Professional Accreditation: Does It Push The Needle?

For doctors, it's M.D. For post-doctorate grads, it's Ph.D. For lawyers, it's Esq. Each signoff at the end of one's name is a conspicuous stamp of approval in many communities, a sign that said person has overcome academic obstacles, endured caffeine-fueled all-nighters, passed grueling tests of mental stamina and intellectual dexterity. For many, it's a personal accomplishment that can be tucked away at the end of a diploma, but for some, it's essential punctuation that clings tenaciously to their surname. For PR executives, these acronyms are APR (Accredited in Public Relations) and ABC (Accredited Business Communicator) - signs of professional accreditation whose benefits are increasingly debated by PR practitioners across all communications functions. And the crux of the matter? If such credentials aren't required for people to practice public relations, do they still legitimize the profession and improve the public's perception of it?

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