NEW YORK: The Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), which administers the examination for APR certification, saw a 43.8% jump in the number of candidates taking exam during the third quarter 2009.
From July to September 2009, 105 candidates took the computer-based examination, up from the 73 who took the exam in the same time frame 2008. Out of those 105, 74 passed the exam, which was a 72.1% increase from the 43 that passed from July to September 2008.
Edward Bury, the marketing workgroup chairman for UAB, noted that a tight job market likely played a role in securing that increase in applicants.
“In this economy, more individuals are recognizing that they need to do something personally to make themselves stand out, to educate themselves, to make themselves a better professional,” he said. “And in the PR arena, this accreditation for PR is the only real accreditation that an individual can earn.”
Felicia Blow, the chair of UAB and director of public affairs at Cox Communications, noted that the organization's own PR played a role, too. “We have been more active and focused around the communications, marketing, and leveraging social media to get the word out about the examination,” Blow said.
The PR efforts promoting the APR credential included working with partner organizations such as PRSA and the National School Public Relations Association, keeping them updated with news about the examination and resources. Online, the UAB is using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to create buzz and broaden awareness of, Blow said.