Top 11 Press Secretary Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top press secretary certifications available to help individuals become successful in the field.
Published 18 min read
Certifications are an important part of the job market for press secretaries. These certifications demonstrate a mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job effectively. For example, certifications such as The Certified Professional Public Relations Practitioner (CPPRP) and The Accredited Public Relations Practitioner (APRP) show that a press secretary is knowledgeable about media relations, crisis communication, public affairs, strategic planning, and other related topics. These certifications also provide proof of professional competency and can be used to distinguish one applicant from another when employers are making hiring decisions.
This article reviews various certifications available to press secretaries and explains how they can help advance their careers.
What are Press Secretary Certifications?
Press Secretary Certification is a professional credential that certifies an individual's knowledge and ability to work as a press secretary or spokesperson. It is designed to provide individuals with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to effectively manage media relations, represent organizations in the public arena, and effectively communicate with journalists and other stakeholders. This certification demonstrates an understanding of the principles of public relations, including message development, media relations tactics, crisis communication strategies, and working with diverse audiences.
Having Press Secretary Certification can help individuals stand out from other job applicants who may not have this type of specialized training. It also helps demonstrate their commitment to excellence in their field and can indicate a higher level of professionalism. Additionally, having this certification can give individuals access to more opportunities for career advancement within the field of media relations. Those who hold this certification may be more likely to be considered for leadership roles in public relations departments or press secretary positions at larger organizations.
Pro Tip: When considering press secretary certification, be sure to check the credentials of any certifying organization you are considering. Ensure they are recognized and respected in the field and that their courses provide up-to-date training on current practices and trends in press secretary work.
Related: What does a Press Secretary do?
Top 11 Press Secretary Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Press Secretarys today.
1. Certified Public Relations Professional (CPRP)
Certified Public Relations Professional (CPRP) is a professional certification program offered by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management. It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated mastery of the core principles, knowledge, and skills required to practice public relations at the highest level.
The CPRP program requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of public relations through a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as ethics, communication theory, media relations, research methods, and crisis management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and essay questions.
In order to be eligible for the CPRP certification, applicants must have a minimum of three years of experience in public relations or related fields such as marketing or communications. They must also complete an approved course on public relations theory and practice prior to taking the exam.
It typically takes about six months to complete all requirements for the CPRP certification. Applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their experience in public relations and completion of an approved course on public relations theory and practice. Once these requirements are met, they can register for the exam.
The cost of obtaining the CPRP certification varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 USD to take the exam in most countries around the world.
2. Certified Government Affairs Professional (CGAP)
Certified Government Affairs Professional (CGAP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote government relations professionals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field. The CGAP designation is awarded by the National Institute for Governmental Relations (NIGR), an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the profession of government relations.
The CGAP program consists of three components: an online course, a comprehensive exam, and a portfolio review. The online course provides an overview of the fundamentals of government relations, including legislative processes, advocacy strategies, and ethics in public service. The comprehensive exam tests knowledge and understanding of key concepts related to government affairs. Finally, applicants must submit a portfolio demonstrating their experience and accomplishments in the field.
It typically takes between six months and one year to complete all three components of the CGAP program. Applicants should expect to spend at least 40 hours studying for the exam and preparing their portfolio.
The cost for the CGAP program varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of NIGR. Non-members pay $1,250 for access to the online course, while members pay $750. In addition, there is an application fee of $200 for both members and non-members.
3. Certified Media Relations Professional (CMPR)
Certified Media Relations Professional (CMPR) is a certification program offered by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). It is designed to help public relations professionals demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in media relations. The certification requires applicants to pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as media relations strategy, communications planning, media research and analysis, message development and delivery, and evaluation of results.
The CMPR exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of professional experience in public relations or related fields in order to qualify for the exam.
In order to get certified, applicants must register with PRSA and pay an application fee of $250 USD. Once registered, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to access the online study materials for the exam. After studying the material, applicants can then schedule an appointment to take the exam at a proctored testing center.
Once applicants pass the exam, they will be awarded the CMPR designation and be listed in PRSA’s online directory of certified professionals. The cost of taking the CMPR exam is $450 USD plus any applicable taxes or fees.
4. Certified Political Communications Specialist (CPCS)
The Certified Political Communications Specialist (CPCS) is a professional certification program offered by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). It is designed to demonstrate a mastery of the principles and practices of political communications. The CPCS program is open to any individual involved in political campaigns, public affairs, advocacy, or media relations.
To become certified as a CPCS, applicants must complete an online training course that covers topics such as campaign strategy, message development, media relations, digital communications, and crisis management. The course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete and includes an exam at the end.
Once the course is completed and the exam passed with a score of 80% or higher, applicants are eligible to receive their CPCS certification. The cost for the course and exam is $299 USD.
The CPCS certification is valid for three years from the date of completion and can be renewed by completing additional AAPC courses or attending AAPC events.
5. Accredited in Public Relations (APR)
Accredited in Public Relations (APR) is a professional certification awarded by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB). It is a mark of distinction that demonstrates an individual's commitment to the highest standards of professional practice and ethical conduct in public relations.
The APR process requires individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities as a public relations practitioner. Applicants must complete four components: an examination, experience, portfolio, and interview. The examination tests applicants on their understanding of public relations principles and practices. The experience component requires applicants to have at least five years of professional PR experience. The portfolio showcases the applicant’s work product and accomplishments. Finally, the interview assesses the applicant’s ability to apply PR principles in real-world situations.
It typically takes six months to one year to complete the APR process depending on how quickly applicants can complete each component.
To get started with the APR process, applicants must first register with UAB and pay a fee that ranges from $200-$400 depending on their membership status with PRSA or other organizations. After registering, applicants will be assigned an APR mentor who will provide guidance throughout the process.
The total cost for obtaining APR certification varies based on individual circumstances but generally ranges from $500-$1,000 including registration fees, exam fees, and any other related costs such as travel expenses for interviews or workshops.
6. Certified Crisis Manager (CCM)
Certified Crisis Manager (CCM) is a professional certification program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage crisis situations. The CCM certification program is offered by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).
The CCM certification requires applicants to have a minimum of three years of experience in emergency management or related fields. Applicants must also demonstrate their knowledge and skills in emergency management through an online assessment, which consists of multiple-choice questions, scenario-based questions, and essay-style questions.
It typically takes approximately six months to complete the CCM certification process. During this period, applicants must complete an online application form, submit required documentation such as transcripts or certifications, and pass the IAEM's online assessment.
The cost for obtaining the CCM certification varies depending on the applicant's country of residence. In the United States, it costs $325 USD for IAEM members and $425 USD for non-members. Fees may be higher in other countries.
7. Certified Strategic Communications Professional (CSCP)
The Certified Strategic Communications Professional (CSCP) is a professional designation for individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of strategic communications. The CSCP credential is offered by the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the practice of public relations and communication management.
To earn the CSCP credential, applicants must complete a rigorous course of study that covers topics such as strategic planning, media relations, crisis communication, research and measurement, and digital/social media. The program also includes a comprehensive exam that tests knowledge and skills in all areas of strategic communication.
The program typically takes between six months and two years to complete depending on an individual's experience level and availability. Applicants must hold at least three years of professional experience in public relations or related fields before they can apply for the certification.
The cost to become certified varies depending on whether you are an IPR member or non-member. Members pay $1,995 while non-members pay $2,495. This fee includes all materials needed to complete the program as well as access to online resources and support from IPR staff throughout the process.
8. Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS)
A Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS) is a professional designation that recognizes an individual’s expertise in developing and managing successful social media campaigns. This certification is offered by the Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMI) and is designed to help professionals demonstrate their knowledge of the latest best practices, tools, and technologies for leveraging social media to reach business objectives.
It typically takes four to six months to complete the program and earn the CSMS designation. To become certified, applicants must complete an online course, pass a comprehensive exam, and submit two case studies demonstrating their ability to create effective social media strategies. The cost of the certification program varies depending on the payment plan selected but generally ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD.
9. Digital Communications Certification Program (DCCP)
The Digital Communications Certification Program (DCCP) is a comprehensive program designed to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage digital communication projects. The program covers topics such as digital marketing, social media, web design, content strategy, analytics, and more.
The program consists of four levels: Foundation Level, Intermediate Level, Advanced Level and Professional Level. Each level requires the completion of several courses and exams in order to gain certification. Generally speaking, it takes approximately six months to complete the entire program.
In order to get certified in the DCCP program, you must first register with the International Institute for Digital Communications (IIDC). Once registered, you can then choose which level of certification you would like to pursue. After selecting your desired level of certification, you will be provided with a list of courses that need to be completed in order to achieve your certification goal.
Each course has its own associated cost depending on the provider and length of the course. Additionally, there is an exam fee for each level that must be paid before taking the exam. The cost for each exam varies depending on the level being taken. In total, it usually costs between $1,000-$2,000 USD for all four levels of certification in the DCCP program.
10. Advanced Certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communication Management (ACPRCCM)
The Advanced Certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communication Management (ACPRCCM) is a professional certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful public relations and corporate communication professionals. This program is designed to help individuals understand the complexities of public relations, corporate communication, media relations, marketing communications, and more.
The ACPRCCM program typically takes around 6 months to complete. It consists of three modules: Introduction to Public Relations & Corporate Communication Management; Strategic Planning & Implementation; and Professional Practice & Ethics. Each module consists of lectures, case studies, group discussions, exercises, and assessments.
To get the ACPRCCM certification, you must first complete all three modules and pass the final assessment with a minimum score of 70%. Once you have successfully completed the program, you will receive your certificate from the awarding body.
The cost of the ACPRCCM program varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it can range from $2,500-$4,000 USD depending on location and other factors.
11. International Association of Business Communicators’ Accreditation in Public Relations and Corporate Communication Management Program (IABC-APRCCM).
The International Association of Business Communicators’ Accreditation in Public Relations and Corporate Communication Management Program (IABC-APRCCM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the highest level of achievement in public relations and corporate communication management. The program is designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage public relations and corporate communication activities.
The IABC-APRCCM program consists of two parts: an online assessment and a written examination. The online assessment is designed to assess the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of public relations, corporate communication management, media relations, strategic communications planning, crisis communications, ethics, research methods, and other related topics. The written examination tests the applicant’s ability to apply their knowledge in a practical setting.
The IABC-APRCCM program typically takes 12 months or more to complete. During this time applicants must complete the online assessment as well as prepare for and pass the written examination. Applicants are also required to attend at least one IABC professional development event during this period.
To be eligible for the IABC-APRCCM program applicants must have at least three years of experience in public relations or corporate communication management. They must also demonstrate a commitment to continuing education in these fields by attending relevant workshops or seminars throughout their career.
The cost of the IABC-APRCCM program varies depending on whether you are an IABC member or nonmember. For members it costs $1,000 USD while for nonmembers it costs $1,500 USD. This fee covers all materials needed for the online assessment as well as registration fees for any professional development events attended during the 12 month period prior to taking the written exam.
Do You Really Need a Press Secretary Certificate?
No, you do not need a press secretary certificate to become a press secretary. While having a certification may be beneficial in certain circumstances, it is not required for the job.
In fact, many press secretaries have achieved success without any formal training or education. Many of these individuals have been able to develop their skills through on-the-job experience and by learning from mentors and other professionals in the field. It is also possible to gain experience through internships or volunteer work in related fields.
So while having a certification may help you stand out among other candidates and make you appear more qualified, it is not necessary in order to become a successful press secretary. Rather, what is most important is that you possess the necessary skills and knowledge for the position and that you demonstrate your ability to handle the responsibilities associated with being a press secretary effectively.
Related: Press Secretary Resume Examples
FAQs About Press Secretary Certifications
Q1: What is a Press Secretary Certification?
A1: A Press Secretary Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates knowledge and proficiency in the field of public relations and media relations. It is typically earned by completing an accredited program or course, passing an exam, and/or demonstrating experience in the field.
Q2: How long does it take to earn a Press Secretary Certification?
A2: The amount of time it takes to earn a Press Secretary Certification varies depending on the individual's existing experience, educational background, and the specific certifying organization. Generally, it can take anywhere from one month to several years to complete all of the necessary requirements for certification.
Q3: What are some common requirements for earning a Press Secretary Certification?
A3: Common requirements for earning a Press Secretary Certification often include taking an accredited course or program, passing an exam, gaining relevant work experience, and completing continuing education courses to stay current with industry trends.
Q4: Are there any prerequisites for becoming certified as a press secretary?
A4: Yes, typically applicants must have at least two years of related work experience in order to be eligible for certification as a press secretary. Additionally, applicants may need to hold certain degrees or certifications in related fields such as communications or journalism.
Q5: Where can I learn more about getting certified as a press secretary?
A5: To learn more about getting certified as a press secretary you can visit websites such as PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) where they provide information on their Certified Professional Public Relations (CPPR) program which offers certification options for those interested in becoming certified press secretaries.