The leadership of Public Relations Society of America is backing a move to change the current “must-have” APR accreditation to “strongly preferred” as a requirement for a seat on its board of directors.
If passed by PRSA’s Assembly, “the change would be a cosmic, seismic change in PRSA policies for all these years,” a senior PR executive told O’Dwyer’s
Veteran counselor Jim Lukaszewski called the measure a “momentous by-law change to demote all APRs.”
PRSA national chair Michelle Olson denies that the proposal diminishes the value of the APR credential. “I want to state emphatically that nothing could be farther than the truth,” she wrote in a “Dear PRSA Colleagues” letter.
Olson credits the APR accreditation for much of her professional success.
“The APR continues to be the gold standard in the profession, and we are taking numerous steps to raise awareness of its value, and increase the percentage of members who are accredited, which is currently fewer than 20 percent.” she wrote.
Eliminating the APR requirement would widen “the opportunity for a strong group of previously ineligible candidates to work closely with their colleagues for the benefit of all members and the organization,” according to Olson.