Workshop Participants Learn Benefits, Process of Achieving APR Public Relations Credential

By Jeff Huett, APR

Susan Barnes, APR, Fellow PRSA, led the workshop on APR: Accreditation in Public Relations (photo by Jeff Huett).

NASHVILLE, Tenn (April 3, 2014) — Achieving the Accreditation in Public Relations gives PR practitioners a mark of distinction, enhanced credibility and a competitive edge said a retired member of the Belmont University faculty in a workshop Wednesday at the annual convention of the Religion Communicators Council.

Susan Barnes, APR, Fellow PRSA, discussed the benefits and the process of working toward the credential. As one benefit of membership, RCC members may seek accreditation. RCC is one of nine communications/public relations organizations represented on the board of the independent Universal Accreditation Board, which manages the process.

The voluntary APR designation identifies communicators who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in planning and managing public-relations activities. To earn accreditation, candidates must demonstrate mastery of a specific body of public relations knowledge.

The knowledge, skills and abilities assessed during the process including research, planning implementing and evaluating programs; communications models and theories; ethics and law; business literacy; and others.

Candidates for accreditation need to:

  • Compile a portfolio showing the range of their public relations work.
  • Complete a questionnaire about their public relations experience.
  • Participate in a two-hour readiness review before a panel of accredited practitioners. This panel judges candidates specific knowledge, skills and abilities in the public relations body of knowledge.
  • Pass a computer-based examination covering the areas of knowledge, skills and abilities in the public relations body of knowledge.

Support for RCC members is available from RCC liaison, Philip Poole, APR, Executive Director, Office of University Marketing and Communication, Samford University, Birmingham, AL.

Jeff Huett, APR, is a member of the RCC Board of Governors and Associate Coordinator of Communications and Advancement, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Atlanta, GA.

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