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Clintonians earn accreditation in public relations

Special to The Clinton Courier

Chrystelle Thames

Chrystelle Thames

Three central Mississippi public relations practitioners, representing the Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s Central Chapter, have successfully completed the examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, entitling them to use the APR professional designation. Two of them, J. Mignon Kucia and Chrystelle Thames, are from Clinton. The third, Jan Schaefer, who serves as communications director for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, is a Mississippi College masters graduate.

The announcement was made by the Universal Accreditation Board, a consortium of nine professional communication organizations that directs the competency certification program.
The accreditation program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in sixty areas of knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the profession. The examination is designed for public relations professionals with at least five to seven years of job experience and/or a bachelor’s degree in a communication field. Candidates who successfully complete the rigorous process, including presenting his/her portfolio to a panel presentation of three peers and sitting for an examination, are granted the APR.

J. Mignon Kucia

J. Mignon Kucia

Kucia, Ph.D, and professor at Mississippi College, said, “I am grateful to PRAM Central and the Public Relations Society of America for providing this opportunity to learn and grow in my public relations knowledge and confidence. What I learned in this process will allow me to be a much more effective professor as I work to train the next generation of practitioners.”
“Our Chapter is incredibly proud to have three members receive this highest professional distinction in public relations,” said 2023 PRAM Central President Jean Cook, APR. “Their commitment to excellence is truly inspiring. The APR process alone can take up to one year and demonstrates genuine dedication to the profession. We are honored to have Dr. Mignon Kucia, Chrystelle Thames and Jan Schaefer as PRAM Central members and congratulate each on this well-deserved achievement.”

Professionals earning the APR must renew their credentials through continuing professional development, providing leadership to the profession and serving their local communities.
Thames, communications director at Mississippi Baptist Childrens’ Village, said, “The entire journey to my APR accreditation has been a true blessing. Our PRAM Central Chapter Accreditation Chair provided invaluable assistance throughout the process. The review of the content challenged me in the pursuit of excellence in my career. Our study group not only helped prepare me for the exam but launched a sisterhood with special people who also challenged me to be the best for my agency. I am grateful for the experience from start to finish!”
For more information about PRAM Central, visit PramCentral.org.

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