By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Ten years ago this month, I returned from a wonderful Canadian fishing trip to find a large envelope on my desk at home. It was confirmation that I satisfied the requirements to say I was among the best public relations practitioners in the nation.
Sounds lofty, perhaps haughty. But to me, it holds true.
I’m referring to receiving my Certificate of Accreditation and a nice letter stating that I had passed the Comprehensive Examination, the last step before being granted the Accredited in Public Relations credential.
In the ensuing decade since that day in July of 2004, I’ve championed the APR every chance I can. Next to getting the APR logo tattooed on my shoulder, I can’t think of what else I could do to promote the value behind earning Accreditation.
Over the past 10 years I’ve:
- Served on the Universal Accreditation Board for two six-year terms.
- Helped develop and facilitate APR training courses as a Board member at PRSA Chicago.
- Published many, many blogs — through this forum and others — promoting the positive impact Accreditation had on my career.
- Participated in a 2006 podcast on Accreditation.
- Promoted the credential at PRSA Chicago Chapter meetings.
- Contributed to many online forums on the subject of Accreditation.
- Bent the ear of just about anyone who would listen to this statement: “After I earned the APR, I transitioned from a tactician to a strategist.”
A key word in the items above is “earned.” Having the right to put those three letters after my name took a lot of effort, study, time and dedication. At times I was frustrated — hey, I failed the Exam twice — with the process.
But I maintained a decade ago that earning Accreditation was the best professional achievement of my career. I feel the same way today, a decade later. I pursued Accreditation not because it was easy, but because it was hard.
I anticipate I’ll feel the same way a decade from now.