You know that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be a top-rate public relations professional. Now it’s time to let the world know.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation in Public Relations is a voluntary program pursued by mid- to senior-level public relations practitioners to verify that they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to engage in the profession. The candidates first must pass a Readiness Review, which is a presentation given to a panel of three Accredited public relations professionals. After passing the Readiness Review, the candidate takes the Examination for Accreditation, which tests 10 groupings of competencies that were identified through the Universal Accreditation Board’s landmark 2000 Practice Analysis. The Universal Accreditation Board oversees the Accreditation program to ensure that Accreditation is based on the current best practices in public relations.
Why Become Accredited?
The benefits of being Accredited start with gaining a sense of personal accomplishment and commitment to the field and continue throughout the career of the APR. The designation signals to fellow practitioners and the outside world that the practitioner shares a base of knowledge and experience that has been recognized as essential for all public relations professionals. APRs are found in large proportions at high levels of organizational management and often enjoy above-average salaries. The uniformity of APRs’ shared knowledge, skills, and abilities help to unify and strengthen the positive reputation of the public relations profession.
Where do I Start?
You can begin the Accreditation process by contacting Kathleen Donohue Rennie or Irene Maslowski,the APR Chairs for PRSA NJ, who can answer any questions you may have. Once you have committed yourself to pursuing Accreditation and have an idea of your timeframe for preparation, you should submit an application, which can be found here.
Once your application has been accepted, you have one year to complete the process. Even if you are a very experienced practitioner, you will have to study to do well on the examination. To prepare, you can:
- Attend PRSA NJ review sessions for prospective candidates, usually held during the summer or fall. Email the APR Co-Chairsfor details).
- Attend a PRSA APR Boot Camp (when available, these are listed on PRSA Training Calendar here).
- Enroll in the PRSA APR Online Study Course (information and registration here).
- Study independently using the APR Study Guide (download guide here).
Additional detailed information about Accreditation can be found here.