APR+M Council to Hold First APR+M Readiness Review Panel
During PRSA 2010 International Conference in Washington, D.C.
NEW YORK (May 26, 2010) — A new credentialing effort providing public affairs and communication certification for military, contractor and Department of Defense public communication professionals begins May 26, 2010. The program is a joint effort between the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Joint Public Affairs Support Element (JPASE) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Those eligible for the APR+M credential include Active and Reserve/Guard U.S. military members, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense civilians, and military contractors with primary responsibility to conduct public affairs activities.
“We are thrilled that the program is now available for military communicators to seek this Accreditation credential,” said Felicia Blow, APR, chair, APR+M Advisory Council. “The program has been under development for about 18 months, and now, the dedicated efforts of the UAB, JPASE and PRSA are being brought to fruition. Military and government public affairs professionals will be able to obtain the special “Accredited in Public Relations + Military Communication” (APR+M) designation. It’s an effort that will help these communicators further their professional development, while demonstrating their mastery of public relations knowledge, skills and abilities.”
The rollout of the program will involve the distribution and dissemination of the APR+M application, program requirements, and other details. It will also include the launch of a new APR+M Web page, www.praccreditation.org/aprm/po, which contains resource materials for candidates considering this new credential. Resource materials include an APR+M fact sheet, APR+M FAQs, and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) requirements (as defined for the APR+M military communication credential).
“We recommended establishment of this program because the military recognizes the value of distinguishing and setting apart our top-notch communication professionals,” said Capt. David J. Wray, USN, director, Joint Public Affairs Support Element. “We also recognized the fact that a process that creates formal guidelines for our top public affairs leaders was in order. This is an important effort to acknowledge the professionalism and expertise of military communicators and the special challenges we face.”
The steps to obtaining the APR+M credential are in sync with those required for the existing Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential. Candidates must submit a professional portfolio through the first step of the process, Readiness Review, and then complete a computer-based Examination. To obtain the APR+M credential, candidates must also fulfill specific military communication prerequisites as determined by the APR+M Council.
”The Council comprises senior public relations and public affairs professionals who have extensive expertise in the Accreditation process, as well as in-depth familiarity of the rigorous requirements for military communication professionals,” adds Capt. Wray.
The APR+ M Advisory Council was established by the UAB to oversee and manage the new program. Council responsibilities include Readiness Review program oversight, as well as strategic communication and resource development requirements. Members of the APR+M Council include Felicia Blow, APR, chair, APR+M Advisory Council, vice chair, UAB; Suzanne Holroyd, Ph.D., APR; Donald Miles, APR, Fellow PRSA; Douglas Cannon, Ph.D., APR; Barbara Burfeind, APR; Robert Hastings, APR; Eric Dent, APR; Erin Dunn, APR; Ronald Watrous; Barbara McDonald; and Kathy Mulvihill.
The Council intends to hold its inaugural Readiness Review panel for APR+M candidates in October at the PRSA International Conference in Washington, D.C. “We have been on an aggressive track to ready the program for roll-out,” said Blow. “We now are moving in a heavy communications and awareness mode. There are many who have expressed interest, and we believe that with more information, there will be a ready group to sit for the October APR+M Readiness Review panel.”
For more information, contact the following:
Felicia Blow, APR
Chair, APR+M Council
Vice Chair, UAB
Erin Dunn, APR
Designated Liaison for APR+M to UAB
Accreditation Program Manager
The Universal Accreditation Board is the premiere public relations credentialing organization. In this capacity, UAB oversees the Accreditation in Public Relations program, which is a voluntary certification program for public relations professionals. The UAB comprises senior-level Accredited professionals who provide a balanced blend of backgrounds in public relations specialties and academia. Responsibilities of the Universal Accreditation Board include:
The Joint Public Affairs Support Element (JPASE) in Suffolk, Va., is part of U.S. Joint Forces Command. JPASE is a contingency response unit and conducts training and doctrine development for the joint Public Affairs community across the globe. JPASE can deploy within 72 hours in support of combatant commanders’ public affairs requirements.
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 111 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 16 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.