by Allison Bolt
With over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Amanda Roe has worked at Fortune 500, Fortune 100, and privately owned companies. After being recruited by Biamp Systems, she spent some time trying to work public relations into her regular duties as a brand marketing manager before making a pitch to the CEO. The company needed a dedicated public relations manager. She got the job and then faced her next hurdle – a deep organizational lack of understanding about the true scope and function of public relations.
Amanda decided to pursue APR accreditation to put weight behind what she says. Working in a highly technical field, she is often surrounded by engineers who value credentials over experience. She wanted to be able to point to formal training as a support for her recommendations.
Another motivating factor for her was the desire to gain new resources and new ways of looking at things. She wanted to make sure that new viewpoints would validate what she was doing and reinforce her gut instincts, but also provide alternatives to consider.
And finally, she was looking for a peer group to connect with. Forming relationships with PR professionals in a variety of roles across a wide range of industries was hugely rewarding for Amanda. “I have lots of experience and relationships with engineers, product managers, and sales teams,” she said, “but I wanted to develop a true public relations circle of peers.”
Happily for her, Amanda was able to reach all of these objectives and more by going through the accreditation process with the PRSA Oregon chapter. “I’m so thankful for how supportive and nurturing they have been through the process,” she said. While she had initially planned to pursue accreditation on her own, she was “gently encouraged” to wait until the prep class would begin the following February, and is glad she did.
Joining the class allowed her to develop the peer group she had hoped for. She also found that having the support of Fellows and the class mentors was valuable every step of the way. She was able to practice her Panel Presentation several times to refine it, and when it came time to take the test, she felt more than comfortable with the material.
As of the time of writing, Amanda has held her APR accreditation for three weeks, and is enjoying putting it to the test. She’s been congratulated by many of her colleagues, who have heard the news through the grapevine. “There’s a certain level of validity that I have now,” she said. “I know that I can hold my own when providing guidance and making strategic recommendations.” While she was always experienced, she’s already found that the APR accreditation has given her thenew level of credibility with her scientifically minded colleagues that she had hoped for.
When asked what advice she has for someone who may be considering working toward their APR, she recommends just talking to someone who’s already gone through it. “Your mind will be made up.” If you’re thinking about how to add value, punch, and validity to what you do, she continues, “I absolutely recommend it.”