Get Recognized for Your Expertise with the APR

With so thorough a process, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential is both a professional and personal achievement—a badge of drive, capabilities and dedication. Receiving this Universal Accreditation Board-administered recognition demonstrates your proficiency and alignment with the cutting-edge PR practices and knowledge that will take you to the next level in your career. You can distinguish yourself—communicate your superior breadth of experience, depth of industry knowledge, and passion for public relations—with just three letters.

At our April luncheon, we were pleased to recognize our chapter’s newest APR, Anne Creasy. With the process fresh in her mind, here’s what Anne had to share:

How long have you been practicing public relations?

I’ve been practicing public relations in a corporate communications role for more than five years. Prior to that, 
I had more than 10 years of experience in media relations and constituent relations working for a state senator at the Virginia General Assembly.

Why did you decide to pursue Accreditation in Public Relations at this time?

The accreditation is an outstanding professional development opportunity that strengthens my public relations skills. The entire process has given me a new level of confidence as I develop employee communication campaigns for my firm. Being a part of a profession with a respected accreditation process is exciting and evokes a sense of pride on both personal and professional levels.

The APR process reinforces my desire to help my firm build relationships with our internal and external stakeholders. The public relations approaches and planning strategies I’ve learned will guide me to anticipate and solve problems for my organization, plan for organizational change and build trust with our employees. With the skills I’ve learned through the accreditation process, I ensure that I am on track in PR plans with measurable goals and objectives.

How did you choose your project for your panel presentation?

Identifying my project was not evident right away. I talked with my Director of Communications who is also an APR to brainstorm some ideas. My firm needed a public relations plan to raise awareness and support from our employees for a charitable organization. I wrote the public relations plan using the RPIE (research, planning, implementation and evaluation) process, and worked with another communications manager in my firm to implement the plan.

What steps did you take to prepare for the APR exam?

Participating in the APR Online Study Course was vital to my success. I joined the course in the late summer last year and participated in two cohort live webinar sessions for eight weeks in the fall and spring.  The course is great because you can complete assignments and study at your own pace. I gained so much insight into the APR process and actively participated in the assignments. I presented questions, notes and my panel presentation on various live webinars and also read books from the short bookshelf list such as Effective Public RelationsStrategies and Tactics and the AP Stylebook. I studied the APR Study Guide in depth, made hard copy flash cards and reviewed Quizlet cards made by others online. Finally, I attended the APR Boot Camp in Harrisburg, PA in early April, and this was a great review of all the material for me.  I highly recommend the online study course and boot camp.

What is one tip you would share with someone staring the accreditation process?

For me, reading the case studies in the text books helped to solidify my knowledge about the process and reading real world examples brought public relations and the accreditation to life.  I will never forget how Johnson & Johnson communicated about and handled the Tylenol poisoning crisis episodes. Overall, the online study course was the best resource for me.

Anne Creasy, APR, is a communications manager at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, where she develops internal corporate communications campaigns to build relationships with employees. Anne has been a member of PRSA Richmond for four years. 

Questions about earning your APR? Contact Accreditation Chair, Renee Russell, APR, at