Faye I. Andersen, APR (since 1995)
Study with a buddy or buddies. It helps to share ideas, facilitates discussion and is a great motivator to actually study. Set a realistic course of study at the beginning and stick to it.
Julie Ardito, APR (since 2010)
After 20 years in the public relations field, achieving my accreditation verified my knowledge and counsel was based on industry principles and ethical standards. The APR was a superb process to test my public relations knowledge, augment my professional experience and help elevate myself as a credible and trusted strategist. I recommend that anyone who is looking to challenge what they know about public relations and how they practice, or invest in their future marketability, pursue their APR. The APR designation indicates to employers and clients that they have hired a highly competent public relations professional who is committed to ethical conduct and industry best practices.
Alexia Bratiotis, APR (since 2008)
Spend ample time with the study guide learning vocabulary and theories, but test yourself with case studies and situational problems.
Natalie Brown, APR (since 2010)
The devil is in the details. I spent a lot of time making sure I had the vocabulary down pat. Though exam questions are situational, if you’re not clear on the difference between a goal and an objective (as defined by PRSA), you’ll have a hard time answering the questions correctly.
Don Butterfield, APR, MBA (since 1999)
Study with another professional or as a group. This helps keep candidates motivated and on task, and allows candidates to bounce ideas and concepts off of each other.
Bob Conrad, Ph.D., APR (since 2005)
When I took the APR exam, it was focused on business (as opposed to military, government or non-profit) public relations – if you are not familiar with basic business operations, you may want to brush up on them for the exam.
James B. Ellis, APR, Fellow PRSA
It has seemed to me that the most challenging part of the Accreditation examination has to do with preparing and applying a budget for a project or program. That was certainly the case for me, and I have seen the problem occur over and over with others seeking APR status and when I have had the opportunity to judge contest entries. Too often, the budget is “not my job,” but it is certainly something we need to know and understand.
Ronele Klingensmith, APR (since 2003)
Making time to study, having robust case study discussions with the group, one-on-one with other APRs studying. All of these worked together to boost my confidence. It really did come down to that and knowing that I know the information. The other big thing is although you know all the information communicating it in an effective manner was very important. Clear, concise and effective. It’s a trait that I admire from fellow APRs.
Jane Tors, APR (since 1995)
APR is about being able to draw from a broad base of knowledge and experience and having a solid grasp of principles and practices that cross the boundaries of industries. While you may select a particular book or text to serve as the core of your preparation, look to other sources and people to round-out and broaden your course of study. Preparing with a study group can help.
Christel Hall, APR
Take the time to evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses lie within your current PR knowledge base before you start your studying. Spend more time studying (alone, with colleagues, and through mentor interviews) in your areas of weakness. Consider all aspects of developing and accomplishing a campaign, from research and analysis, to communications, budgeting and evaluation.
1. Ensure you have several years of combined marketing communications, public relations, media relations and selling experience. Get out and work with clients.
2. Don’t be afraid of the APR exam
3. Know how different stakeholders influence the bottom line
4. Consider getting a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Finance, Public Policy or Accounting.