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Top 11 Public Relations Coordinator Certifications

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 17 min read

Certifications are important for a public relations coordinator in the job market because they demonstrate the professional’s knowledge and expertise. Certifications can also give employers confidence in the individual’s ability to handle complex tasks and provide quality services. For example, having a certification from a reputable public relations organization can show employers that the individual has a solid understanding of industry standards and practices. Additionally, certifications can help set individuals apart from other applicants when applying for positions or promotions, as they demonstrate an additional level of commitment to their profession.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Public Relations Coordinators and explain how they can enhance a public relations coordinator's career.

What are Public Relations Coordinator Certifications?

Public relations coordinator certification is a form of professional certification that recognizes those who have attained a certain level of knowledge and expertise in the field of public relations. It is designed to demonstrate to employers, clients and other professionals that an individual has the necessary skills and qualifications to work as a public relations coordinator. The certification provides proof of an individual’s ability to successfully manage public relations campaigns, create effective messaging strategies, build relationships with key stakeholders, and use various communication channels in order to increase brand visibility.

Having public relations coordinator certification can help individuals stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs or contracts. It also serves as evidence that the individual has dedicated time and effort into developing their skills in this area. Additionally, having this type of certification may give an individual access to exclusive networks and resources within the field of public relations, allowing them to further develop their skillset and expand their professional network.

Pro Tip: When pursuing a public relations coordinator certification, look for programs that offer comprehensive coursework and hands-on experience. This will ensure that you are getting the most out of your certification and will help you gain the skills necessary to excel in the field. Additionally, seek out certifications from organizations with a proven track record of success in the industry.

Related: What does a Public Relations Coordinator do?

Top 11 Public Relations Coordinator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Public Relations Coordinators today.

1. Certified Public Relations Professional (CPRP)

Certified Public Relations Professional (CPRP) is a professional certification awarded to those who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and experience in the field of public relations. It is offered through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

To become a CPRP, applicants must meet certain criteria, including having at least three years of professional public relations experience and passing an examination administered by PRSA. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as media relations, crisis communication, research and evaluation, social media, writing and editing, and ethics.

It typically takes six to eight weeks to prepare for the exam, depending on each individual's experience level. Preparation materials can be found on the PRSA website or through third-party vendors.

The cost to take the exam varies depending on whether you are a member of PRSA or not. For non-members, it costs $450 USD; for members it costs $350 USD.

2. Certified Public Relations Executive (CPRE)

Certified Public Relations Executive (CPRE) is a professional certification offered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB). It is designed to recognize public relations professionals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in their field.

The CPRE certification requires applicants to pass an exam and demonstrate a minimum of three years of full-time, paid experience in the public relations industry. The exam includes questions on topics such as media relations, crisis management, strategic planning, and research.

To get the CPRE certification, an applicant must first complete an application form and submit it to UAB along with proof of at least three years of full-time, paid experience in the public relations industry. Once approved, applicants must register for and pass the CPRE examination. The exam fee is $295 USD.

Once an applicant has passed the CPRE examination they will receive their official certificate from UAB. This certificate will remain valid for five years after which time applicants must renew their certification by passing a recertification exam or completing continuing education courses.

3. Certified Professional in Public Relations (CPPR)

Certified Professional in Public Relations (CPPR) is a professional certification program offered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) for public relations professionals. It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of those working in the field. The CPPR designation demonstrates that a public relations professional has achieved a high level of proficiency and expertise in their chosen field.

The CPPR program consists of two parts: an online examination and an in-person assessment. To become certified, applicants must pass both parts with a score of 70% or higher. The online exam covers topics such as media relations, crisis communication, public opinion research, strategic communication planning, and more. The in-person assessment requires applicants to present a portfolio demonstrating their experience and capabilities in the field.

The cost of the CPPR program varies depending on the applicant's location and whether they are taking the exam for the first time or renewing their certification. In general, it costs around $500-$600 USD for first-time applicants and $250-$300 USD for renewal applicants.

It typically takes about 6 months to complete the entire process from start to finish. This includes studying for and passing the online exam as well as completing all requirements for the in-person assessment.

4. Certified Public Relations Manager (CPRM)

Certified Public Relations Manager (CPRM) is a professional certification awarded by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and experience in public relations management. This certification recognizes the skills necessary to effectively manage public relations programs, campaigns, and initiatives.

To become certified as a CPRM, applicants must meet certain requirements including having at least five years of public relations experience, completing an approved course in public relations management, and passing an exam administered by PRSA. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as strategic planning, budgeting, crisis communications, media relations, research methods and evaluation.

The cost for the CPRM certification varies depending on whether you are already a member of PRSA or not. For non-members it costs $395 while members pay $295. The exam fee is also included in this cost. It typically takes around three months to complete the entire process from application to receiving your certification.

5. Accredited Public Relations Practitioner (APRP)

Accredited Public Relations Practitioner (APRP) is an internationally recognised professional accreditation for public relations practitioners. It is awarded by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), a UK-based professional body, and is recognised in many countries around the world.

The APRP recognises individuals who have achieved a high level of professional competence and ethical standards in their practice of public relations. To get the accreditation, applicants must demonstrate that they have met a set of criteria including knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications.

It takes approximately six months to complete the process of obtaining the APRP accreditation. Applicants must first submit an application form and supporting documents such as CVs, references and evidence of qualifications. They then attend an interview with a panel of assessors who will evaluate their knowledge and skills before awarding them with the accreditation.

The cost of applying for the APRP varies depending on whether you are already a CIPR member or not. For non-members, it costs £150 to apply for the accreditation plus an additional £100 if you are successful in your application. For existing members, it costs £50 to apply plus an additional £50 if successful.

6. International Association of Business Communicators Certification Program (IABC-CP)

The International Association of Business Communicators Certification Program (IABC-CP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the highest level of competency in business communication. It is designed for professionals who have demonstrated a mastery of the core competencies required for successful business communication.

The IABC-CP requires applicants to pass an exam that tests their knowledge and skills in areas such as writing, editing, grammar, public speaking, media relations, and digital communications. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete. Applicants must also submit a portfolio that demonstrates their ability to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios.

The IABC-CP typically takes between six months and one year to complete. During this time, applicants are expected to study for the exam and develop their portfolios. They will also be required to attend workshops or seminars related to the topics covered on the exam.

To become certified, applicants must submit an application fee of $550 USD along with their portfolio and exam results. Once they have passed the exam, they will receive a certificate from the IABC acknowledging their achievement as Certified Professional Communicators (CPC).

The IABC-CP is an excellent way for professionals to demonstrate their proficiency in business communication and gain recognition from peers and employers alike.

7. Chartered Institute of Public Relations Diploma in Public Relations (DipPR)

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Diploma in Public Relations (DipPR) is a professional qualification which provides practitioners with the skills and knowledge required to successfully manage public relations activity. The DipPR is designed for those who have already achieved a professional level of competence in PR, such as PR managers, consultants or senior practitioners.

The DipPR consists of four modules: Strategic Public Relations Management; Researching and Planning; Implementing and Evaluating; and Professional Practice. Each module has two assessments – one written paper and one practical assignment – which must be completed within two years of starting the course.

To get the DipPR, you must first become a member of the CIPR. You can then apply to take the DipPR course by submitting an application form along with your CV and evidence of relevant experience. Once accepted onto the course, you will need to pay a fee of £1,500 plus VAT to cover tuition costs.

Once you have completed all four modules, you will be awarded your DipPR certificate from the CIPR. This certificate will demonstrate that you have achieved a high level of competence in public relations practice and are equipped with the necessary skills to work effectively in this field.

8. American Marketing Association’s Certified Professional Marketer – Public Relations Specialty (CPM-PRS)

The Certified Professional Marketer – Public Relations Specialty (CPM-PRS) is a professional certification program offered by the American Marketing Association (AMA). It is designed to recognize and reward marketing professionals who demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge, skill and experience in public relations.

The CPM-PRS certification requires applicants to have at least three years of professional experience in public relations, as well as a bachelor’s degree or higher. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as media relations, issues management, crisis communication, and strategic planning. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

Once the application has been submitted and approved, applicants must pay a fee of $595 for the exam. This fee includes access to study materials and practice exams. After passing the exam, there is an additional one-time fee of $150 for the certification itself.

The AMA states that it typically takes two to three months from the time you submit your application until you receive your results from the exam. Once you have passed the exam and paid the certification fee, you will receive your official CPM-PRS certificate within two weeks.

9. Institute for PR Certification in Digital Communications and Social Media Strategies (IPR-DCSMS)

The Institute for PR Certification in Digital Communications and Social Media Strategies (IPR-DCSMS) is a professional certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively manage digital communications, social media strategies, and other related activities. It is designed to help professionals in public relations, marketing, communications, and other related fields stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in digital communication and social media.

The IPR-DCSMS certification program consists of four modules: Digital Communication Basics; Social Media Strategy & Tactics; Measurement & Analytics; and Professional Practice. Each module includes a combination of self-study materials, hands-on activities, online assessments, and an online exam. The entire program takes approximately 10 weeks to complete.

To get certified through IPR-DCSMS you must first register for the program by completing the online application form. Once registered you will receive access to all of the course materials including the self-study modules, assessment tests, and final exam. After successfully completing all four modules you will be eligible to take the final exam which must be passed with a minimum score of 75%. Upon successful completion of the program you will receive your IPR-DCSMS certification.

The cost for the IPR-DCSMS certification program varies depending on whether or not you are already an IPR member. For nonmembers it costs $1,495 while members pay $995.

10. Society for New Communications Research Certificate in Digital and Social Media Strategies & Tactics

The Society for New Communications Research Certificate in Digital and Social Media Strategies & Tactics is a professional certification program designed to help individuals develop the skills and knowledge needed to successfully plan, implement, and measure digital and social media strategies. The program consists of four courses—Digital & Social Media Strategy, Content Creation & Curation, Measurement & Analytics, and Advanced Social Media—which can be taken online or in-person. It takes approximately 60 hours of study to complete the certificate program.

In order to get the certificate, students must complete all four courses within one year from the date of enrollment. Upon successful completion of all four courses, they will receive a digital badge that can be shared on their website or social media channels. Additionally, they will receive a certificate from the Society for New Communications Research that recognizes their achievement.

The cost to enroll in the certificate program is $1,195 USD plus applicable taxes. This fee covers access to all course materials as well as one-on-one mentoring with an experienced instructor throughout the duration of the program.

11. Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management Certificate in Strategic Communication Management

The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management Certificate in Strategic Communication Management is a professional certificate program designed to provide practitioners with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop, manage, and evaluate strategic communication plans. The program is offered online and consists of four modules: Strategic Thinking, Planning & Evaluation; Digital Communications; Crisis & Issues Management; and Leadership & Change. Each module includes lectures, readings, case studies, activities, quizzes, and assessments.

The program takes approximately six months to complete. To get the certificate, you must successfully complete all four modules within the specified time frame. You must also submit a final project that demonstrates your understanding of the material covered in each module.

The cost of the certificate program is $2,500 USD (plus applicable taxes). This fee covers access to all course materials as well as instructor support throughout the duration of the program.

Do You Really Need a Public Relations Coordinator Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as your current level of experience and knowledge in the public relations field. If you are already experienced in the field, then a certificate may not be necessary. However, if you are new to the field or have limited knowledge and experience, then obtaining a certificate could be beneficial.

A public relations coordinator certificate can help you demonstrate your knowledge and proficiency in the field to potential employers or clients. It shows that you have been trained and educated in specific areas related to public relations, such as media relations, crisis management, event planning, and social media. Having a certificate can also give you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs in the field.

Additionally, obtaining a certificate can open up new opportunities for career advancement and growth. With it, you may be able to move into more specialized roles within the public relations industry or even start your own business. The knowledge and skills gained through certification can also help you become better at what you do by giving you additional resources and strategies for success.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a public relations coordinator certificate depends on your individual circumstances. If you have limited experience or knowledge of the PR industry, then obtaining one may be beneficial for furthering your career goals.

Related: Public Relations Coordinator Resume Examples

FAQs About Public Relations Coordinator Certifications

1. What is a Public Relations Coordinator Certification?

A Public Relations Coordinator Certification is a professional designation that validates an individual’s knowledge and expertise in the public relations field. It serves as an industry standard for employers who are looking to hire experienced PR coordinators.

2. How do I become certified?

You can become certified by completing a course or program offered by an accredited organization such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The coursework typically includes topics such as media relations, crisis communication, and marketing communications.

3. How long does it take to complete the certification?

The amount of time it takes to complete your certification will depend on the specific program you choose and how quickly you are able to complete the required coursework and exams. Generally, most programs take between three months and one year to complete.

4. Are there any prerequisites for certification?

Yes, some organizations may require you to have prior work experience or education in public relations before they will certify you. Additionally, some organizations may also require you to pass a written exam before granting you your certification.

5. Is a Public Relations Coordinator Certification worth it?

Yes, having a PR coordinator certification can be extremely beneficial for those looking to advance their career in the public relations field. Having this designation makes you more attractive to potential employers and demonstrates that you have the necessary skills and knowledge required for the job.