Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. Candidates earn accreditation based on broad knowledge, a strategic perspective and sound professional judgment. The APR is a voluntary certification program for public relations professionals, administered by the Universal Accreditation Board. The purpose is to unify and advance the profession by identifying those who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the field. The program seeks to improve public relations practice. The designation APR signifies a high professional level of experience and competence. The Universal Accreditation Board oversees the Accreditation program and provides a balanced blend of backgrounds in a number of public relations specialties. For more information, visit http://www.praccreditation.org
The Fall 2019 APR sessions in Orlando will kick off with an informational webinar on Sept. 16 covering the intro to accreditation, including the application process, written submission, portfolio preparation, Panel Presentation, computer-based exam and FAQs.
The workshop series will continue Monday evenings from 6:00-7:30 p.m. from Sept. 23 through Oct. 21 at the new University of Central Florida Downtown Campus – Communication and Media Building, Conference Room 201 (500 West Livingston St., Orlando FL 32801) with the Mock Panels October 28 and Panel Presentations the week of November 11. The workshops are not required “classes” but rather a professional development networking group of mentors prepared to help you succeed. View the full schedule here.
Most successful candidates participate in a series of FREE workshops by the Orlando Chapters of PRSA and FPRA that focus on the fundamental knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) you will need to know in order to earn Accreditation. The 90-minute sessions are led by seasoned APR facilitators to guide a discussion of core topics that will be covered on the APR written exam. The workshops are not required “classes” but rather professional development/networking groups led by mentors that want to help you succeed. The primary, recommended text is Effective Public Relations by Cutlip, Center and Broom, 11th edition or current. In addition to the free Study Guide downloadable from the UAB Web site, you may also enroll in the UAB Online Study Course for $195.
Your first step is to submit an application. Please do this as soon as you make the commitment to take part in the Accreditation program. The application is available at www.praccreditation.org along with the Candidate’s Process Chart, which will outline the process for you.
Payment is required at the time you submit your application — either as a single payment of $385, which includes a $25 application fee, or two payments of $205 each (one at the time of application and the second when you have advanced through the Panel Presentation and are authorized to take the computer-based examination).
Check with your local PRSA or FPRA chapter Accreditation Chair for information about rebates. UAB will notify you of your eligibility within four weeks, but it is often much sooner. You will have one year from the date your application is approved and you are notified to complete the required Panel Presentation and take the computer-based examination.
You will be required to submit a Panelist Presentation Questionnaire. The questionnaire may be found on the UAB Web site. The questionnaire will reflect your own experience in the public relations profession.
Panel Presentation of Your Portfolio
You are required to prepare a portfolio of your work to present to a panel of accredited professionals. Your portfolio should reflect your knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) as a public relations professional. You will meet with a panel of three accredited public relations professionals to whom you will present your portfolio of work. The panelists will score your KSAs and help you identify any gaps in your readiness to take the Accreditation exam. None of the panelists will be individuals with whom you have worked or have close personal association. The UAB will notify you as to whether you will advance/not advance to take the computerized exam.
Once you feel prepared, and within a year of your eligibility, you may schedule at your convenience an appointment to take the accreditation exam. The exams are taken at a Prometric testing center. You may schedule your exam online at www.prometric.com or by calling 800-274-1900. There are two Prometric testing centers in the Orlando area. You will need your personal Accreditation ID number when scheduling the exam. UAB will notify you of the results of your exam within four to eight weeks.
For more information, contact our APR Co-VPs:
Laura Lord-Blackwell, APR (Laura.Lord@ocfl.net)
Mimi Flatley, APR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I love a challenge, so for me earning the APR designation was a personal and professional accomplishment. After a long career as a newspaper editor, I felt that receiving my APR signified that I had made a successful transition into the world of public relations. It indicates that you understand and practice the principles of sound, strategic communication campaigns and programs on behalf of your clients, organization or corporation. To those who are considering it, I say, “Go for it!”
Earning my #APR was an important milestone in my professional journey, and one that I highly recommend. While the process was tedious and overwhelming at times with a family and full-time job, it’s something that I have never regretted and I believe that regardless of how well-known the accreditation may be within the larger marketplace, the process rewards you with a strong foundation of industry knowledge and ethical responsibility. Earning your APR isn’t something we’re required to do, it’s something we volunteer for. And if given two candidates to review, I’m likely to pick the one who’s taken the path less traveled, the path in pursuit of excellence and personal growth.
Connect with Jessi here.