Explore APR+M - Accreditation in Public Relations

Explore the Newest
Public Relations
—How You Can Benefit from Accreditation
September 27, 2011
APR Overview
APR & APR+M Distinction
Testimonial: What the APR+M Means to Me
Certification (APR+M) Benefits
Accreditation defines, advances and unifies the profession
The designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of
experience and competence. It is a voluntary certification program for public relations
professionals, administered by the Universal Accreditation Board.
Sets industry standards
– Public relation’s only post-graduate certification program
– Measures practitioners’ knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) in 60 areas such as
communications theory, research, planning, implementation and evaluation, crisis
communications management, ethics and law
– More than 5,000 professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields
hold the APR mark, Harold Burson and Daniel J. Edelman notable among them
Promotes lifelong learning
– Continuing education programs required, including volunteer work or other
professional development activities
– Keeps skills sharp and accreditation active
Accreditation provides distinction and credibility to a broad
Career enhancement
– Voluntary demonstration of competency
– Reflects a strong commitment to the profession
– Provides a distinction that can open doors to
advancement and compensation
Positive for the public relations industry
– PR is often misunderstood and criticized
– APR gives credibility to our profession: promotes
high professional and ethical standards
find the process
establishes the
practice as
strategic (93%)
and ethical (91%).
– Accredited professionals contribute to greater
understanding of public relations as a
vital management function
Accreditation requires program standards
The purposes of APR and APR+M are distinctive:
Unify and advance the Public Relations
profession by identifying those who have
demonstrated broad knowledge, experience
and professional judgment in the field. The
program seeks to improve public relations
practice. The designation Accredited in
Public Relations signifies a high professional
level of experience and competence.
Improve the profession of military public
affairs and establish a standard of knowledge
consistency within the joint public affairs
community. It signifies a professional level of
experience and competence within the Public
Relations industry as a whole, coupled with a
uniquely qualified understanding of public
affairs activities in joint military operations.
The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs)
tested for APR+M are a distinguishing factor:
•Joint Planning Process
•Interagency Coordination
•PA Guidance (Annex F)
•DOD Principles of Information
•Classification and release of
•Resource, Planning, Program,
Budget, Execution
•PA role in Strategic
Communication (Annex Y)
•Operations Security
•PA Role in COIN Operations
Elements of APR complement components of APR+M
PRSA Code of Ethics
DOD Principles of Information;
Nine Principles of War Coverage
Crisis Communication
Contingency Planning
1913 Gillett Amendment
Foreign Agents Registration Act
Article 5 Operations
Competing Messages
Insurgent Propaganda
Technology trends
Adversary Web/Social Media
Freedom of the Press
Developing Media in Stability
There are key points to remember for APR+M
1. Graduation from DINFOS is not a requirement, however…
2. You don’t have to have Joint experience, however…
3. Current military APRs are also eligible, however…
4. No professional organization membership required, however…
Requirements for attaining APR and APR+M: A 4-step process
Step one: Eligibility and Application
– A minimum of five years experience is recommended
– Download application at www.praccreditation.org or
– Single payment of $385.00 or two payments of $205.00
Step two: Written Questionnaire
– Complete experienced-based questionnaire (*Note: The APR+M questionnaire is
different than for the APR) to be submitted to Readiness Review panelists
Step three: Readiness Review
– Oral presentation of your portfolio (to include a communication plan that you developed
or helped to develop) that demonstrates your mastery of KSAs
– Typically three panelists
– Two hours allowed including Q & A (for new candidates)
– Requires panel recommendation that the candidate is “ready to take the exam”
Requirements for attaining APR and APR+M: A 4-step process
Step four: Computer Exam (the same for both APR and APR+M)
– Conducted at a Prometrics Testing Center
– 3 hours, 45 minutes, including a 15 minute break
– Scenario-based multiple choice questions
– Specific KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) in 10 areas of professional practice:
30% Research, planning, implementing and evaluating programs
15% Ethics and law
15% Communication models and theories
10% Business literacy
10% Management skills
10% Crisis communication management
5% Media relations
2% Using information technology efficiently
2% History of and current issues in public relations
1% Advanced communication skills
– Be on time: After 30 minutes, you are considered a “no-show”
Testimonial: What the APR+M designation means to me
 Personal accomplishment – Recognition that you have reached a high
level of achievement in the profession
 Knowledge – Going beyond your professional experience to fill-in gaps
and round out your skills
 Leadership – With accreditation comes an expectation of ethical
leadership and professionalism
 Professional goals – Third-party validation of your skill set has value in
any industry
– Consulting – Differentiates you from a competitor and shows clients
you understand all aspects of the craft
– Government – Illustrates to those outside public affairs office that
you are a skilled professional just like a lawyer or accountant
– Private Industry – Jumps off a resume and shows you are
committed to the practice of public relations
Resources are available to help achieve APR and APR+M
Resources Available
– Basic Information: www.prsa.org/Learning/Accreditation/ and
– Basic Information: www.prsa-ncc.org/accreditation_(apr)/
– Application form: www.praccreditation.org/documents/APRapplication2010.pdf
and www.praccreditation.org/apr_m/aprmApplication3.pdf
– Study Guide; download at: www.praccreditation.org/documents/aprstudyguide.pdf
and www.praccreditation.org/apr_m/aprmStudyGuide.pdf
– Recommended Readings: www.praccreditation.org/Preparation%20Sources/index.html#books
• Effective Public Relations. 10th ed, Cutlip & Center
• Primer of Public Relations Research. Don W. Stacks
• Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. 9th ed., Wilcox & Cameron
• Strategic Planning for Public Relations. 2nd ed. Ronald D. Smith
• Others
– Online Course: www.online2learn.net/APR/
PRSA membership has a wealth of benefits
 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world’s largest and foremost organization of
public relations professionals
– 21,000+ public relations and communications professionals members from across the U.S.
– Members range from recent college graduates to the leaders of the world’s largest multinational firms
 Networking Benefits
 Intelligence
– 16 professional interest sections
– Award-winning periodicals (Strategist, Tactics)
– 110 local PRSA chapters in 10 districts
– Daily News Updates (Issues & Trends, blogs)
 Professional Recognition
– Silver Anvil Awards (national)
– Thoth Awards (local)
 Learning
– Professional development programs
– Industry conferences
– Access to industry intellectual capital (Silver
Anvil case studies, white papers, research,
 PRSA Job Center
– Career advice library
– Resume guide and critiquing service
– Mentoring
– Accreditation