Division C – Audio/Visual Tools of Public Relations, Category 3 – Video-Internal
Background: The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) is the oldest public relations organization in the United States. Members represent a variety of different organizations including private and public corporations, government entities, not-for-profits, counseling firms and independent practitioners. FPRA provides an array of member services, benefits and opportunities including voluntary professional accreditation and certification. Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is offered through the Universal Accreditation Board to members of participating organizations, including FPRA. The credential of Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) is a unique, second-tier credential offered exclusively by FPRA to its members who have previously earned their APR and have ten or more years experience in the field of public relations. Newly accredited and certified members are recognized each year at FPRA’s Annual Conference.
As of Annual Conference 2008, only 50 members had earned the CPRC credential since it was created 32 years prior in 1976. Of the 50 CPRCs, only 13 had earned the credential since Annual Conference 2003. As newly elected 2008-2009 FPRA VP/Accreditation & Certification, I wanted to learn why so few of our members were sitting for the credential and what could be done to educate and motivate our target audience of CPRC eligible members. Informal feedback from members suggested that there was a lack of information about both the credential and the process. To gain further insight, a survey was conducted of those who had earned the credential in the previous two years. The survey results supported the informal feedback. (The survey and responses are included in the support material section of the entry binder.)
More information and educational tools were needed to assist our CPRC eligible members in understanding and achieving the credential. Plans for a comprehensive, multi-tool campaign, including an audio visual tool (Webinar or video), were set in motion. Key messages would be consistent with the rest of the campaign and focus on career advancement, ease and affordability, and leading by example.
The objective set for the audio visual tool would be to play an instrumental role in the achievement of the outcome objective established for the 2008-2009 CPRC Campaign, which was:
• to increase the number of new CPRCs in the 2008-2009 FPRA year by 33% (8) over the number of new CPRCs in the 2007-2008 FPRA year (6).
The cornerstone of the 2008-2009 CPRC Campaign was a CPRC video entitled “Your Future. Your Career. Your Leadership Opportunity.” Creating a video on certification was a first for FPRA. The nine-minute and 10-second video was produced to give CPRC eligible members a quick, user-friendly way to gain information about the credential at their convenience. The video breaks the process down into four steps. The script was consistent with the information and key messaging incorporated in the other tools. The video was provided to local certification chairs for use in Chapter blogs and Web sites and posted on the FPRA Web site. The video was scripted and hosted by the 2008-2009 FPRA VP/Accreditation and Certification. However, the host was not identified by FPRA leadership title in order for the video to have a longer shelf life. Studio time and production of the video were donated by Council on Aging of West Florida and WUWF Public Media. (The video and script are included in support material section of the entry binder.)
The CPRC video played an instrumental role in the success of the 2008-2009 Campaign. The objective set for the campaign was not only exceeded, but the number of new CPRCs recognized at Annual Conference 2009 was the largest in the Association’s history. The evaluation showed:
• the number of new CPRCs in the 2008-2009 FPRA (15) represented an increase of 150% over the number of new CPRCs in the 2007-2008 FPRA year (6), exceeding goal (8) by 88%.
The number of new CPRCs more than doubled the number the previous year and exceeded the number in the previous five years combined (13). The total number of CPRCs had been increased by 30% in one year!
The video came in under its approved $200 budget. The only cost associated with the video was $129, which was spent on a logoed set piece. Studio time and production of the video were donated. The video was scripted and hosted as a volunteer at no cost to the Association.