As a skilled PR professional, you know your success depends on staying relevant, resourceful and inspired. Established in 1964, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential sets you apart from your peers and demonstrates your commitment to the profession and adherence to industry best practices and ethics.
It takes a professional—someone with exceptional experience, broad expertise and strong dedication and values—to thrive at what you do. The APR credential certifies your drive, professionalism and principles. Preparing for the APR provides you with uniquely comprehensive, relevant, and forward-thinking PR skillsets and personal career insights that enhance career versatility and viability.
PRSA Georgia is a strong supporter of the APR credential and APR candidates. Since 2005, approximately 80 Chapter members have earned accreditation with educational support from the Chapter. Nearly 15% of our current members are accredited, and in a 2015 member survey, nearly 50% of respondents said they were considering pursuing accreditation.
Members pursue accreditation for various reasons, including making themselves more competitive in their current workplace and in the marketplace; reinforcing public relations principles, and personal accomplishment. Regardless of the reason, accredited practitioners agree the pursuit and attainment of the APR credential is personally and professionally rewarding.
Who is eligible?
APR is a certification program open to public relations professionals. It is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of leading public relations organizations, including PRSA.
Any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning accreditation. However, it is recommended that candidates have at least five years' experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations, and have earned either a bachelor's degree in a communication-specific field or have equivalent work experience.
Are you ready to distinguish yourself as an expert in the public relations field? The PRSA Georgia Chapter can help through its comprehensive program designed to help candidates prepare for and earn accreditation. Check the PRSA Georgia website and weekly emails for information about our local preparation sessions offered to Chapter members. Also visit the APR website, www.praccreditation.org, for a wealth of information and resources.
Meet PRSA Georgia's Newest Accredited Members
Erica England, APR is a public relations and marketing professional with 10 years of experience working with a variety of clients in the technology, hospitality, construction and transportation arenas. Erica started her career implementing grass roots campaigns for General Motors and managing media relations for both the Jacksonville Aviation Authority and Jekyll Island. At Arketi Group, Erica spends her days working with Atlanta’s most interesting B2B technology companies. She loves helping businesses find and tell great stories. Erica earned her bachelors of communication and advertising from Flagler College. Erica pursued her accreditation to make the important transition in her career from tactician to strategist. Throughout the process she realized it is vital for her to have a strong understanding of the skills needed to become an impactful strategic counselor.
Lindsay Haynes, APR is the PR Manager for Moe’s Southwest Grill & Schlotzsky’s, part of Focus Brands. She is an expert in PR and communications within the hospitality industry, previously spending eight years working at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) managing PR for Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, among other brands. Lindsay graduated from Georgia Southern
Caroline Huston, APR is the Brand Communications manager at IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) for the Holiday Inn and IHG Rewards Club brands, where she leads PR in the Americas region for one of the travel industry’s most iconic hotel brands and the world’s largest loyalty program. She joined IHG in 2003 and has since held various roles of increasing responsibility in both corporate communications and brand public relations. Caroline earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia and returned to UGA to earn her MBA while continuing to work full-time at IHG. Since earning her degree in journalism, Caroline pursued her because all of her PR knowledge has come from on-the-job experience. She wanted a more formal process that would help her further develop strategic planning and critical thinking skills.
Austin Roebuck, APR joined The Coca-Cola Company in October 2017 as Communications Manager, Global Public Affairs & Communications. He previously launched the boating industry’s first government relations department at Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA. Roebuck started his career working as political staff for US Congressman Lynn Westmoreland and Georgia State Majority Leader Ronnie Chance. He graduated from the Georgia State University Honors College with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Communications. Austin pursued his accreditation in PR because he wanted to sharpen his skill sets as a PR practitioner and gain the credibility associated with the credential. The RPIE process, 10-step planning process, and communications models and theories have already made him a more effective professional communicator.
Carisa Turner, APR is the Director of Communications and Public Relations for Roswell Inc, the economic development and business advocacy organization for the City of Roswell. In this role, she leads all public relations efforts for the organization, overseeing strategic communications, reputation management, media relations, executive communications, brand and marketing communications, digital and social, community engagement, and stakeholder relations. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish from Mercer University. Pursuing her accreditation felt like the natural next step in her professional development, one that would allow her to grow as a public relations and communications leader both in her career and within the industry. The APR process strengthened her understanding of the essential and foundational role public relations plays in public life and made her a strong advocate for the strategic, research-based, outcome-driven, and ethical practice of the profession.
Dawn Wotapka, APR is a public relations manager at UPS, where she oversees the retail segment. She is a former journalist who changed careers and worked at a classic NYC PR firm and a startup focused mainly on technology companies. She is a graduate of NC State and has a master’s degree and a business certificate from New York University. Dawn pursued accreditation to show that she is committed to public relations. Many former journalists now in PR beg to go back to bylines, but she fell in love with the PR planning and strategy that she learned. APR shows that her second act just as exciting as her first.
PRSA Georgia Accredited Members
PRSA Georgia APR Committee Co-Chairs
Board Liaison: Sarah Weston, APR