Sharpening your skills with APR Certification

    By Regina Martel, PRSA Colorado Communications Committee

    As public relations professionals, we’re always trying to sharpen our skills. We want to keep up with best practices, and flex our creativity and critical thinking. Through the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), PRSA offers a way to do just that. The thorough process takes about a year to complete and is outlined in detail on the PRSA website. While the process can be intensive, it can set those who complete it apart from their peers in this competitive field.

    The first step in achieving the APR designation is to let the chapter committee chair know that you are interested in pursuing the certification. You will then be asked to complete the online application, which will be reviewed by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) who will notify applicants of their acceptance.

    The applicant will then be asked to complete a panel presentation which consists of answering written questions and presenting a portfolio to the APR Committee Chair. The applicant’s portfolio should showcase the use of public relations research, planning, implementation and evaluation. This information is presented to a panel who will then review and score the presentation.

    After passing the panel presentation, the final step is passing a computer-based exam that assesses specific knowledge, skills and abilities related to public relations.

    Though it may sound like an intimidating process, Stacee Martin, APR and current chair of the Colorado APR Committee, encourages qualified candidates to pursue the APR certification. Stacee completed the certification herself because she believes that education and bettering yourself is never a bad investment.

    “It helps you sharpen skills and think critically,” Martin said.

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