Staff Blog Archive: July 2011

Accredited in Public Relations: What does it really mean?

July 15, 2011
By Denise Clark, Director of Client Services

Accredited in Public Relations (APR) is a designation not many outside of the public relations industry understand.

According to the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) website:

Established in 1964, the Accreditation Program is the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. It measures a public relations practitioner’s fundamental knowledge of communications theory and its application; establishes advanced capabilities in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation; and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct. The skills acquired through the process are applicable to any industry or practice area. Currently, more than 5,000 professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields hold the APR mark, Harold Burson and Daniel J. Edelman notable among them. Granting of APR is overseen by the Universal Accreditation Board.

What does that really mean? It means I am going back to school, in a sense. Every Tuesday afternoon I spend an hour online listening to a Webinar designed to expand my knowledge and understanding of the components of a communications plan. You would think that would be easy, right? But honing in on the unique aspects of and differences between strategies, goals, objectives and tactics can really make one think and to continually strive to improve their quality of work.

Between Webinars, I should be studying all the material available to me online and in the chosen reference materials and books. I try – I really do. But somehow life manages to come between studying and me. I am coming to realize that, not only will this experience reinforce public relations strategies and tools for me; it will also strengthen my self-discipline and will power.

What will this designation do for me? According to the PRSA website:

Unlike other professional certifications, such as CPA, Accreditation in Public Relations is a voluntary demonstration of competency; as such, it reflects a strong commitment to the profession. Earning Accreditation also provides a distinction that can set individuals apart and open doors to career advancement and higher compensation.

For me personally, on the professional front, it will tell everyone that I believe so much in what I do that I undertook a stringent study process and exam to demonstrate I am more than qualified to counsel others regarding communications efforts. But, I think it will do more for me on a personal front. I will have a wonderful sense of pride and accomplishment once I attain that elite designation. I will know that I have the self-discipline and will power to accomplish whatever it is I put my mind to.

Purging 25 years

July 6, 2011
By Doug Frazier, Chief Creative Officer

Anyone who reads this blog or has any connection to FrazierHeiby knows that we recently moved to a cool new space. We’ve had great feedback about our new digs and I hope that you get the chance to visit us soon. I’m excited to be here. I am also thrilled to have “cleaned house” of 25 years of clutter — though the purging process was not that easy.

I’m usually good about organization. Yet, I had managed to collect plenty of “precious” stuff in my 25-year history here, including a number of old annual reports produced in the 1990s, my first logo designed on a cocktail napkin, candid photos of former staff, old typewritten documents and hundreds of other similar items. Our staff had also acquired almost 20 filing cabinets full of old files, industry ideas and hard- copy resources.

Because a key element of our new space design was the elimination of vast amounts of hard-copy file storage, we had some work to do.

So, a few months before the move, we executed a significant purge. We returned materials to clients, scanned hundreds of documents into digital archives and shredded nearly 2 tons of old paper materials. I managed to reduce my five-shelf unit and four-drawer vertical files to two boxes of must-keep items.

Then moving day arrived. We packed, moved and transferred our materials into file drawers. I anticipated a five-minute job. But, I was wrong. Somehow, I underestimated my new filing space by a long shot. I remember sitting here thinking, “How will I make all of this fit? I can’t throw this stuff away — it’s too important. Should we rethink our storage needs?”

I procrastinated and shoved the boxes in the corner of my office. They sat there staring at me, daring me to hang on to them, telling me they were important to my future. And, as a week wore on, it really bugged me.

Finally one morning I told myself, “I have plenty of memories. This is a new day. It’s time to leave the past behind and start over.” I took one last look at items that I thought meant something to me — and I tossed them.

It felt good — really good, in fact. Having worked for the same company for 25 years, I have not had the job, office and mental transitions that are part of job changes in a typical career. It was liberating to cut myself loose from the past. It has helped me to follow the path our new space has defined for the firm: to look to the future, to work differently and to think differently. It really does feel great to move forward.

Now, maybe I will tackle those closets at home.