Organizations & Certifications for Upcoming Grads in Public Relations

Interested in building your skills or joining networks post-graduation? Students in PR have a few options when it comes to organizations they can join, and there are many certifications available to build your skills and show your qualifications. Some employers may even require membership to certain organizations, or at the very least, it’ll make you a better applicant.

Here are some of the organizations and certifications you should consider in your future:


PRSA – The Public Relations Society of America is the most well-known organization specifically for public relations professionals. Many colleges with PR programs have PRSSA chapters on campus, which will give you a discount PRSA_RGB_234781when switching to the professional organization post graduation. PRSA gives you a large network of professionals to connect with, as well as access to many professional development opportunities, such as conferences, publications, awards, and more. To join PRSA as a previous PRSSA member, it only costs $60, and if you’re a new graduate who was never part of PRSSA or PRSA, membership costs $115.

IABC – The International Association of Business Communicators recogizes the accomplishments of professional communicators around the globe. Similar to PRSA, IABC provides many professional development opportunities and a network of professionals to connect with. Price for membership varies state-to-state, but will average around $254.

AMA– The AAMA Logomerican Marketer’s Association is among the largest marketing organizations in the world, and membership comes with access to marketing knowledge, training programs, and a large network of marketing professionals. Students can join for $47, young professionals for $110.


APR – The Accreditation in Public Relations, is offered through PRSA, is a certification for experienced professionals in the public relations field. APR certification symbolizes professional competence and expertise, and keeps practitioners up-to-date on progressive industry practices. The ARP exam certification costs $385. Alternatively, younger professionals can earn the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations for $150, but the exam is only offered through certain universities.

Communication Management Professional (CMP) – As developed by the IABC, this certification designates your expertise in the areas of ethics, strategy, analysis, context, engagement, and consistency. This certification sets a Global Standard for all communication professionals across all borders and supports you throughout your career. This certification is also for more advanced professionals and costs $500 for members or $800 for non-members.

Hootsuite – Hootsuite certification is available for all social media practitioners and certification in this area. Thehootsuite-logo-dashboard certification focuses on elements of social media, such as social media strategy, community building, content marketing, social media advertising. The exam costs $199, but passing the exam gives you free Hootsuite membership for a year and you have access to a unique group of professionals.

01_HubSpotBadges_V4Inbound Certification – Inbound Certification is offered through Hubspot. It’s a free certification for anyone that covers the basics on inbound of marketing, including SEO, blogging, landing pages, conversion analysis, and more. This certification is helpful for anyone working in public relations or marketing.


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