APR: Accredited in Public Relations

Not just anyone can do what you do. As a skilled public relations professional, you know that your success is dependent on staying relevant, resourceful, and inspired. The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential certifies your drive, professionalism, and principles, setting you apart from your peers and positioning you as a leader and mentor in the competitive public relations field. Building on the foundation of your educational degree, the APR keeps you current on today’s best practices and applications in the ever-evolving communications world.

The APR:

  • Asserts professional competence
  • Communicates professional expertise, plus personal and professional dedication and value
  • Reflects progressive public relations industry practices and high standards

Preparing for the APR is an exercise in success, as the process provides an assessment of your proficiency and accurately calibrates your craft, contacts, and career goals. Where extra support is needed, you’ll be introduced to a tremendously skilled and experienced network of mentors, providing you with a lifetime of guidance and expertise.

Click here to request a copy of the 2018 APR Study Guide. If you have questions about the APR process, contact PRSA-CI’s Accreditation Chair, Ruth Slottag, at rslottag@aol.com.

Certificate in Principles of Public Relations

The Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), the organization that administers the Accreditation process for PRSA and other professional organizations, recommends that anyone choosing to pursue Accreditation have at least five years of professional experience in public relations.. However, for students who are approaching graduation, adding the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations to your resume could be the leg up you need to secure the position you want. The process complements coursework and can be used to finish your college career on top.

The Certificate program is offered at many colleges and universities including Illinois State University. Setting yourself apart from dozens or — in some cases — hundreds of other job candidates is a challenge. Fierce competition necessitates you demonstrate a superior knowledge of universal public relations principles.

Click here to access FAQs about the Certificate in Principals of Public Relations program.

Universal Accreditation Board

The APR accreditation program is overseen by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a diverse group of educators, military public affairs personnel and public relations professionals. Some of their titles say public relations. Others do not. Some work for large organizations in big markets. Others do not. Their diverse backgrounds and various participating organizations are a testimony to the vital role public relations plays today and the varying levels of input that go into Accreditation.

Day-to-day operations of the UAB, such as application tracking and maintenance renewal, are administrated by PRSA on behalf of all the professional organizations that participate in the universal accreditation process:

  • Asociación de Relacionistas Profesionales de Puerto Rico
  • California Association of Public Information Officials
  • Florida Public Relations Association
  • Maine Public Relations Council
  • National Association of Government Communicators
  • National School Public Relations Association
  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
  • Religion Communicators Council
  • Southern Public Relations Federation

Central Illinois PRSA chapter is proud that one of our members sits on the Universal Accreditation Board. Peter Smudde, Ph.D., APR, Obl.OSB, is one of the 23 people who oversee the UAB process. Dr. Smudde is Professor & Associate Director of the School of Communication at Illinois State University. In addition to serving on the UAB, he has helped organize the Certificate in the Principles of Public Relations referenced above. Thanks Pete for your long service to PRSA Central Illinois and to the PR profession!