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By Suzanne Sparling, APR, CPRC

It is too easy to get caught up in the rat race, trying to keep our work and personal lives in balance. When we are in the midst of all the juggling, we neglect things. We think that taking care of ourselves is selfish, and we often put opportunities for personal and professional improvement on the back burner.

I know. I have been there. That is what I thought when I would hear about accreditation through FPRA. “I do not have time for that,” I would tell myself. “What good will that do?”

Well, gang, the truth is that you can’t afford to neglect yourself or your career. Setting yourself apart is critical in today’s workplace. Accreditation can do just that.

When I finally took the time to prepare for my APR, I learned a lot about public relations and about myself. I actually started to look forward to the study sessions and the chance to interact with my peers and learn from their experiences. When I passed my exam and got that nice, big envelope in the mail, I was thrilled.

What it did for me at work was the biggest surprise. I was suddenly just a little more confident and it showed. My boss took notice, and so did the volunteers I managed. My opinion was sought and valued, and my ideas were implemented. I gained a promotion and got to create an entire department to address marketing communications.

Shortly after that, the FPRA Space Coast Chapter honored me with the PR Professional of the Year Award, and I was asked to serve as State President of the Association.

More often than not, I have given credit to FPRA for my career success. Accreditation was one of the best investments I ever made in myself, and FPRA gave me that opportunity.

I never regretted it, and you won’t either. In fact, should you decide the time is right I am here to help you in any way I can. Invest in yourself. The dividends are priceless.

For more information and to start the process of pursuing your APR, contact the Space Coast Chapter’s accreditation chair, Rebecca Emery, APR at rebecca@mcbridemarketinggroup.com

APR professionals interested in taking accreditation one step further and pursuing CPRC (Certified Public Relations Counselor) may contact Suzanne Sparling, APR, CPRC at sparlings@easternflorida.edu

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