Explore the Newest Public Relations Credential—APR+M
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Explore the Newest Public Relations Credential—APR+M — How You Can Benefit from Accreditation. September 27, 2011. Agenda. APR Overview APR & APR+M Distinction Testimonial: What the APR+M Means to Me Certification (APR+M) Benefits.

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September 27 2011

Explore the Newest Public Relations Credential—APR+M

—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
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 profession
Accreditation provides distinction and credibility to a broad profession

  • 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

    • Accredited professionals contribute to greater understanding of public relations as a vital management function

Accredited professionals find the process establishes the practice as strategic (93%) and ethical (91%).

Accreditation requires program standards
Accreditation requires program standards broad




The purposes of apr and apr m are distinctive
The purposes of APR and APR+M are distinctive: broad

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
The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) broad tested for APR+M are a distinguishing factor:

  • Joint Planning Process

  • PA Guidance (Annex F)

  • DOD Principles of Information


  • Resource, Planning, Program, Budget, Execution

  • Operations Security

  • Interagency Coordination

  • Crises/contingency

  • Classification and release of information

  • PA role in Strategic Communication (Annex Y)

  • PA Role in COIN Operations

Elements of apr complement components of apr m
Elements of APR complement components of APR+M broad

PRSA Code of Ethics + DOD Principles of Information;

Nine Principles of War Coverage

Crisis Communication + Contingency Planning

Lobbying + 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 Operations

There are key points to remember for apr m
There are key points to remember for APR+M broad

  • Graduation from DINFOS is not a requirement, however…

  • You don’t have to have Joint experience, however…

  • Current military APRs are also eligible, however…

  • No professional organization membership required, however…

Requirements for attaining apr and apr m a 4 step process
Requirements for attaining APR and APR+M: A 4-step process broad

  • Step one: Eligibilityand Application

    • A minimum of five years experience is recommended

    • Download application at www.praccreditation.org or www.praccreditation.org/apr_m/aprmApplication3.pdf

    • 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 process1
Requirements for attaining APR and APR+M: A 4-step process broad

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 programs15% Ethics and law15% Communication models and theories10% Business literacy10% Management skills10% 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
Testimonial: What the APR+M designation means to me broad

  • 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 are available to help achieve APR and APR+M broad

Resources Available

Basic Information: www.prsa.org/Learning/Accreditation/and www.praccreditation.org/apr_m/index.html

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


Online Course: www.online2learn.net/APR/

Questions? broad

Prsa membership has a wealth of benefits
PRSA membership has a wealth of benefits broad

  • 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

    • 16 professional interest sections

    • 110 local PRSA chapters in 10 districts

  • Professional Recognition

    • Silver Anvil Awards (national)

    • Thoth Awards (local)

  • Learning

    • Professional development programs

    • Industry conferences

    • Accreditation

  • Intelligence

    • Award-winning periodicals (Strategist, Tactics)

    • Daily News Updates (Issues & Trends, blogs)

    • Access to industry intellectual capital (Silver Anvil case studies, white papers, research, articles)

  • PRSA Job Center

    • Career advice library

    • Resume guide and critiquing service

    • Mentoring