ByTeri K. Henley, Julie Ross Senter and Elaine C. Witt
Its just Public Relations.
Weve all heard it – the implication that public relations is synonymous with clouding the issues, glossing over the truth, putting lipstick on a pig.
And when public relations specialists hear that expression, we understandwe understand that PR has a PR problem of its own.
Not sufficientInsufficient business professionals comprehend the bestthe very best practices and honest requirements that drive truly reliable public relations – occasionally not even those who declare to practice it.
And it isn’t really a brand-new problem.
In 1964, in part to deal with these misperceptions, the general public relations occupation developed an accreditation program incorporating rigorous training with a strong concentrate on principles. To get the APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) classification, PR professionals must demonstrate their understanding, skills and capabilities prior to a panel of their peers, prior to taking an extensive computer-based examination. The process is not for the faint of heart.
But preparing for and passing the evaluation is simply the start. To maintain this accreditation, public relations professionals should adhere to stringent honest requirements in how they conduct themselves and represent their companies or customers. AmongstTo name a few responsibilities, they must continue their education, show leadership in the field and in their communities and remain involvedengageded in mentoring others about the concepts that assist public relations, done right. Those principles include:
- Safeguarding and advancing the free flow of accurate and sincere details
- Fostering informed decision-making with open communication
- Safeguarding private and private details
- Avoiding disputes of interest
Today, eight nationwide and local public relations organizations comprise the Universal Accreditation Board that governs the accreditation process. Accreditation has actually assisted support the maturation of the field, moving it toward other occupations that require accreditation or other credentialing. As a result, APR has actually grown in stature and is acknowledged as the gold standard for the Public Relations professional.
We are happy that, 50 years after creation of the APR process, Alabamas public relations neighborhood has one of the most active accreditation efforts in the nation. Certified PR specialists are working across the state in the general public and corporate sectors, in the not-for-profit world, and in academic community. APRs likewise can be discovered at numerous public relations firms and communications companies and are working as sole practitioners and consultants.
APRs, as needed to preserve their accreditations, likewise are extremely active in Alabamas neighborhoods – serving on public, civic and not-for-profit boards, offering know-how to support a range of initiatives that assist make Alabama a much better location to live, work and raise households.
APR as a procedure remains to progress, reflecting ongoing modifications in the world of media and communication, in addition to developments in quantitative and qualitative public relations study and in the social sciences. What will certainly not change is APRs foundation – to ensure high requirements of performance, principles and integrity. Companies have started to acknowledge APR as a desirable characteristic. Earlier this year, for example, the University of Alabama modified its compensation policy to provide an additional $1,000 in yearly income for personnelemployee who make the APR designation.
So, the next time you need a public relations expert, ignore spin, due to the fact that spin physicians cant be Accredited in Public Relations.
Teri Henley is trainer in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Alabama, adviserto the Capstone Firm and UA AAF-NSAC team fellowfor UAs Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.
Julie Ross Senter is director of communications at the University of Alabama at Birminghams Collat School of Company.
Elaine Witt is communications and public relations manager at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
To find out more about the accreditation process for public relations specialists, kindly go to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) web site atwww.prsa.organd click APR. Learn more about PRSAs Alabama chapter atwww.alabamaprsa.org.