Friday, September 25, 2009

APR: PR Boot Camp


After much consideration, I have taken the plunge -- starting classes to prepare for the APR (Accredited in Public Relations) with my colleague and PR partner in crime, Erica Villanueva. This is something I’ve put a lot of thought into and have been eager to accomplish, particularly because I don’t have a PR degree and I entered the field after working in television.

Two classes in and I’m feeling pretty good. But don’t get me wrong; it’s not easy. We have classes every Monday after work and I usually don’t get home until 8:30 p.m. There’s a lot of reading, terminology and theories to master, but I know that in the end the APR designation will be worth the time and effort and hours of reading, classes and preparing for the readiness review and exam.

The pluses: We have a teacher (Rachel Smith) whose passion is accreditation and who wants us to succeed. Our class is diverse, but small, so we can learn from each other, play off our strengths and shore up our weaknesses. I think in the end we will all be better professionals for it. The APR designation is universal, and like a diamond “it’s forever.”

A poll on TWT Poll ( asks “Is earning the APR designation worth the time and effort?” The poll will close on September 30th, but so far 64% of the votes indicate that most APRs and non-APRs think it’s worth it. I have to agree with the majority.

As a young professional, I’m a firm believer that the more distinctions and designations you can acquire, the more you will stand out in the marketplace. And in this economy, with so many people competing for scarce jobs, you need to do everything in your power to shine brighter than your competition.

I have a feeling there will be days when I’m exhausted and freaking out, but when I think about the APR, those three little letters always make me smile.

I plan on tracking my APR experience on this blog, so until next time…

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