Accreditation

New for 2017! PRSA Detroit’s Prep Session Online
Have you always wanted to become accredited, but struggled to find the time to devote to the APR Prep Session? This year, we’re moving the prep online, which will allow you to go through the material at your own pace.

Resources Available for Download
Sign into the online module to gain access to presentations that will help you through the APR process. We recommend you view the 2017 Accreditation Overview first. This will outline all the information you’ll need to decide whether now is the right time for you to go through the APR process. Following this presentation, we recommend you view Research APR Prep parts 1-5 and Public Relations Programming. These presentations will give you important information that you can use when filling out your panel presentation candidate questionnaire.  The remaining presentations may be viewed at your leisure.

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Click the download link to view PRSA Detroit’s library of presentations on communications theories, crisis communications/media relations, ethics, law, programming and research.

 

Key Dates for 2017
  –  Friday, May 19: Online prep available to candidates
  –  Friday, June 2: Have your APR application turned in to National and alert PRSA Detroit that you are going to go through the process
  –  Monday, July 31: Panel Presentation Candidate questionnaires must completed and turned in
  –  Week of August 7: Panel presentations will be scheduled

Mentors
Since the process has moved online, we have a list of PRSA Detroit APRs who are willing to mentor candidates through the process. If you would like a mentor, please let us know and we will connect you with a local APR to assist you with any questions you may have about the process.
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What is Accreditation?
Established in 1964, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential is the public relations profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. The APR designation signifies a high level of skill and competency in the Public Relations field.

Who can pursue the APR?
Accreditation is recommended for candidates with at least five years of experience in full-time practice or teaching of public relations and who have earned either a bachelor’s degree in a communications-related field or have equivalent work experience. However, any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning Accreditation.

What are the benefits of Accreditation?

  • A Recognized Standard – The APR designation is widely known and respected and the only national post-graduate certification program.
  • Enhanced Knowledge & Skills – The APR process refreshes and/or enhances your public relations knowledge and skills. No matter what college degree you may have earned or what practice area your career is focused on, with Accreditation, it is back to the basics! The process builds the fundamental knowledge critical to our field. This information can be applied to your practice of public relations, making you an even better practitioner.
  • A Potential Edge in the Job Market – If you find yourself in the job market, the APR designation is a nice “stamp of approval,” per say, on your resume. It demonstrates that you have a high level of experience and competency in the field, and it’s a nice talking point for your interviews with potential employers.
  • PR for PR – Overall, the APR designation helps move the public relations profession forward, which benefits all of us in this industry. As more of us become Accredited, the overall perception and respect for our industry improves.
  • Personal Satisfaction – Earning Accreditation is a challenge, and something you’ll be very proud of when you have completed the process!

Benefits of Accreditation

  • Signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.
  • Enhances a practitioner’s approach to project planning as well as daily implementation skills.
  • Broadens the knowledge of practitioners working in very specialized public relations fields.
  • Demonstrates interest, determination and commitment to self-improvement.
  • Elevates the profession in stature as the number of accredited public relations practitioners grows.

What is involved in earning Accreditation?
Earning Accreditation involves the following steps:

  • Application to the Universal Accreditation Board – a formal application with payment
  • Change to Panel Presentation Candidate Questionnaire – based on professional experience and comprehensive PR plan Panel Presentation – formal presentation to a panel of three local Accredited members of PRSA; the presentation includes a portfolio that highlights a comprehensive public relations program or initiative that you have completed during your career in a paid or volunteer position
  • Computer Exam– multiple-choice examination

Detailed information about each of the steps to earning Accreditation can be found at PRSA.org.

How Long does it Take to Earn Accreditation?
Candidates have up to one year from the date of application approval to complete the testing process. While candidates typically complete the first several steps of Accreditation on a specific schedule set up by the PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee, the computer-based exam is taken “on demand” at the candidate’s discretion.

Earning Accreditation requires preparation, reading and studying over the course of several months. Even seasoned professionals should be prepared to approach the Accreditation process as an academic exercise.

What material does the examination cover?
The Accreditation examination covers the following topics:

  • Research; planning, implementing and evaluating programs
  • Business literacy, problem solving, leadership
  • Managing relationships
  • Ethics and law
  • Crisis communication management
  • Communication models, theories, and history 

What should I do if I’m interested in Accreditation?

Turn in your APR application to PRSA National and alert PRSA Detroit that you are going to go through the process by June 2, 2017. Next, log into the online prep session materials and view Research APR Prep parts 1-5 and Public Relations Programming. These presentations will give you important information that you can use when filling out your candidate questionnaire.  The remaining presentations may be viewed at your leisure. Follow the key dates for 2017 as you progress through the process, and view additional  preparation resources available on the PRSA National website.

 

I’m Already Accredited. What do I Need to do to Maintain my Accreditation?
To maintain your Accreditation, you must be a member of PRSA or another organization recognized by the Universal Accreditation Board. In addition, you must keep your PR knowledge and skills fresh by accumulating points in continuing education and professional development, professionalism or public service. You must submit documentation of these activities to PRSA National every three years, along with a $50 fee.

Visit PRSA.org for detailed information about maintaining Accreditation.

What if I have additional questions?
For more information about Accreditation, contact any of the following individuals:

PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee:

Jamie Morris, APR – JMorris@CMPL.org
Cynthia Carey, APR – cynthia.carey@kellyservices.com

PRSA National Manager of Accreditation:

Kathy Mulvihill – Kathy.mulvihill@prsa.org (212.460.1436)

 

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ARE YOU READY?

Earning your APR takes your skills to the next level.

Thank you!