Monthly Archives: May 2009

APR or ABC Accreditation – Is there value in it?

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 MullenShel 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)


Finding a Bargain

For my son’s 12th birthday, I came up with the idea of going to a Blue Jays game along with the family and a couple of my son’s friends. After realizing that good seats come at a price, I started asking around for thoughts on getting discounted tickets. While I got back a few suggestions, I finally found some success by calling Blue Jays customer service.

Although the web site provided a few options, the rules around some of the special offers were not that clearly spelled out. But after speaking to an agent, I discovered that I could buy 14 tickets for Field Level Baseline seats, at a discount of $17 per ticket. Of course, it would mean buying additional tickets that I wouldn’t necessarily need for my son’s birthday, but what it did give me was the flexibility to use the tickets in any combination to see other games during the season.  Perhaps even take some clients with me. The only limitation is no Boston or NY weekend games (makes sense since those are the most in demand games).

What this exercise taught me is that my father was right… you never have to pay full price for anything. There’s always a sale or discount offer to be had. 

~ JodiEchakowitz (Twitter: JodiEchakowitz)

Self Imposed Blogging Hiatus is Over

Over the last month, I’ve taken a self-imposed blogging hiatus. But now that I’ve gotten all my ducks in a row, pared back my ‘to do’ list and gotten the house in order (so to speak), I’m ready to once again share my thoughts.

So for those of you that have so kindly chosen to hang around while I’ve taken a break from blogging, thanks. And to those of you that are just checking my blog out for the first time, welcome. I’ve got some interesting thoughts to post on, and look forward to engaging in conversation with you.

~ Jodi Echakowitz (Twitter: JodiEchakowitz)