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Preparation Resources on Becoming an APR

The Accreditation in Public Relations Online Study Course

One-year subscription:
$195 for members of UAB Participating Organizations
$295 for non-members

This interactive online multimedia course is designed to help candidates prepare for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). Course content, geared toward the knowledge, skills and abilities measured during the Examination, is presented through a variety of interactive methods, including multimedia module introductions, asynchronous activities, case study analysis, projects, directed discussions, self-correcting quizzes and simulations. It provides opportunities for self-study, collaboration and teamwork-all situations that public relations professionals encounter in their day-to-day work.

The Online Course is easy to use, with course managers available to help with any technological questions. Candidates can proceed through the course at their own pace, and monthly optional Web conferences allow candidates to ask questions and meet other course participants. This Online Study Course is helpful to those who can't participate in the study programs offered by local Chapters and member organizations because of distance or other constraints. It also is valuable to candidates who want to take advantage of additional preparation tools for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. Cohort study groups typically begin January, June and September.


APR Study Guide

APR Study Guide

The Second Edition APR Study Guide is a key tool in preparation for Accreditation in Public Relations and a tremendous resource for all APR candidates.  Produced by the Universal Accreditation Board, the Guide is the product of many hours of research and evaluation.   It contains exercises, case studies and insight into modern public relations practices.   And, it’s available at no cost to those pursuing Accreditation.





The good, the bad, and the downright ugly! 

Watch this short video of a staged Readiness Review Panel for a sense of how it should – and should NOT – work.  The Readiness Review aspect of the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations is the point-of-entry for Accreditation candidates, setting the tone for the process and helping ensure they are sufficiently experienced and as fully prepared as possible for the Examination.  For APR Panelists and APR Candidates, this video will give you a sense of what to expect.  (Recorded at the PRSA International Conference, San Diego 2009.)



The Short Bookshelf of Texts Recommended to Candidates for Accreditation in Public Relations

The Universal Accreditation Board recommends that candidates review selected contents of at least one general text from the Short Bookshelf of Texts Recommended for Preparation, and one or more specialized texts that provide in-depth material on KSA-related subjects such as planning, research or law.

The basis for every question on the computer-based portion of the Examination can be traced to one or several of these texts.

Each text is listed with the Competencies or KSA groupings covered by its content to help candidates select those most appropriate for their individual preparation. Each candidate should select the text or texts best suited for his/her own preparation and professional development.  Book titles link to sources for text purchases.  URLs link to texts’ home pages, some with Q&A and additional preparation tools.

NOTE: Based on feedback from Accreditation chairs, coaches, and successful candidates, the Short Bookshelf now reflects those texts cited as the most widely used preparation resources.  

You do NOT need to buy or study every text on the Short Bookshelf.

The Longer Bookshelf includes additional texts that candidates may also wish to review for personalized preparation and professional development.


Short Bookshelf of Texts Recommended to Candidates for Accreditation in Public Relations
AP Stylebook

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law
Associated Press
New York: Basic Books
KSAs/Competencies Covered: Business Literacy; Ethics and Law; Media Relations.

“Essential for ethics and law.”
--  Sean Simpson, APR, former Accreditation chair, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Effective Public Relations 

Cutlip and Center's Effective Public Relations
Broom, Glen M.
Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall

KSAs/Competencies Covered: All

"Soup to nuts! Equips APR candidates with the tools they need to tackle Readiness Review and the computer-based Examination, and serves as a resource for industry professionals in need of a brush-up."
-- Connie Kolita, APR, former Accreditation chair, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Primer of Public Relations Research 

Primer of Public Relations Research
Stacks, Don W.
New York: Guilford Press

KSAs/Competencies Covered: Researching, Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Campaigns; Management Skills and Issues.

”An excellent summary of all the methods we use in public relations research. This book is substantive, thorough, and a benchmark for research in the field.”
-- Jay Rayburn, APR, Fellow PRSA, preparation presenter, researcher and professor, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.

Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics 

Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics
Wilcox, Dennis L., and Glen T. Cameron.
Boston: Allyn & Bacon

KSAs/Competencies Covered: All


”APR candidates seeking an overview of PR should put this book on their short list. It really does hone in on the four-step process and helps clarify how and why it leads to better strategies and tactics. I recommend it to many candidates, especially those who don’t have a degree in public relations.”
-- Susan Whyte Simon, APR, preparation presenter and former Accreditation chair, Washington, D.C.

 Strategic Planning for Public Relations
Smith, Ronald D.
Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum

KSAs/Competencies Covered: Communication Models and Theories; Researching, Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Campaigns; Management Skills and Issues.


“Provides the framework for successful public relations planning. Not only will it help every PR neophyte, but it also should be on the bookshelf of every seasoned communications professional.”
-- Dennis Gaschen, APR, preparation presenter, consultant and professor, DJG Public Relations Services, Orange, Calif.

The Longer Bookshelf of Texts Recommended to Candidates for Accreditation in Public Relations

Advertising and Public Relations Law

Advertising and Public Relations Law
Moore, Roy L., Carmen Maye, Erik L. Collins.
Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum

KSAs/Competencies Covered: History of and Current Issues in Public Relations; Business Literacy; Ethics and Law; Management Skills and Issues; Crisis Communication Management.

Campaign Strategies and Message Design

Campaign Strategies and Message Design.
Moffitt, Mary Anne.
Westport: Praeger Press

KSAs/Competencies Covered: Communication Models and Theories; Researching, Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Campaigns.

 Handbook of Strategic PR and Integrated Communications

The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations & Integrated Communications
Caywood, Clarke L., ed.
New York: McGraw-Hill

KSAs/Competencies Covered: All.


“This collection of essays from recognized industry experts offers tremendous insights into the modern practices of public relations. Every serious practitioner or student should have this book at arm’s length.”
-- Edward M. Bury, APR, Chicago, Ill.

 Practice of PR

The Practice of Public Relations
Seitel, Fraser P.
Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall

KSAs/Competencies Covered: All.


“This text is unique in its ability to provide readers (students as well as seasoned professionals) with a clear understanding of the profession from its history to new technologies while weaving in up-to-date case studies and interviews with today’s, as well as yesterday’s, leading public relations professionals.”
-- Lolita Cummings Carson, APR, preparation presenter and professor, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich.

 This is PR: The Realities of Public Relations
Newsom, Doug, Judy VanSlyke Turk, and Dean Kruckeberg.
Cengage Learning

KSAs/Competencies Covered: All.


“The most comprehensive of all the general public relations textbooks. It covers all the major areas of the field that candidates must know, from history to planning.”
-- Melissa Motschall, APR, preparation presenter and professor, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Recommended Bookshelf

Q. Do I have to buy or read all of the books on the bookshelf?

A. No. Use these texts as resources to help fill any knowledge gaps you identify as you prepare for the Examination.


Q. Which book is best?

A. No one book is best for all candidates. Most likely, three or four books on the bookshelf will be useful to you.


Q. Where can I get these books?

A. All of the books listed on the Short and Longer Bookshelves can be purchased 
from the linked Web sites.   Many public and university libraries and some PRSA chapters and UAB participating organizations also have copies to lend.


Q. Why do I have to read more than one book?

A. You may not have to. The Examination is designed for practitioners with at least five to seven years of experience and a Bachelor's degree in a communication field or its equivalent. If you hold an appropriate degree, you may need only to refresh your knowledge. If you do not hold an appropriate degree, you may need more preparation.


Q. Is there a text you recommend?|

A. The Universal Accreditation Board periodically reviews pertinent text books and reference materials to determine if new titles need to be included.  If you have a recommendation, please email Kathy Mulvihill.

 
 
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