Consider earning an APR: No hiking involved

By: Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

The trail into the depths of the Grand Canyon is a steep, winding path with soul-touching views of Mom Nature’s best work. The route I’ve chosen descends at a sharp angle, so by the time I reach the Colorado River campground fours hours later, I’m in a crab-like position and every muscle in my legs is trembling.

The next morning I’m greeted by a glowing dawn, inspirational, fortunately, because I have 10.5 miles ahead of me. I meet hikers from around the world, all of us marveling at the canyon’s grandeur as we follow the ceaselessly uphill trail. Along the way, I regularly wish for the ability to levitate. For an elevator. For an angel’s hand to scoop me up and take me to the rim. But at mile 9, I know I’m almost there, and I have an epiphanic moment: I am now certain that I can do almost anything, anytime, anywhere.

I often think about that hike and the sense of achievement that came with it. So what motivates us to hit the trail, run a marathon, take a class or learn a new skill? Why do we pursue personal and professional milestones?

Probably because we are a society of strivers, we are residents and citizens of a country that was founded on the belief that we can move ahead, improve, succeed. We set goals in business, in sports, in school and in our personal lives, and we work hard to reach them.

Which brings me, less philosophically, to accreditation in public relations, an achievement offered to members of PRSA and seven affiliated organizations. Perhaps the APR designation is another example of our collective drive to excel.

APR was established 50 years ago to demonstrate knowledge of public relations theory and practice, ethics, strategic thinking and tactical skills.

Celebrate this milestone anniversary with a personal accomplishment. Join other chapter members in APR Boot Camp, a series of free study sessions that lead to completion of the exam. (No hiking involved.) Many of our chapter APRs already have volunteered to lead study sessions and help candidates prepare for the exam.

If you have questions, feel free to ask the chapter Accreditation co-chairs (me, Linda Jacobson, APR) or any APR. We look forward to seeing you at our first study session, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 9 in the Schieffer Seminar Room in the J.M. Moudy building on the TCU campus (West Cantey and South University.) — Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

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