Advancing the Profession and the Professional


The Public Relations Society of America, in cooperation with the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) maintains a national accreditation program available to members with at least five years of experience in the public relations profession. Accreditation is attained by successfully completing a comprehensive written examination. he examination is currently being redesigned.

Accreditation is one way to show employers, clients and peers that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to rank among the top practitioners in the profession.

To achieve accreditation, each practitioner must demonstrate a general knowledge of the broad field of public relations, and must have a comprehensive understanding of his or her concentration within the field. A member who is "Accredited in Public Relations," or APR, has achieved the highest status available to anyone in the public relations profession.

Registration for the examination must be done through the national office of Public Relations Society of America. The West Virginia Chapter offers study sessions to help prepare candidates to successfully earn the APR designation. Contact Jennifer Goddard, APR, for more information on participating in these sessions. Please contact her for information on the APR examination process and study sessions through the West Virginia Chapter.

There are also several free webinars to assist you in your preparation for the examination.

All members in good standing are now eligible to take the APR examination. We will coach you for at least six months, then you decide when you are ready to take the exam.

More information is available on line at the professional development section on, including recommended texts and a $25 (members’ price) candidate preparation guide. If you have been considering taking the exam or waiting for your opportunity, now is a great time to begin. Join us and begin your journey to professional accreditation.

Sessions will cover the following information:

  • frequently asked questions about the APR examination
  • introduction to Code of Ethics
  • publics and public opinion
  • the public relations practice
  • research - informal and formal methods, primary and secondary, use in planning and evaluation
  • the public relations program - goals and objectives, strategies and tactics, defining publics, using research, costs and budgeting, measuring results
  • communications process - theory and models
  • legal aspects of public relations
  • public relations and management
  • test-taking guidelines and coaching


The West Virginia Chapter is pleased to have the following members who have achieved APR status. Those individuals listed as "Fellow PRSA" have achieved the APR status, in addition to being nominated and accepted into the PRSA College of Fellows in recognition of contributions to the profession and the community after 20 years of experience in public relations.

  • Bryna Butler, APR
  • Tom Dearing, APR
  • Joe W. Gollehon, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Jennifer Reed Goddard, APR
  • Charles Harmon, APR
  • Cathryn G. Harris, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Diane Holley-Brown, APR
  • Joe B. Long, APR
  • Julie Marsh Terry, APR
  • Jeri Matheney, APR
  • Helen Matheny, APR
  • Shawn Patterson, APR
  • Jeanette Rowsey, APR
  • Diane Slaughter, CAE, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Deborah S. Wheeler, APR
  • Beth White, APR
  • John W. Wiater, APR, Fellow PRSA (deceased)




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