There’s been a fair amount of discussion on Twitter recently about whether or not public relations folks (PR consultants, PR agency employees, corporate PR specialists, etc.) should take the time to get accredited as PR professionals / business communicators.
There are a couple of different routes that we can take in the quest for accreditation. The first is APR via the Public Relations Society of America or the Canadian Public Relations Society; the second is ABC via the International Association of Business Communicators.
Many articles extol the benefits of APR accreditation, such as this recent one; while others debate whether or not it makes sense, such as this one by Dave Mullen. Shel Holtz weighs in on the discussion here (although in the context of PR as a legitimate profession). This article looks at the merits of ABC accreditation.
From my own perspective, I’ve always had an interest in furthering my education and entrenching myself even further in the role of PR, but I’ve questioned which route is the best to follow. Should I sign up for a MBA (and if I did, would I have the time to spend with my family, run my business and study)? Would I be better off taking several niche seminars or short courses focused on specific areas of interest such as not-for-profit public relations? Or would my career best be served by getting myself accredited in PR?
The accreditation idea is probably the most realistic for me right now, but I have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Here are just a few that come to mind:
How do APR and ABC differ? What will I learn in the process? How will my clients benefit? What is the real value of being accredited? How will accreditation impact my career going forward? What advantage does it deliver to my business? Is there a downside? Do potential clients care about accreditation (I’ve never been asked)? Is anyone ever denied accreditation (there are a few bad eggs who undermine the reputation of the PR profession and I want to know how the good are distinguished from the bad)?
To find the answers to these and many more questions around this topic, I’ve initiated a TweetChat focused on accreditation. It’s scheduled to take place this Friday, June 5th at 1pm ET. The #hashtag for the discussion is #accred.
If you’re in PR and considering accreditation as an option, you may want to join in on the discussion. If you’ve already gone down the path of accreditation, we’d love to have your perspectives – both positive and negative.
If you’re planning to join the discussion and have some questions you would like to add to the mix, please send them my way on Twitter or leave a comment below.
~ Jodi Echakowitz (Twitter: JodiEchakowitz)