It’s time to pull the plug on the APR

May 14
great to see that an ad hoc committee of industry heavyweights within the
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has finally stepped up to the plate.
People like Richard Edelman, Deb Radman and Art Stevens (owner of the most
finely-chiseled biceps in the business) have petitioned the organization's
21,000 members to drop the APR accreditation as a prerequisite for leadership
within the trade group. Up until now, one could not hold
a PRSA leadership position without the ersatz tag.

great. But, why stop with just the leadership proviso? I'd dump the APR
accreditation completely. It's irrelevant and, as I wrote in a previous blog entry,
completely useless.

don't care whether an agency's staff has earned the accreditation. Most agency
owners I know don't care if their people have passed the bogus, half-day
SAT-type test. Yet the PRSA still requires board members to possess it before
they can assume office? Talk about being out of touch with reality.

never was, and never will be, any way our industry can create an examination
equivalent to one's passing the bar in law and earning an Esq., or receiving an
M.D. in medicine.

industry credentials are earned in the school of hard knocks. Our best and
brightest learn and excel by doing, not by answering multiple choice questions
testing one's response to hypothetical scenarios.

PRSA needs to face facts and embrace the future. Let's open up the leadership
ranks to our industry's best (most of who don't have a comma and three letters
following their name on a business card). And, let's lose the acronym once and
for all.

APR and $11 will get one across the Verrazano Bridge and nothing more. 

4 thoughts on “It’s time to pull the plug on the APR

  1. He backed bottomward and, I believe, I was the aboriginal armchair not to accept the vaunted accreditation.

  2. Pull the plug on the APR… and while you’re at it, at the entire PRSA. Unless you’re an entry-level publicist looking to network or learn some basic PR 101 skills, I can’t for the life of me think of any real reasons why anyone would want to be a member of this organization anymore.

  3. Hey, thanks, Lunch. I obviously agree. I remember about eight or nine years ago, I was nominated to chair the PRSA’s Counselors Academy (a great group and a great honor to be nominated as chair). However, one of the past chairs was totally freaking out that I didn’t possess an APR and suggested I quickly take the test so I didn’t ruffle any feathers. I declined. He backed down and, I believe, I was the first chair not to have the vaunted accreditation. And, as you know, my career’s gone straight to hell since.

  4. Amen, Rep.
    It’s high time the industry gets to doing, versus proving what they know. I’m surrounded by, here and within the industry, young and older professionals who can talk a good game but yield poor results. Clients pay us for counsel, recognition by industry and the media, partnership development, crisis help, etc. It all boils down to visibility and credibility.
    Our industry is getting top heavy on thinkers and is running out of effective doers. Put down the books and learn about your clients and the media medium in which they belong. That will afford you the ability to earn a living for a long time; those letters and dots won’t deliver the same.
    Feel free to spend your time and money on a MBA or this APR moniker…but if you can’t over deliver on what was promised to the client, you fail. Willing and able to take on any APR challengers, as well.