The practice of public relations offers many highs.
Some of those exciting times can include having an excellent job candidate accept 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 began searching for an educational opportunity that would help me bridge the gap between business and public relations and provide long-term success, while helping advance the public relations industry.
According to Ray Crockett, APR (Accreditation in PR)—who is a co-chair of the 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. I’ve narrowed the numerous benefits 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, along with 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 PRAccreditation.org.
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. A version of this story first appeared on the blog PR at Sunrise.