MNPR Blog

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

APR has nothing to do with Interest Rates!

While I was on vacation Heather Schwartz wrote an excellent article on the value of APR. For those that don't know APR, in the PR industry it stands for more than Annual Percentage Rate it is the distinction of Accreditation in Public Relations. Below is the first in a series of articles talking about what APR is and its value. The Minnesota Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is looking to find out your thoughts on APR and how they can make it more relevant to the broader business community.

APR – Is it worth it?


I’ve been hearing a lot about how no one outside of PRSA knows what APR is. APRs want more support from PRSA National. They want a campaign to help MBAs understand the value of APR.

While many people in business may never have heard of APR, the benefits stand. APR provides you with a solid framework, supported by your industry’s experts. People who have earned their APR say that the process of preparing for the portfolio review and exam helped refine their work and made them stronger PR practioners.

Proposal: Update terminology to enhance APR’s image.
One proposal in support of changing APR’s image is to update the terminology used to describe it. What if we used the term, “Board certified in public relations” in place of APR?

After all, the credential is awarded by the Universal Accreditation Board. It seems reasonable to think that "board certified" would be an accurate description of the accomplishment.

PRSA and the Universal Accreditation Board have been notified of Minnesota PRSA’s membership’s desire for support. The Minnesota PRSA-APR Committee will monitor the situation. We are glad to pass along any feedback you have.

In the meantime, remember that if you are an APR, your local APRs are here to stand behind you. As you move into a leadership role, you may experience some growing pains. Suddenly, the path is less clear. That’s because part of what you’ve worked for is the right to create your own path!

Here are some tactics that might help if you are feeling as if your APR credentials aren’t recognized by co-workers or people outside of PRSA.
1. Show the strategy behind your work.
2. Ask questions about business, law and ethics if/when it will enhance the work. Show that you’re up to speed on what the rest of your project’s stakeholders will be looking for.
3. Use the term, “advanced certification in my profession,” in place of “APR” when talking with non-PRSA members.
4. Speak highly of other APRs to co-workers and bosses. Explain how their qualifications show through in their work, and/or inspire you.
Leah Otto
APR Committee Co-Chair
MN PRSA