Comment: Editorial - APR lacks power in business of PR

It’s hard to determine the true meaning of the latest results for the APR test. On the one hand, the fact that the pass rate is the lowest since 1982 might be seen as cause for concern.

It’s hard to determine the true meaning of the latest results for the APR test. On the one hand, the fact that the pass rate is the lowest since 1982 might be seen as cause for concern.

It’s hard to determine the true meaning of the latest results for

the APR test. On the one hand, the fact that the pass rate is the lowest

since 1982 might be seen as cause for concern.



After last year’s poor results, the PRSA took steps to make preparation

easier, returning to a test based on one textbook and launching an

online prep course to help local accreditation chairs. If nothing else,

the 46% pass rate must be rather embarrassing for the Universal

Accreditation Board.



On the other hand, the fact that it’s hard to pass a PR exam is no bad

thing. The cachet of a PR qualification rests on its ability to test the

wit and skill of PR pros. A rubber-stamping exercise is a waste of

time.



What the UAB should be more concerned about is the fact that so many

people - including senior pros - so openly deride the usefulness of the

APR ’qualification.’ As Edward Bernays famously said, ’any nitwit, dope

or crook can call themselves a PR practitioner to try to make money.’

It’s this reputation that the APR attempts to tackle by creating

standards.



What Bernays could not add was that the brightest wits, sharpest brains

and most scrupulously ethical practitioners can also practice PR without

the APR qualification.



The APR doesn’t carry the weight of a legal or medical ’qualification’

because it is not a qualification. Until the UAB can bar people from the

industry based on professional standards, it will remain simply a tool

for personal development.



Tell us what you think about APR by going to our online poll at

www.cyberpulse.com/apr.



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