By Ken Gordon, APR
If you take time to visit a few job boards for opportunities in public relations you’ll find more employers mention a preference to candidates who have their accreditation in public relations (APR). As few as 10 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Attaining accreditation can help boost your career by helping to set you apart in today’s job market.
Accreditation is the only post-graduate program that measures a public relations practitioner’s fundamental knowledge of communication theory, strategic planning, research and ethics. It is often listed as preferred criteria on many job descriptions. It also helps in being considered for promotion.
There are some in our profession who may not fully understand the value of accreditation. Once you begin the journey toward an APR designation you soon recognize the value. Others have argued that those of us who practice public relations should move to a licensing program similar to that used to certify public accountants, but that would miss a very important point to accreditation, it’s voluntary.
By being a voluntary credential, it reflects a strong commitment to the profession and an obligation to act ethically while providing counsel to our organizational leaders or to the clients we serve. The commitment to accreditation will last throughout your career. Once you’ve received your credentials you must also continue to seek out professional development opportunities to maintain accreditation.
It takes both academic and real-world experience to attain the APR certification, but as your career progresses, accreditation can help you continue your success. Visit www.praccreditation.org to learn more about accreditation.