In an article posted a few weeks ago discussing the value of earning an APR certificate for PR pros, the author makes a compelling case for achieving the APR designation. But my perspective on the process, and what the designation means, is slightly different.
I pursued the APR designation in 2000 because I did not have a formal degree in public relations, nor had I had the opportunity earlier in my career to engage in a systematic study of the profession.That became increasingly important given my growing interest in teaching and training in the field, necessitating a command of the body of knowledge and the letters after my name to signify such mastery.
My subsequent marketing of the designation mattered a lot within my PRSA chapter (where at the time there were few active members with the designation) and the national organization. As an educator, stating I had an APR invited occasional questions in my classes on the topic of accreditation; as a consultant/trainer, my agency and corporate clients didn’t seem to care one way or another about it.
I recently completed my doctorate, and have seen that those initials make a difference in my personal marketing efforts. Likewise, as a professor and advisor in an MBA program, I’ve seen how that degree generally carries weight in the marketplace.
In short, I believe the APR designation and the process leading up to it provide a valuable educational experience that I’d recommend to others with objectives similar to mine.
That said, I believe the PR profession would be better served advocating for educational designations that demonstrably matter to business leaders and others with whom practitioners work.
About the Author
Mitchell Friedman, Ed.D. (@mitchellfriedmn) teaches management communication and related topics to MBA students. He has previously taught at the University of San Francisco, and in the future will be teaching at UC Davis and West Virginia University. In addition, he also provides professional development and education to public relations agencies. Mitchell’s recently completed doctoral dissertation explored leadership development in public relations.
- The Value of Earning an APR Certificate for PR Pros
- What Do Companies Really Want from a PR Agency?
- Top 10 Ways to Succeed in PR