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UC’s Dr. Boys Completes APR

Jenna Rice, B.A. Communication 2021, Deaf Studies & PR Certificate


Dr. Suzanne Boys, assistant department head and PR program director, shares her experience earning her Accreditation in Public Relations and gives some advice to our alumni!

What inspired you to get your APR?
I had two goals. First, I wanted to challenge myself. Second, I wanted to make sure what I am teaching in the classroom aligns with industry standards.

What can an APR do for your career?
In general, the APR certification shows mastery of PR knowledge and skills. If someone is working in PR, it can be evidence they are ready to move into a management role.

How does one go about getting this accreditation? Where do you start? Anyone interested in the APR process should look at the PRSA information here: In Cincinnati, we are very lucky to have a well-developed APR class that runs annually. Allison Schroeder facilitates this, and you can find more information here: Cincinnati has an unusually high percentage of our local PR pros that are certified, and that is a testament to our local chapter's supportive process.

Is there a test or exam to pass to get this accreditation? What does that look like? There are two parts to the APR process. The first part is making a formal presentation to a panel of local APRs. The panel wants to see mastery of the RPIE (research, planning, implementation, evaluation) process at the heart of PR. This presentation was similar to what our UC PR students do when they present their full campaigns to clients. The second part of the APR process is a four hour standardized test. It covers everything from the RPIE process to law, ethics, theory, issues management, crisis communication, and management/leadership.

How long did the whole process take (start to finish)?
The whole process took a year. The only thing I would add is that this was a great experience, and one I would recommend to any of our PR faculty and PR alumni. There is a great community of APRs in Cincinnati, and I'm honored to be part of that community now.

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