Jay Morgan-Schleuning, APR, CPRC
Vice President, Accreditation & Certification
When public relations practitioners who aren’t certified ask me about the Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) designation, they typically ask if it’s worth doing. My answer is a resounding, “Yes!” And not because I’m FPRA’s vice president of accreditation and certification this year. I have grown to realize the benefits of being a CPRC.
Becoming Accredited in Public Relations (APR) can be a heavy lift. At least it was for me. All my life I’ve had to deal with major test anxiety. When I passed the exam, received my certificate and added APR to my email signature, I had zero interest in sitting for another test until I started to notice which of my colleagues had their CPRC. They were highly accomplished practitioners who had earned the trust of some of our nation’s most powerful executives. The CPRCs included consultants, agency owners and chief communication officers doing exciting strategy-level work. As a new business owner, I decided that becoming a CPRC was critical to my long-term success.
Since earning the credential, I have enjoyed benefits of certification in ways that were unexpected. The first year I attended FPRA’s Annual Conference as a CPRC, I was able to join the Counselors’ Network (CN) and attend their breakout sessions. I had just listened to a General Session presentation by the head of communications at an internationally recognized Florida company about a crisis they were working to overcome. I was shocked by how much more information I learned from her during the CN session. Those sessions are smaller, more intimate and confidential, so speakers are comfortable sharing sensitive information because they trust our senior-level counselors. The CN hosts a Winter Symposium each January for CN members, who must have their CPRC. All sessions at that conference are designed specifically for senior-level practitioners.
The other important benefit of having my CPRC has been in the area of networking. Many of my colleagues are now friends. If I need advice or help, I can call them. Some have even sent clients my way. I’m now a trusted advisor to CEOs, guiding them through crises, issues and change. The CPRC designation helps reinforce my expertise.
Intrigued? Here’s how to learn more
FPRA launched its first CPRC Awareness Month in January. All month long, you will hear testimonials on social media from colleagues about their experiences as a CPRC and why they believe the designation is important. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the process and provide resources to help you on your journey to certification.
FPRA offers a series of webinars to help members prepare for the exam by reviewing practice questions. Kara Winton, APR, CPRC and Michelle Bono, APR, CPRC will lead our winter webinars on Tuesday, February 4, Thursday, February 27 and Thursday, March 12. Those will be from Noon – 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please email me to register for the webinars.
Transform your career in 2020 and become a Certified Public Relations Counselor!