By Deb Christian
“Be a Leader in Your Field” is the title of a workshop conducted by Jeff Huett, APR, at the joint Religion Communicators Council (RCC) and Associated Church Press (ACP) National Convention set in Chicago in early April. Huett spoke enthusiastically about both the opportunity to learn or hone important professional skills and the possibility of career advancement that can result from the combination of study and actual process to get the APR designation.
This credential is earned through a rigorous, but rewarding process, that shows commitment to professional advancement and broad strategic knowledge of the public relations process. RCC is one of nine organizations that make up the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) and offers access to the APR process as a benefit of membership.
Using a well-prepared set of slides that explained the what, why, how of APR, Huett, who is Associate Director of Communications and Advancement for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, also shared the kind of support available to those who want to pursue accreditation. Included in the workshop were the five steps involved with achieving this goal. They are:
- Apply (application is online)
- Study (start studying, that is)
- Panel Presentation (prepare in advance or at least begin)
- Computer-based Examination (about two hours)
- Maintenance (every three years)
Of course, there is a lot more activity required with each step and Huett, who is RCC’s representative on the UAB, offered his help to those who want to get their APR. Three of the five steps must be completed within one year.
Benefits from the effort to earn APR plus the designation itself include staying on the cutting edge of industry knowledge and effective practices, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and achieving recognition in one’s own organization.
Huett added his personal take on benefits with, “This process will always get you to look through the lens of the target audience.”
If the possibility of earning the APR credential is of interest, visit the Accreditation page on RCC’s website.
Wrap-up slide for the presentation was: Be a Leader in Your Field: Earn Your APR. This workshop and presentation showed you how.
Deb Christian is a writer, retired Director of Production, and a member of RCC’s Board of Governors. She lives in Dallas , TX.