10 Reasons to Start Earning Accreditation in 2023


Chances are, if you haven’t already earned your APR, you’ve thought about what it might mean for you personally or how it could bolster your career. Maybe you’ve been thinking, “Next month will be the month!” And Now, Here. We. Are.

April is April is APR month, and CAPIO is proud to continue offering our members the internationally recognized Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). The APR is a true measure of excellence in the communications profession and the key to next-level career growth.

Here are 10 reasons your fellow CAPIANs say it could also make a difference for you:

1. Advance your career.

“The APR process – studying and taking the exam – is the best thing that I have ever done for my career.  It validated my knowledge, skills and abilities in the profession of Public Relations, not just as a government communicator, but across all disciplines.  Once earned, it doesn’t just sit on a shelf, it reaps rewards through the application of practicing at an advanced level and remaining current by recertifying every few years.  It takes a commitment, but I have no regrets, as I see the benefits every day.” 

Connie Cochran, APR 
Community Relations Officer, City of Stockton

2. Level up your strategy game.

“Completing the APR curriculum provided not only deep exposure to public relations as a discipline and profession but also theoretical perspective on researching, planning, implementing, and evaluating communication programs. This understanding of and appreciation for public relations as a management function, as well as advanced communication models and theories, elevates my capacity to think critically, plan strategically, and prioritize ‘why’ over ‘how.’” 

Katherine Griffiths, APR 
Principal, Tripepi Smith

3. Increase your impact.

“Earning my APR was the best professional development investment. It helped me hone my communications and PR skills overseeing a team at a large water utility. And, now as a PR agency owner, my APR is crucial in developing original, inspired client strategies that move the needle.” 

Rachel McGuire, MBA, APR 
Founder and President, RMG Communications

4. Standout as an industry leader.

“The APR truly sets communicators apart. We are held to a higher standard of ethics, professionalism and serve as a leader in the industry. Earning the APR is the most rewarding accomplishment for any communications career.” 

Liselle R. DeGrave, APR 
President, DeGrave Communications

5. Boost your confidence.

“Earning my APR helped me become a better strategist and gave me more confidence to own my job and promote our profession’s best practices and ethics. 

Lael Wageneck, APR
Public Information Officer, County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department

​6. Be part of a strong and supportive professional community. 

“The decision to pursue an APR will jumpstart your professional growth and lead to opportunities you may not even imagine. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to build lifelong friendships with like-minded people who are also in the public relations field. When you earn an APR, you are not just getting a credential – you are joining a community.” 

Tanya Mannes Castaneda, APR
Principal, PRM Consulting, Inc.

7. Foster your professional growth.

“Earning your APR is a commitment to your professional growth because it will help provide you with the knowledge and confidence to be a more strategic and effective public relations practitioner.” 

Heather Engel, APR 
Director of Communications, Association of California Water Agencies

8. Approach issues with organization and focus.

“Gaining an APR is all about improving the process. Research, Plan, Implement, Evaluate…repeat! This process creates a standard for our profession. We are not party planners. We are professional, strategic thinking communicators who earn a seat at the top-level table. Let’s show the world why they want us on their team.” 

Tammy Gordon, MA, APR, MPIO 
Public Information Manager, Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District

9. Exhibit confidence and bolster your professional reputation.

I was deep in my career with nearly 20 years of experience when in my first semester of an executive MBA program, I realized that I didn’t have the time or money to dedicate to a master’s degree. I was energized by the higher learning environment, but I couldn’t see the ROI of a $100k degree. Instead, I focused on earning accreditation in PR, which is not to say APR is a sloppy second! On the contrary, the accreditation process is a commitment to growth, development, professionalism, and sharpening one’s instincts and skill. Earning an APR is a confidence booster and sets you apart from the field. From a practical standpoint, the biggest takeaway from the APR process is the emphasis on research and strategic planning – critical steps before implementing a communication program often skipped under the pressure of time and a lack of resources. (sound familiar?!) When in doubt or stuck, a quick review of the APR training and experience can get you back on track. My only regret is that I didn’t pursue accreditation sooner.” 

Gina DePinto, APR 
Manager, Raftelis

​10. Solidify your role as a strategic leader.

One reason to earn you APR is to strengthen your strategy game by gaining an understanding of the methods used by public relations pros. This will help you approach your work with a foundational roadmap of where to start, basic steps in the process and how to evaluate your work. This can help you be more effective in reaching your goals and desired outcomes. This will also help you gain confidence and credibility—with yourself, your peers, and your boss(es). 

Brie Anne Coleman, APR 
Communications Specialist, APR

APR Resources

CAPIO members are available to provide valuable first-hand advice and information about why APR is a game-changer. Learn more by watching the “Earn Your APR in 2023: Everything You Need to Know to Start Now!” webinar recorded Tuesday, April 18.

For more information on obtaining your APR through CAPIO, contact CAPIO’s Education and Development Chair, Christine Brainerd, APR, at cbrainerd@folsom.ca.us or 916-461-6013 or visit CAPIO’s APR web page.