When you hear reports of unethical edits to Wikipedia pages, people admitting to outright lying to the media as part of practice and people who confuse influence with a fake digital following, it’s very clear that technology, politics and social media have accelerated the number of people entering the PR profession – in a bad way.
There are lots of publicity agents and content creators, but it’s not moving our profession forward – we’re moving backward in the chaos of news cycles, manufactured outrage and chat bots. That’s why the APR certification is more important now than ever before. The Accreditation in Public Relations is the public relations profession’s most established, voluntary post-graduate certification program representing one of the most prestigious credentials in the communications industry.
Earning the APR shows that you are not only committed to the public relations profession, but you’re also part of the progressive bunch of people bringing ethical and high-quality PR standards to the table and sense to the noise.
2018 will mark five years since I earned the credential and I don’t regret anything.
As a former television producer and business reporter, coming to the PR and marketing world from the journalism world meant communication models and theories were new to me. As I earned an MBA and learned metrics, budgets and how to translate digital marketing into return on investment, the APR also helped me build a strategic mindset for communication planning and leading a team. The way I approach meetings, workload management and crisis management is all served by the knowledge I gained by the APR process.
Even if you’re 20 years into the field, you can still learn something and that is what the APR is all about – continually learning, growing and improving as a practitioner.
To those thinking about getting their APR – what are you waiting for? Do it!
Ameerah Palacios is manager of the Academies of Nashville, one of the nation’s best college and career prep programs for high school students in Metro Nashville Public Schools. Connect with her on Twitter @IAmAmeerah.