Most professions have a process where a select few can earn a designation that positions them as leaders in their fields thanks to a few letters behind their names. Engineers, human resource professionals, health care workers and more all have certificate or accreditation programs. And yes, public relations professionals also have a select group known as APRs. There are fewer than 4,000 active PRSA members with the Accredited in Public Relations designation. In the Greater Kansas City PRSA Chapter there are fewer than 50. But the APR is much more than three letters behind your name. With APRil as APR month, now is a perfect time to take that next step in your career.

Those who complete their APR do so because they know their success depends on staying relevant, resourceful and inspired. But the APR is not the same as attending a conference or workshop. It’s about so much more. Recognized worldwide, the APR integrates timeless communications principles with contemporary strategies and tactics, and distinguishes you as a leader in the field.

The APR builds on the foundation of a PR professional’s educational and career experiences. When I decided to seek my APR, I did so wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the theories behind some of the communications strategies I was deploying. I was armed with a journalism degree and master’s in marketing communications. While those certainly provided me a solid foundation for almost a decade as a newspaper reporter and entrée into my first marketing jobs, I wanted to better understand the psychology of communications. Working at a large, international publically traded company at the time, I also worked closely with the human resources, investor relations and government affairs teams. I knew the APR process would give me more insights as to how communications impact all internal and external stakeholders.

The path to obtaining an APR is as varied as the pros who seek it out. PRSA has a number of online guides, worksheets, webinars and more to help anyone interested at The preparation process alone is valuable to provide communications pros with the tools to properly navigate challenging responsibilities, the vision to execute a larger strategy and the expertise to be a thought leader.

With so thorough a process, the APR credential is both a professional and personal achievement—a badge of drive, capabilities and dedication. Receiving the APR may be the catalyst that will take you to the next level in your career, where you can showcase your superior breadth of experience, depth of industry knowledge and passion for public relations with just three letters.

PRSA provides a rebate of $110 upon completion of your APR. For members of the GKC-PRSA, we are adding a little extra incentive as well. Our chapter also will provide a $100 rebate upon completion of the APR exam and board review. This basically cuts the overall cost in half. Anyone interested in applying for the GKC-PRSA rebate should contact Gene King, APR, at for the application.

It takes a professional—someone with exceptional experience, broad expertise and strong dedication and values—to thrive at what you do. Profess what you know. Learn more and earn your APR today !

Gene King, APR
GKC-PRSA VP - Professional Standards