Build Your PR-sonal Brand

Accreditation Differentiates You as a Skilled Professional We live in exponential times. Version 6.0 of the “Shift Happens” video states that more new information will be created in 2013 than in the past 5,000 years. Technology and work responsibilities are changing fast. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s graduates will have 10-14 jobs by the time they are 38 years old. This leads to some obvious questions:

What are you doing to learn, grow, and build your qualifications?

What are you doing to set yourself apart?

How can you continue to build your personal brand?

As a PR professional, one of the best ways to distinguish yourself is through Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). According to PRSA, professionals who become accredited are more credible and have greater income. Becoming accredited is personal and deliberate, which demonstrates a commitment to the profession’s core knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). Some companies have even begun to require APR for new hires.

All excellence things are as difficult as they are rare, so goes the old adage. The process of gaining APR isn’t easy, but with some work, good direction, and persistence, you can succeed.  The key is being prepared and having the drive and desire to see it through. While there are no longer any prerequisites to apply for accreditation, it is recommended applicants have at least five years of experience.

The first phase of accreditation is the Readiness Review (RR), where you share your portfolio of work with three accredited peers. The second phase is an online exam that tests your application of PR knowledge. The cost is $385 if paid upfront, or $410 if spread into two payments. The APR process can be completed in a few months, however most applicants take nearly a year to finish.

Are you ready to make an investment in yourself and your future? West Michigan PRSA has a large number of accredited professionals ready to help. To pursue your APR, contact Patrick Bishop, WMPRSA APR Committee Chair, at You can also find a variety of APR resources at