The Value of Earning an APR Certificate for PR Pros

The practice of public relations offers many highs.

Some of those exciting times can include an excellent job candidate accepting a position on the team, scoring a placement communicating key phrases, landing an industry award or mentoring a team member who finds success. However, those successes can be short-lived.

A little more than a year ago, I begin searching for an educational opportunity that allowed me to further bridge the gap between business and public relations and provided long-term success, while helping advance the public relations industry.

According to Ray Crockett, APR (Accreditation in PR), Fellow PRSA, co-chair PRSA/GA Accreditation committee, a recent survey by the PRSA Certification Task Force reveals that experience is not unique. It would take more than a new career opportunity to fulfill my professional aspirations.

I knew of the accreditation program within the PRSA/GA chapter. I also knew that those who held this title were among the best of the best. I was impressed with their commitment, knowledge and passion to raise the profession’s profile by bridging the gap between business and communications.

I completed the public relations accreditation program in November 2010 and while the benefits are numerous, I’ve narrowed them down to the top three:

1. An entree to the best of the best. I’ve met a group of individuals who made an indelible impression. A mentor was assigned to each candidate who accepts the APR challenge through the GA chapter. My mentor was supportive and savvy. Other instructors I met along the way helped to set the bar high, professionally.

2. A personal assessment like no other. The program yielded a career assessment like no other. The oral presentation provided the opportunity for professional reflection against industry benchmarks to fully understand my path and lessons learned.

3. Cutting through the competition. Public relations accreditation provides a dynamic platform. In a corporate environment where advanced degrees are essential, accreditation provided a mark of distinction among qualified candidates, acceptance among senior leadership and other distinguished professionals.

To sum it up, it’s a powerful trio of letters. Why not advance your career and our profession?  To learn more, visit

About the Author
Beth Okun, APR, is the spokesperson at Gwinnett Medical Center (GA) where she leads the system’s communications strategies based on agency and in-house experience. She is committed to helping companies understand the business value of public relations. Contact Beth via Twitter: @bethokun



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2 comments on “The Value of Earning an APR Certificate for PR Pros

  1. I am often asked what the benefits of earning my APR have been. Beth, you hit the nail on the head.

    Pursuing your APR is a challenge. It is not easy, and it is not supposed to be. I have valued the process – interacting with the best in my field, forcing myself not just to think strageically, but work that way as well, presenting myself with pride to a new client or prospect – just as much, if not a touch more than the end result.

    Two more:
    I tied my APR into my professional development plan at work and have been compensated to reflect the achievement.

    I also believe APRs help elevate our profession. There are far too many unscrupulous soles out there that say they practice PR, but worry little about ethics or providing sound counsel. Achieveing and maintaining the PR professions only certification demonstrates a commitment that is hard not to notice.

  2. Pingback: Does Having an APR Designation Really Matter to Clients? « PR at Sunrise

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