FPRA 2011 Annual Conference: Breakout 5C, Preparing for the CPRC Exam – Rachel Smith, APR, CPRC

FPRA’s highest credential…your greatest opportunity

Why CPRC

  • Today’s economic climate – CPRC sets you apart from the pack
  • Can you afford not to?
  • CPRC is designed to recognize professional growth and recognize senior members and leaders. It is only an FPRA benefit. It does not transfer if you leave the state or FPRA. CPRC is now a qualification to be a member of the Counselors Network. Counselors Network is a senior level group within FPRA.

CPRC is not APR 2.0. APR is an objective exam while CPRC is a subjective exam. It is not for agency executives only, although agency experience may give you a leg up on the CPRC exam. Study all segments of PR: government, non-profit, business/corporate, retail/consumer, crisis, public affairs, politics and ethics.

To qualify to take the CPRC exam you must have your APR in good standing and you must have 10 years of full time public relations experience. If you have journalism or writing experience that you count as your resume, that doesn’t count for the 10 year requirement.  The cost is $150 to take the two part exam.

Case study books are the best resource for studying for the exam. Read the Golden Image two page summaries. Learn the different clients and audiences in different industries.

The exam consists of two portions : an oral presentation (30 mins) and a written portion.

The written portion is made up of 16 questions. Time ranges for answering questions is from 15 to 60 minutes. The exam is five hours – 2 hours, 30 minutes in the a.m. And 2 hours, 30 minutes in the afternoon. A 70 percent is passing. Bullets are okay, but remember organizing by research, goals/objectives, strategies and tactics. Read the questions and make sure you know exactly what they are asking for. Exactly.

The test is taken anonymously. The test graders are CPRC members around the state.

The oral exam basically tests and shows your communication skills and mastery. You can present one of two types of presentations: a campaign that you’d like to “sell” to your boss or client or you can present a pitch for a campaign idea you’d like to work on for a client or company. Use about 20 minutes for the presentation and 10 minutes for Q&A.

Presentations are graded on introduction, transition, body, conclusion, delivery, effectiveness and overall impression.

How do you prepare?

Form a study group with fellow FPRA members
Review case study books
Review winning Golden Image entries online on the FPRA site.

The Process:

Send in application and test fee to the state office
Notify accreditation chair of your intent
The local chapter accreditation and certification chair will arrange dates, times, locations convenient to you.

There are three CPRC members that make up the panel. The panel should be unreal to the test candidate.

The state office strives to return CPRC test results within two weeks. If you do not pass the first try, you can take the exam again for a $75 fee within one year of sitting for the exam.

In 2011, all candidates for the CPRC that took the exam passed. There were five new CPRCs awarded in 210-2011. They are listed in the program from Monday’s President’s Luncheon.

The fun thing about the CPRC is it is the perfect world. You can make up the budget and variables.

Tip: Don’t forget to mention research in all answers.

Tip: passing CPRC members say time management is key to managing the exam and your time to complete it.

Email Rachel or talk with your local  accreditation and certification chair about signing up to take  your career to the next level and joining the approximately 75 senior members with this prestigious certification.

Maria Coppola, APR
904-398-7279 ext. 17
904-312-3321 cell
maria@bbased.com

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