CAPIO’s Accredited PR Pros on Why They Pursued Their APR


In honor of April being APR Month, we posed the following question to our members.

Why did you decide to pursue Accreditation in Public Relations, and how has it elevated your career?

For more information about the APR process, visit  

“Having built my career in the media industry before transitioning to public relations, I decided to pursue my Accreditation in Public Relations to enhance my understanding of the profession. The insights I gleaned from this rigorous program allowed me to take a more strategic approach – elevating my visibility to top executives within my organization when I made proposals based on research and data. Almost immediately, I found that having my APR led to new opportunities for increased responsibility and career growth.” Tanya Mannes Castaneda, APR


“The APR was an opportunity to challenge myself and keep my skills at the forefront of communication in the public sector. The rigorous process helped me better understand a strategic outreach approach and how to have a greater impact on the audience. It also introduced me to a great network of APRs to collaborate with, which is invaluable!” Bonnie Woodrome, APR



“April is here, and it’s time to celebrate because it’s APR month! Receiving my Accreditation in Public Relations was an absolute game-changer for my career. Not only did it elevate me to become a PR strategist, but it also laid a solid foundation for success in my business ventures. The emphasis on research, planning, implementation, and evaluation in the APR process has been invaluable. It’s not just about earning a title; it’s about gaining essential skills that drive results and impact.” Rachel Dickman, MBA



“Earning my APR has elevated by career by enhancing credibility and giving me a competitive advantage. The APR sets you apart from your peers, showcasing your expertise and dedication to the field, which can be a significant advantage in a competitive job market.” Liselle DeGrave, APR



“Pursuing the APR accreditation was the next logical step after working in communications for five years and to better equip myself to think and plan more strategically. The process of studying for and receiving my APR has been a game changer as I work on strategic communication plans for our department and specific projects. It’s incredibly satisfying to share tangible and positive outcomes of these plans with our colleagues and peers.” Sonja Dosti, APR



“Initially seeking to enhance my understanding of public relations as a visual communicator in a small government agency, pursuing the APR has been pivotal in my career. From research to campaign execution and analysis, the process broadened my perspective and taught me to see things more holistically, and how to think beyond the task at hand. The APR designation has also fostered credibility among professionals, and has elevated my career from Specialist to Manager. Aim high, friends!” Brie Anne Coleman, APR



“I pursued my APR to give my work a credibility rooted in research, data, and systematic processes. Interacting with technical experts and academics who prioritize accreditation and continual learning, the APR process equipped me with tools that validate my public relations and strategic communication work to those who prioritize metrics and ROI. This journey has empowered me to serve as a strategic advisor, bolstering my confidence in myself and the strategies I recommend.” Amy Stevens, APR



“Earning the APR was one of the best career decisions I’ve made. I use the strategic communication skills I developed every day.” Robin Rockey, APR



“The APR distinguishes communication professionals as it represents expertise by testing mastery of the knowledge, skills, and abilities.” Dr. Mary Ann Pearson, APR



“Earning my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) was the single best decision I ever made to get where I want to be in my career. No matter how much you think you know about public relations campaigns, the value of this program shows you how to bring your work to a higher level for clients and employers. It shows you how to build a researched road map to strategically get you where you want to go and how to incorporate benchmarks to measure your success. Most importantly, it teaches you how to do so ethically. Of all those working in the field, approximately 2% have worked to set themselves apart by earning their APR. It’s more likely than not that with your APR, you’ll be a standout among future job candidates. I highly recommend that anyone considering it go for it! Big thanks to the CAPIO community for providing great support during my APR journey.” Julie Prayter, APR


“I pursued my APR because I wanted to improve how I build relationships to get good things done in my community. I come from a media production background. Earning my APR helped me address my PR blind spots and gave me confidence, which helped me be a better communicator.” Lael Wageneck, APR


“Earning my Accreditation in Public Relations was a pivotal step in my career, as it marked my transition into leadership roles at both my workplace and professional association (CAPIO). It was truly one of the best investments I’ve made in my career. Obtaining my APR broadened my knowledge of the public relations field, and it validated my role as a strategic communicator. It also gave me the confidence to provide strategic input at the table where decisions are made.” Christine Brainerd, APR



“With Tripepi Smith’s focus on #ABL — ‘Always Be Learning’ — I’ve studied ethics, governance and leadership alongside local elected officials at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, earned credentials in expert-level media monitoring through Meltwater Academy and engaged in hands-on, practical crisis communication exercises through CAPIO and Cal OES, among other opportunities. Earning my accreditation stands out among these educational experiences because of the authentic, talented APRs who shepherded me throughout my journey of professional and personal reflection and achievement; those outstanding professionals inspired me and motivated me, and I continue to be grateful for their support.” Katherine Griffiths, APR