As a diligent public relations student nearing graduation, you’ve likely served as a member in your PRSSA Chapter, completed an awesome internship at a local agency and have maybe even done your share of networking at industry conferences.
But it’s no secret how competitive the entry-level job market can be. You’ve put yourself ahead of the hiring curve by doing all the PR things until now; however, there is one last task to be checked off your list before applying for a new career. That is to obtain the Principles of Public Relations Certificate.
What: The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is an entry-level certification that signifies you know your stuff when it comes to PR and is endorsed by the Universal Accreditation Board, UAB. The computer-based exam is heavy on the four-step public relations process (RPIE), communication models and theories and ethics but also features questions on information technology, business literacy, history and current PR issues, as well as crisis communication. These are topics you already know like the back of your hand as you are completing your curriculum.
Who: Budding PR pros that want to stand out when they start out and be well on the way to earning more money in their new profession should consider the Certificate. Students must be active members of the Public Relations Student Society of America or an affiliated professional organization.
When: Public Relations students or related majors may apply for certification within six months of (prior to or following) graduation. But don’t wait to get started early on the required reading. UAB makes the study guide and required reading list available here so interested students can get a head start on studying.
Where: UAB has partnered with a growing list of universities across the country to offer the Certificate program. After submitting the initial application to UAB, students should contact their nearest host college for details about the preparatory course and next steps for examination. UAB also offers an online study course that can be taken alongside any school-administered prep work.
Why: Holders of the Certificate have demonstrated a deep understanding of PR principles and a commitment to the industry. Hiring managers will see the Certification on your resume as a marker for knowledge and ethical standards. Plus, the Certificate is considered an early step for emerging practitioners interested in someday pursuing the Accreditation in Public Relations, APR.
Click here for FAQs on the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations.
Briana Bryant is a senior at University of Alabama at Birmingham, majoring in public relations. She serves as the 2017-2018 UAB PRSSA/PRCA Chapter vice president and firm director, is a new member of the PRSSA National Industry News and Events subcommittee, and a new PRSSA Regional Ambassador.