Spring into Action – Start Exploring the Possibility of Your APR Journey in APRil

By Michele Papakie, D.Sc., APR

Having been on the PRSA Pittsburgh executive board for a little over a year now, I am getting the impression that many of our chapter members don’t know much about the professional accreditation that is hanging out there for us to earn and proudly display on our resume, business card and LinkedIn profile.

April is PRSA’s Accredited in Public Relations (APR) Month

Why not commit some of your time this month to simply exploring the possibility of pursuing it?

The outstanding APR team at PRSA national has launched a new APR website and created a fancy new brochure that feature information on the APR and APR+M. Both the website and the brochure describe how and why you should earn your professional accreditation.

The BLUF, as we say in the military, or bottom line up front, is that all you need to do is apply, make a presentation to a panel of colleagues and sit for a 132-question exam.

What’s on the test, you ask?

Things you already know and do every day! The computer-based examination tests six groupings of knowledge, skills and abilities:

1. Research, Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Programs;

2. Leading the Public Relations Function;

3. Managing Relationships;

4. Applying Ethics and Law;

5. Managing Issues and Crisis Communications; and

6. Understanding Communication Models, Theories and History of the Practice.

Get Connected

If you have at least five years of professional experience in our field, I would love to meet with you for a coffee, tea or adult beverage to answer any questions you may have about the APR. I earned my APR in August 2020 during the pandemic. If I can do it, I know you can, too.

Michele is the Accreditation Chair for PRSA Pittsburgh. She is an associate professor of strategic communication and media at Slippery Rock University. She earned her APR during the pandemic in August 2020 and can be reached at michelepapakie@gmail.com.

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A message from PRSA National’s 2022 APR Chair, Dr. Felicia Blow, APR

  • An innovative webinar series, “Top Talents Compete: Who’s Got the Greatest Communication Campaign?,” kicking off on April 6 and running on consecutive Wednesdays from 3-4 PM ET through April 27. Structured as an online professional development game show, Tara L. Smith, M.S., APR, will host three contestants applying the four-step process of research, planning, implementation and evaluation, and participants decide who wins each week’s category.

• Editorial coverage including a series of PRsay blog posts and articles in the April issue of Strategies & Tactics.

• Information on the upcoming APR virtual Boot Camp, being held June 22-24. The Boot Camp is a three-day intensive course designed to provide a setting for busy professionals whose schedules don’t permit extensive preparation time, but it is not intended for those just beginning to pursue their accreditation.

While these resources are featured in April, the value of accreditation is of course demonstrated year-round, and those of you who have earned it know well the opportunities it can bring. 

Finally, as a professional who earned my APR many years ago, and who worked hard as Chair of the UAB to establish the APR+M credential, I am so proud of the work being done to advance the importance of these credentials. I want to encourage and assist everyone in whatever way I can to consider securing their APR or APR+M, a key part of which will be broadening the diversity of PRSA members who have earned their accreditation.

And for those of you who are considering or beginning the process, I like what Monique Farmer, APR, PRSA Nebraska board member, had to say on last week’s Strategies & Tactics Live: Enjoy the journey!

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