Accreditation: APR

Accept the Challenge: Become Accredited in Public Relations

Life is full of challenges , personally and professionally. Earning the privilege to add “APR” after your name is one challenge all public relations practitioners serious about the profession and long-term career growth should consider. The Accredited in Public Relations designation is awarded to those who complete a rigorous process that gauges your knowledge of accepted public relations practices, ability to apply that knowledge and real life experience. It’s a testimony to your commitment to the profession and to yourself.

Take a few minutes to read this short perspective on the value of the APR credential and how it can benefit you and your career.


A global pandemic may not sound like an opportunity to pursue your Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), but depending on your current workload, career goals and what may come in the “new normal” it may actually be the perfect time. The great news is that now the process is even easier! Given the circumstances of COVID-19, APR candidates can now take their exams online, with 24/7 access, enabling you to complete testing whenever and wherever.

Find out more and apply to complete your APR here.

Interested and ready for this leap in career and personal development? First, make sure you are qualified. Accreditation is open to members of PRSA and participating organizations who have at least five years of paid, full-time experience in the professional practice of public relations, or in the teaching or administration or public relations courses in an accredited college or university. Second, learn more by visiting the Become an APR web page.

The APR process is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board, a consortium of nine industry organizations, include the Public Relations Society of America. The UAB has developed several tools to help guide candidates through the Accreditation process, including:

For detailed information on the Accreditation program, visit or call PRSA National Accreditation staff at 212-460-1436 or via email at [email protected].

PCI Leaders Earn Accredited in Public Relations (APR)

Two top executives at Chicago public relations firm Public
Communications Inc. recently earned the Accredited in Public Relations (APR), the profession’s leading credential. President Craig Pugh, APR, and Managing Director Wendi Koziol completed the Accreditation program, which includes self-study, presentation of a portfolio of strategic communications, and passing an online comprehensive examination. Our sincere congratulations to Craig and Wendi, our fellow PRSA Chicago chapter members. Learn more on the PCI website.

For More Information

Interested in pursuing Accreditation or learning more? Please contact [email protected].

PRSA Chicago: APR Testimonials

Rick Aspan, APR, Vice President, Corporate Communications at CommScope: “For all the reasons to earn Accreditation, two stand out for me—a sense of great personal achievement and the broader knowledge of PR that is gained through the process. It’s true—achieving APR designation represents a deeper commitment to our profession. And I gained a fresh understanding and appreciation of all that our profession represents and the tremendous impact it makes in business and society. But the APR process also represented a deeper commitment to myself. Call it “challenge accepted, challenge conquered.” To me, I am better for it, and so is my profession.”

John Brooks, APR, Director of Communications, Associated Colleges of Illinois: “Seeking the APR credential was a helpful discipline that taught me a lot about public relations in today’s world, and taught me the importance of staying current with practices and developments in the field. It also helped qualify me for an unanticipated and wonderful career as a college instructor in public relations, a great opportunity to learn and grow even more.”

Katie Feltz, APR, Integrated Marketing and Communications Strategist, KH Feltz Consulting: “Working toward my accreditation was a wonderful opportunity to feel like a student in my own profession by taking a new look at the fundamentals as well as other disciplines I don’t typically engage in my current work. It was such a valuable experience to help me develop an ear for “why we do what we do” and arm me with tools to challenge the planning and measurement process – skills I bring to my teams every day.”

Steven C. Knipstein, APR, Vice President, KemperLesnik|PR, Sports Marketing: “Earning the APR cemented my commitment to our profession and connected me with like-minded leaders in our industry. Accreditation enabled me to join leadership groups within public relations, expand my knowledge and network, and helped me grow my professional brand.”

Anne O’Connell, APR, Director of PR and Marketing, College of Lake County: “I toyed with the idea of pursuing my APR about five years ago when a colleague said she was going to embark on the process and wanted to know whether I wanted to join her.  I was in a job transition at the time, so that was my handy excuse. Fast forward to about a year ago when I decided to apply.  I had no more reasons not to do so.  I was employed, my son was off at college, and I had the time.  I likely did not fully appreciate what I had signed myself up for until I had begun, but once I commit to something, I do it. Continue reading here.

Andrea Rodgers, APR, Vice President, Communications & Public Relations, John G. Shedd Aquarium: “While obtaining the APR underscores the value and importance of continuous learning in our profession, becoming accredited in public relations is more importantly a distinction that validates a commitment to providing strategic, research-based counsel and planning as an ethical practitioner. It enables you to set yourself apart from others and compels you to stay relevant, focused, and dedicated to doing your part to advance the profession. Holding the credential has benefited me both personally and professionally.”

Terry Ryan, APR, Communications Coordinator, Northbrook School District 28: “The APR process is one that can take many different paths. Being able to set your own schedule and absorb information at your own pace was a great asset. I highly recommend the process as a great mid-career boost. As eyes turn to the ‘younger’ crowd as masters of social media, having an APR gives me credentials and confidence to compete in the workplace. In PR we’re always learning new things and there are so many ways to apply our expertise. Using the research and objective writing parameters that are a cornerstone to professional practice helps keep me sane!”

Julie Schaefer, APR, Founder and Chief Advisor, Winning Presence, LLC: “As a communications professional for more than 25 years, I am proud to carry the APR mark. I love when someone outside of our industry asks me what that acronym means because it gives me a great opportunity to talk about shared ethics, expertise, judgment, broad practical knowledge, and ongoing professional development. I believe we are stronger as an industry when we share this powerful mark.”