professional practice, I believed it was important to demonstrate my knowledge and credibility in the profession by earning Accreditation. PR practitioners have a responsibility to counsel their organizations with an ethics-based approach, and I believe Accreditation signals a practitioner’s commitment to sound public relations strategies and practice.”

— Emily Finley, APR
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Marvin Windows and Doors
St. Paul, Minn.

 

“In hindsight, during my ten-year career I was flying by the seat of my pants, so I decided to look for the discipline and skills I needed. I now have an unparalleled sense of confidence because I have the tools I need. I can better craft messages and coordinate activities that affect my organization’s relationships with its publics. By developing strategic PR plans, I can be assertive, better align campaigns with the corporate goals, and serve my organization proactively, effectively, and consistently.”

— Marcia Brookey, APR
VP and Director of Marketing, Trust Company of Oklahoma
Tulsa, Okla.

 

“I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Because I believe in what it stands for, I value APR Accreditation tremendously.”

— Christopher Eric Vadnais, APR
Public Affairs Officer, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

 

“As a broadcast journalist turned PR professional, I pursued my APR as a source of formal industry education. Earning my APR has made me more confident in my daily work and challenged my strategic approach from research to evaluation.”

— Allison Williams, APR
Internal Communications Specialist, Greater Nevada Credit Union
Reno, Nev.

 

Twenty-Two Years Later, My APR Continues to Pay Dividends

By Richard J. Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA

Public relations professionals who do not have their APR and do not intend to get the credential are often as passionate arguing against the need for it as those who have attained accreditation argue for it. These are not new positions in our field. Way back in 1995, when I decided to get my accreditation, such arguments were raging around me. Twenty-two years later, I am as pleased with my decision to earn the credential as I was the day I passed the tests.

One can be successful in our field without an APR, or a master’s degree, or even a degree in the academic disciplines most associated with the practice of public relations. I suppose there can be equally strong arguments for and against getting those credentials. My decision was not based on who had the better argument. I consider myself a lifelong learner because I want to be the best I can be in my profession. Any opportunity to enhance my skillset interests me, whether I can definitively prove a pocketbook ROI for my time and money.

Making the case more powerful for me was that an APR is not simply another professional development workshop or a one-time training program. An APR is a commitment to our profession and is distinguished from many other one-time learning opportunities because once the credential is earned, it must be maintained. I also wanted a competitive differentiator to give potential employers a tipping point to pick me over another candidate.

As with many learning experiences, I found the journey toward obtaining my APR a worthwhile ride. My study group was supportive (I am still in touch with many of them) and our professional advisor was encouraging. The test was challenging, but with the proper preparation, I found no surprises and passed on my first attempt. Had I not passed, I knew that supportive network that helped me prepare would be available to me for another attempt; that was reassuring.

I am a passionate member of PRSA, so in addition to the professional advantages I’ve experienced through my APR, I have also found the credential helpful as I ascended into various leadership roles in chapters, district and in national posts.

I am proud of my APR and encourage anyone considering earning the credential to go for it. I have never met anyone who regrets having taken this step.

© Keith Berr Productions, Inc.

Richard J. Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA has been practicing public relations for 30 years in Fortune 500, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.

He is a member of PRSA’s National Board of Directors (representing the Greater Cleveland Chapter and the East Central District) and has served as an adjunct professor in Kent State University’s Master of Public Relations program.