Quotes Corner

5 Reasons to Earn Your Certificate in Principles of Public Relations

By Keyonnia Small, Quotes UCF Ambassador

Keyonnia Small

Keyonnia Small

The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is an entry-level credential designed to demonstrate a fundamental level of knowledge for graduates as they enter the public relations profession that helps those who earn it #StandOutInPR. UCF is one of only four universities in Florida to offer a preparation course. Although you can’t add any fancy initials after your name to indicate you earned this certificate, as someone who has recently passed the exam, I can personally attest to its value.

Here are five reasons to earn your Certificate in Principles of Public Relations:

1. Enhances your understanding of practical theories and their application. Before studying for the exam, I had no idea what the two-step flow of communication was. The theory says that media messages take place in two steps: from the media to opinion leaders, and from opinion leaders to the public. This explains why celebrities are asked to promote products on social media and why film critics are invited to see films before anyone else. It’s the credibility of the sender that persuades the receiver to respond to the message, not the message itself.

2. It’s great preparation for when you take the APR examination later. Earning the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations while you’re still in college or as a recent graduate can give you a boost on the path to earning the APR. Many of the foundation materials covered are complementary to what you will later study for the examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. The textbook is even the same, so you might want to rethink getting rid your copy of Cutlip & Center’s Effective Public Relations just yet.

3. Differentiates you from other recent graduates. Setting yourself apart from dozens or – in some cases – hundreds of other job candidates is a challenge. If an employer is deciding between two candidates with the same major and the same years of experience, having the certificate could be the leg up you need to secure the position you want.

4. Expands your professional network. The Orlando area chapters of FPRA and PRSA offer a free weekly APR workshop series that student members preparing for the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations are more than welcome to attend. This is not only a great opportunity to get extra help with specific sections of the exam, it’s also a great opportunity to network with PR professionals from various industries. You never know where one interaction might lead.

5. Boosts your resume. Show employers you mean business by adding the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations to your resume. Not only did you earn your degree in public relations, but you went the extra mile to become certified, which further demonstrates your commitment to the public relations profession.

Earning the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations has always been a goal of mine. The process has given me a greater understanding of the profession and the role of PR within the modern business environment. I bet it will do the same for you.

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