Copyright 2017

By Catherine Larkin APR

Catherine LarkinWhat better way to assess how you are faring in the tough and competitive public relations industry than to apply for APR status! Daunting at first, it becomes an exciting journey, where you quickly see what you know – and how much you still need to learn!

To me, the APR status is a critical differentiator – which adds more value – both to you and your clients. These days it is no longer a “nice to have” – I see it is a “must have” as we increasingly compete in a global environment.  It is a recognised qualification - giving your clients and colleagues confidence that you understand the public relations profession and are competent.

The APR process is like doing a self-audit. When first confronted with the Portfolio of Evidence containing 3 matrices that needed to be completed - with over 52 skills areas in which you have to demonstrate competence - that was a challenge!! But the “phone a friend/mentor” approach certainly helped. Chatting to other APRs, as well as to others enrolled on the Accreditation Process, was a great help. The key is to just get started and work your way through what needs to be done.

The Assignment we had to write was a very valuable one. I chose the topic of public relations and the King III Report – a vital topic and something which I knew I needed to delve into but had not done anything about before.

My thanks go to my long-standing mentor Bridget von Holdt of Glasshouse Communication for her support and encouragement (over many, many years), to Adele Paulsen for her enthusiasm and passion for the APR process, Susan Richardson for refusing to let me delay the accreditation J and to Gillian Findlay of Cambial Communications for giving me valuable advice.

Earning the APR status has increased my respect and passion for the profession and made me excited about the future and the many doors which APR status opens. It has also made me realise the importance of staying in touch with the industry and keeping up-to-speed with the ever-changing public relations landscape. PRISA enables me and many others to do just that!

 

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