The Pros and Cons: Why Earning an APR Matters

By Clare Wade, APR To your employers and LinkedIn. But mostly to you.

Five years ago, I closed my PR business. But I haven’t cleaned out my home office. With high hopes of completing our 16-year house renovation, I took another charge at trashing and recycling. During this last-ditch attempt, I ran across my pros and cons list. Make that lists. (Yes. I make lots of them.)

You know. Are you doing the right things in your life? Losing weight, being nicer to those you love? Are you doing less of the frustrating stuff that wears you down -- and more of the good, challenging, inspiring things that help you grow?

What about you? Will earning an APR be on your list? Take five minutes right now. Evaluate the pros and cons to know if you’re ready. Use any of these ideas to get started:

Cons:

Earning an APR is time consuming. We all know how precious time can be. This is one of those “outside of work, late at night, early in the morning and sandwiched between anything left over” professional development opportunities. It’s a choice and a commitment.

Its value isn’t always understood. Many professions require years of post-graduate study, licensing or other stringent requirements. We know physicians, attorneys and CPAs are valued. What is PR and our accreditation worth?

Your employer might be lukewarm about it. Investing in employees costs time and money. How will earning an APR support your team and your organization? You are the key to creating that understanding. Talk to your supervisor. Show your team how increased PR knowledge can help make them and your company more successful.

Pros:

APR tells employers that I take my profession seriously. LinkedIn agrees. Or at least provides automated encouragement. It might be right. During the accreditation process, I embraced the history of public relations, gathered evidence to help people understand its value – and in the end, understood how PR can make a business better. It increased my confidence and opened my eyes to how important honesty, ethical behavior and message integration are to a company’s brand and its business health.

APR signals that extra edge. Are you committed to high performance and high standards? APR helps distinguish pros from the pretenders. You will find an entire community of people with similar goals: who advocate the strengths of our profession, and who thrive on inspiring growth and common understanding among employees, customers and sales teams.

APR matters. To me. When you weigh the pros and cons, what is most important to you? I’m proud of the designation. It has helped advance my career. And it truly helped me grow.

It comes down to this. Are you doing the right things in your life? Less of the frustrating stuff -- and more of the good, challenging, inspiring things?

APR is one of those things. You can do it. Now’s the time to get started!

Clare Wade is former president of WMPRSA and the local AdFed, and two-time recipient of the WMPRSA PR Professional award.  Young at heart with several years of PR agency, corporate and on-your-owner experience, she is always up for the next adventure.