By James B. Ellis, APR, Fellow PRSA
I cannot tell you the year I was accredited. I can tell you, however, that it is has stood me in good stead for a long time. It has enabled me to participate fully in PRSA activities and leadership positions. It has been a vital consideration in gaining and holding corporate-management positions in public relations. It was a critical factor in being invited to join the faculty of the Reynolds School of Journalism. The late Travis Linn, the dean who hired me, recognized its significance as a professional credential. I am grateful that he knew that “APR” signified that I had, in the eyes of my peers, gone beyond simply putting in time as a practitioner.
I believe the other 17 accredited members of the Sierra Nevada Chapter can cite similar experiences. All of us congratulate fellow APR aspirants for taking the first step toward gaining what we know is a significant level of professional recognition.
Accreditation is a two-way street. It is PRSA’s way of recognizing experience and the ability to demonstrate competence by successfully completing an arduous examination process. At the same time, it is an individual’s way of demonstrating those factors as well as personal dedication to representing the profession in the highest-possible manner. It is not an easy process for either PRSA or individuals who study for and sit for the examination. It is, however, well worth the effort. Both realize that each APR raises the professional standing and credibility of the practice of public relations.
I hold a vivid memory of fulfilling an obligation to myself and to the profession when I sought accreditation. I believed it was worth the time and effort. I still do.