Continuing Education for the Public Relations Professional
If you are employed, or are a student, in the public relations field, you are familiar with the trials and tribulations
that go along with the job. You are the first department to be cut when company budgets are slashed and you rarely get the
salaries you deserve.
Contrary to most company’s beliefs, public relations serve a vital function in vibrant companies. Public relations professionals
are the spokespeople for their companies and can make the difference in whether the company comes through unscathed during a
crisis or whether the company suffers from permanent setbacks.
Unfortunately, most companies give the title of Public Relations to junior staff members who have no idea how to interact
with the media and can make a company look amateur without trying. True public relations professionals go through a vigorous
continuing education program including earning advanced degrees and becoming accredited in public relations.
Accreditation in public relations is a designation that signifies that a public relations professional is indeed a professional
in the field and is able to take on any crisis that comes along. To earn accreditation, a public relations professional must
have significant experience in the public relations field, have a portfolio of past work, take a comprehensive exam about
the history of public relations and have an interview with accredited public relations professionals that critique each
When the public relations professional earns the accreditation designation, their work is far from over. They must adhere
to a person and professional code of ethics along with completing a certain amount of continuing education courses per year.
If they fail to do any part of this, the public relations professional can expect to lose their status and have the reputation
of their company and professionalism questioned for a long time to come.
If you are in the public relations field now, continue to gain experience and eventually look in to accreditation and
continuing education to advance your experience and knowledge in the field. You will continue to raise the status of public
relations in the corporate world and earn yourself respect in the process.
If you are accredited, you can also expect to command a higher salary at your future positions than if you were not accredited.
This is more than worth it to some professionals who want to make more money in their field without pursuing a Master’s
And if you are one of those people who do not believe that public relations serves a vital function in a company, take a
moment to pursue some continuing education on the subject. You will be guaranteed to find that it takes a dedicated and
ambitious person to pursue this career and your company would not be as great as it is without your marketing and public
The moral of the story? Continuing education is important in any field, but especially in such a professional field like
public relations. It keeps just anyone from claiming to be a public relations professional.