Elaine Nathanson, APR, Fellow PRSA
Established in 1964, the Accreditation Program is the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. It measures a public relations practitioner’s fundamental knowledge of communications theory and its application; establishes advanced capabilities in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation; and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct. The skills acquired through the process are applicable to any industry or practice area.
The Southern Arizona Chapter is most fortunate that nearly one-third of membership has achieved accreditation status. If you are interested in becoming accredited in Public Relations, please contact Elaine Nathanson, APR, Fellow PRSA Chapter accreditation chair. Read more about the value of accreditation –Inside Tucson Business PR Corner, June 10, 2011 issue, Accreditation in Public Relations? Yes, it really matters.
- Jan Howard, APR, Strongpoint Marketing, Southern Arizona Chapter
- Jodi Horton, APR, Fellow PRSA, IDEAS@WORK, Inc., Southern Arizona Chapter
APR Tips and Insight
Accreditation in Public Relations is a rigorous, but not impossible process. Of the more than 21,000 members of the Public Relations Society of America only 5,000 are accredited. Some people become accredited within their first decade of professional practice. Others become accredited further along in their careers. It’s a personal decision and a personal achievement.
Begin by talking with your Chapter Accreditation Chair. You will also want to review the Application form and look over the Readiness Review. You might also want to familiarize yourself with the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities that are critical.
There are many ways to pursue accreditation. Several of the steps have time frames that are hard and fast. Once you submit your application and are accepted into the process you have one year within which to submit your Readiness Review, present your portfolio to your panel and take the test.
Numerous text books are recommended to inform your preparation. Many of these titles are available used at a significant cost savings – another reason to chat with your accreditation chair. PRSA National offers a free study guide as well as an online course for a fee. Recommended texts, a free study guide and information on the online course are located in Preparation Sources on the National website.