“The significance of the APR is that it demonstrates a person’s abilities as a well-rounded practitioner within the field of PR,” stated Carrie Rathbun, accreditation chair for CMPRSA and president of Rathbun Public Relations. “A person must exhibit capability of reaching a higher and more strategic level of service.”
The approximately 24 APRs in CMPRSA have all demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice public relations effectively. APR candidates must complete an extensive peer review and pass an exam to earn the accreditation.
“It’s certainly more than just knowing how to write a press release. A person must understand PR management and have the ability to counsel in PR matters. You have to demonstrate your ability to take a PR plan from conception to completion. The APR is like a badge showing you can do it,” said Doug Klein, who teaches an APR course at Lansing Community College for those individuals looking to prep for the APR exam.
APR candidates should have a minimum of five years’ experience in public relations along with a bachelor’s degree in a communication-specific field, Klein said.
Kate Tykocki, marketing/communications director for Capital Area Michigan Works!, recently earned her APR designation, which took approximately eight months to complete.
“The APR gives validation to the profession and demonstrates a great deal of commitment to the work. It shows that you can think strategically and focus on a comprehensive plan other than just putting out a series of press releases that are thrown together,” Tykocki explained.
Public relations practitioners add prestige and can increase their earning potential by achieving the APR designation, Rathbun said.
The fee to take the APR computer-based examination is $385. To learn more about the APR accreditation go to www.prsa.org.
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Randy J. Stine