Accountants have CPA. Doctors have MD. Lawyers have Esq. We have APR.
Want to add more credibility to your name? How about three letters? APR.
The time is now. Get Accredited.
If you have been thinking about joining the ranks of thousands of practitioners across the United States who have earned their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), the time is now.
Practitioners who have successfully completed PRSA’s voluntary Accreditation program have said it’s added to their PR knowledge base, made them more credible in the field and enhanced their desire to continue practicing and studying public relations. APR is not just three letters to put behind your name. It’s proof that you have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the public relations field.
"I felt it was important to obtain my APR as a testament to my skills as a public relations practitioner and critical-thinker. As an agency leader I felt it was important to lead by example and encourage others to go through the program to increase their knowledge."
Julie Batliner, APR
President, Carmichael Lynch Relate
"APR is a commitment to our profession to perform our work in a manner than stands above for its strategy, execution, and the standards we apply. It means we stand behind our work and how we do it. When I attained my APR, I knew I was taking the next step in how I approached the work I do and my career."
Paul G. Omodt, APR, Fellow PRSA
Owner and Principal, Omodt & Associates Critical Communications
"The accreditation process helped fill gaps in my public relations knowledge, reinforced skills gained over my 25-year career, increased my confidence in my ability to provide sound recommendations and direction to senior staff and elected officials and strengthened my strategic thinking skills."
Jacqueline A. Smith, APR
Communications and Marketing Manager, City of St. Louis Park
What is the process?
Learn more here.
There are four steps to earning your APR. Most candidates require one-to-three months to progress through each step:
1. Study for the exam
2. Complete the application and pay an exam fee
3. Lead the Panel Presentation discussion about a campaign or project you planned
4. Take the computer-based exam
Who is eligible?
Any PRSA member in good standing can earn Accreditation. Five years of professional public relations experience is recommended, along with either a bachelor’s degree in a communication-specific field (e.g., public relations, journalism, mass communication) or equivalent work experience.
The Accreditation program is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of nine leading industry organizations, including PRSA.
Who should I call if I have questions?
You will find detailed information about earning the APR on PRAccreditation.org.
Locally, please contact the Minnesota PRSA Accreditation Committee chair, Jacque Smith, APR, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the national office of PRSA, contact Kathy Mulvihill, Senior Manager, Accreditation, at (212) 460-1436 or email@example.com, or the national website for additional information.
Ready to start? Here’s how:
Contact our Chapter Accreditation Committee. Minnesota PRSA has an active Accreditation Committee committed to your success. Committee members and current APRs have mentored candidates through the process, and our chapter has a higher percent of APRs than any other chapter in the nation. Reach out to our committee chair to discuss your interest before you get started. The Accreditation process can be summarized in five steps. With planning and focus, APR is achievable in approximately four to six months:
1. Set a goal to attain your APR – Download the Candidate Study Guide, panel presentation questionnaire and application. Begin studying and complete the questionnaire before you apply.
2. Application – Complete and return application with fee (see praccreditation.org). Once approved, you have one year to complete the process.
3. Submit Questionnaire – Reflect on your career and a program or campaign that demonstrates your knowledge of the four-step process. Once approved, you will next do your panel presentation.
4. Panel Presentation – Present your campaign portfolio to a panel of APRs.
5. Exam – Prepare for and take a computer-based exam.
Panel Presentation: Your time to shine
The Panel Presentation is your opportunity to show your stuff. With three accredited peers, you will review your PR campaign portfolio and discuss your experience in the field. The Panel Presentation panelists provide feedback and an evaluation as to what your strengths and weaknesses are, which then helps identify specific areas you should focus on for further study. You’ll be notified by PRSA if you are advanced to the examination. If you are not advanced, go back and study the areas that you and your panelists agreed are areas you need to strengthen and schedule another Panel Presentation after 90 days. Here’s the beauty of the Panel Presentation: Minnesota PRSA and its accredited members will provide guidance and tips on your portfolio and areas of study. In fact, the Minnesota PRSA Acredidation committee provides free study sessions to help you prepare for the Panel Presentation and test.
Computer-Based Examination: Putting your knowledge into practice
Once advanced from the Panel Presentation, you’ll move on to the examination. The Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations is computer-based and administered at Thomson Prometric Testing Centers throughout the United States. There are Prometric centers in most major cities. You’ll have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the examination. This time includes a 10- to 15-minute optional break for candidates. The test is based on a number of industry textbooks, the PRSA Code of Ethics and other professional resources. A few weeks after the Examination, you’ll receive notification of your results. The cost for the computer-based examination is $385.
Remember, you’re making a difference that lasts a lifetime…
The APR designation is a lifetime accreditation. However, APRs must complete maintenance requirements every three years. Maintenance points are earned through professional development, lifelong learning and serving the profession.