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There are currently 671 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 11 thru 15.

  posted: March 10,2016 12:49 PM -- submitted by: Priscilla
Q11: I have been working in the Marketing Communications/PR field for almost 20 years. I have been debating on getting my Masters. Is it really needed these days? There are so many certifications in specific areas that one can do that I'm wondering if it is worth the time and money to pursue a Masters these days. Currently I am part of my executive team at my company. Am I better off continuing with additional professional development workshops?

A11: Priscilla—

If you work in the field of education, a master’s degree and a PhD are absolutely essential. In other fields that’s less true. However, as a part of your company’s executive team, an MBA should be quite beneficial.

Check out the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) process at You might find that process helpful, whether or not you continue through the computerized examination. Most of the resources listed on that website are available without charge.

You could use “2016 Competencies/KSAs Tested in Examination” to evaluate your own KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities). You’ll find that the competencies needed in PR are quite similar to those needed in marketing. Pay close attention to KSAs that are necessary to advance in your career.

If you find deficiencies, go to and select a book or books that you believe will be helpful.

Certainly PD workshops and seminars can be helpful, and a master’s degree may be exactly what you need. We hope you choose a route that will be the right one!

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 10,2016 12:32 PM -- submitted by: Abe M
Q12: I could use some advice landing an entry-level PR job. I have two years of experience as a state regulator but this was just a job I took to pay my expenses during grad school. I have a M.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in English & Political Science. I have one PR internship from a year a go but those contacts are cold now. Do I pretty much have to leave my job and take unpaid PR internships, or is there some hope in marketing my "transferable" skills and landing my first PR job now? Thanks.

A12: Abe—

Let me suggest that you do a self-assessment by comparing your KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) with the KSAs necessary for an accredited public relations professional.

To do that, go to, select “2016 Competencies/KSAs Tested in Examination.” Work through the six objectives presented and assess your KSAs compared to each one listed in the guide. Where you find deficiencies, go to and select a book or books that you believe will be helpful.

You will find more information on KSAs needed for PR Accreditation in the APR Study Guide, which can be downloaded at

If you decide to apply for Accreditation in Public Relations, check the website for the PRSA chapter nearest you. You should be able to locate that chapter’s Accreditation chair and get involved with local PR folks involved in studying for Accreditation.

Best of success to you!

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: February 26,2016 06:44 PM -- submitted by: Jason
Q13: What is the difference between a Communications Director and a VP of Communications. I'm bucking for a promotion at an organization I've been at for 4 years, have previous experience as a Deputy Executive Director, and have been taking on more responsibility at my current organization. I want to make the case that they already have a VP of Communications, I just haven't gotten the title yet.

A13: I have never seen a standard definition of job titles. Each organization determines what responsibilities are included in a job description. I suggest you look at the other VP and director positions within your organization for the level of responsibility and the type of tasks that are expected of each. Compare that to the expectation of the communications position and that should be an indication of which title fits with the expectations that are your responsibility. This comparison would be a starting point for your discussion with your management.

Good luck.
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: February 23,2016 11:00 AM -- submitted by: Susie
Q14: Hello
I am a semi-recent graduate pursuing a career in public relations, however it seems very difficult for me to get my foot in the door anywhere. I have been applying for about a year & only recently received a couple call backs but I still haven't had much luck. I completed two internships and have over 4 years experience in an office environment. I am constantly looking for conferences & events to attend to further my career and network, but I want to work. I would appreciate any feedback.

A14: Susie,
Internships are a good link to work. Have you reconnected with your colleagues from those organizations to network with them and ask them for other PR professionals with whom you can connect?

PRSA is another good link. The best way to land a PR job is to get to know the people in your public relations community. Attend local PRSA chapter meetings, go to conferences and other events (as you suggest you are doing above). Use this time to introduce yourself to professionals, ask about their backgrounds, etc. Make the conversation a learning experience, not a job interview. Don't monopolize any one person's time; they too are at the event, in part, to talk with people they know and meet new people. Rather, exchange business cards and followup with a request for an informational interview.

This is a process, you need to build up your network, do volunteer work so people learn more about your skills and abilities and can begin to see your work ethic and your character.

Good luck and keep talking with PR professionals.

Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: February 22,2016 12:54 PM -- submitted by: Vishnukumar
Q15: I am an integrated communication professional with over decade of experience in public relations and corporate communications. Most of my work experience was working in abroad, not in US. I am very keen to take up PR job in US, but I am on H4- dependent visa and residing currently in Richfield, MN.

I would like to know whether PR consultancies/Agencies would offer job to me with Work visa ? What kind of Work visa is a prerequisite for getting job in PR industry.


A15: Sorry, those are question we are not equipped to answer.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: February 15,2016 07:14 PM -- submitted by: gagan
Q16: Hi
i have bachelors in IT but no experience in core IT field other than one year technical recruiting and then Masters in Business development but i have been self employed for 5 years in my custom engineering business performing business development duties . I recently moved to canada.what kind of jobs should i be focussing on which required less of corporate experience but more of real time experience ?
Any help will be appreciated as i am feeling very scattered right now .

A16: Thank you for your email. This site is designed for people in the public relations and communications field. We don't have IT backgrounds and cannot provide you with advice.

I suggest you look online for an IT professional organization which would give you access to IT professionals who understand your field and the experience needed.

Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

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