Elana Ilott: Want to prove you’re ready?

eilottheadshot-4.jpgBy Elana Ilott

My path to public relations came in the way of a mid-twenties career change. A few months into my first job in public relations, I learned about the Public Relations Knowledge (PRK) exam, which offered me a welcome opportunity to build on my academic achievements and demonstrate my capabilities.

For me, the PRK exam was the natural next step in cementing my transition into a new career. It offered me a chance to prove my knowledge and proficiency- not just to current or potential employers, but also to myself. I appreciated the thoroughness of the content covered, as it necessitated that I brush up on theory and practices I hadn’t had an opportunity to use in my new career yet.

One of the things that drew me to public relations is that it is constantly evolving, and to remain relevant you must keep learning and growing if you want to keep your skills sharp. The PRK grants new practitioners a chance to “check in” on their knowledge, and an opportunity to prove your mettle in a way that provides a benchmark to employers.

Students who successfully write the PRK can feel confident that they’ll enter the workforce with an achievement that will set them apart from other graduates. Those who find themselves in the midst of a career change will benefit from taking the extra step in proving their competence in a new field by taking the PRK. And for those young professionals like myself, who are already employed, you’ll find that writing your PRK will help to cement your value as a communicator within your organization. Passing the PRK exam gave me a deep sense of both personal and professional satisfaction, and I highly recommend the PRK to budding PR practitioners as a way to assert your worth to future employers.

In the early stages of your career, it can be hard to establish and differentiate yourself, and successfully writing the PRK allows you to do exactly that. As Tracey Baker said when she addressed the crowd at a CPRS Ottawa event in 2013, the PRK is a “bridge from education to the marketplace”. (Thanks, Young PR Pros Podcast.)

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