Having worked in the public relations profession for many years, I knew one day I was going to get my professional certification. I have always been a curious learner and like to set challenges for myself. Last year, I finally decided to pursue my Communications Management Professional (CMP) designation and wish I would have done so earlier.
Here are my top 10 reasons for getting your professional designation:
- Elevate your personal brand: If your organization is like mine and expects you to have learning and professional development goals each year, make certification a part of your learning goals. Why not kill two birds with one stone and make your annual performance review an even more engaging discussion about career advancement.
- Stay current on what’s happening: Technology and media are intersecting in new and fast ways. Social media and digital communications are constantly evolving. How we interact with our audience is changing. Stay up to date on what’s shaping the world we live in and how it can impact your job.
- Distinguish yourself from your peers: Professional accountability is what separates pretenders from contenders. Pursuing professional certification gave me a chance to demonstrate to my peers and executives that not only I love what I do but am willing to go the extra mile and showcase my ability and knowledge.
- Explain things you know intuitively: Have you ever gotten called to a meeting and told to “just write a news release?” You know intuitively that it is a not a good idea. Well, now you have information, research and knowledge to explain things you knew in your gut. And, you can even go a step further to illustrate the role and value of PR function with measurable results.
- Give back to the profession: Ever since I got into communications, I have been inspired by communicators who are knowledgeable, passionate and committed. I admire their willingness and generosity to give back to the field and help elevate the role for all of us. From my perspective, this is just one small way to give back to the profession that gives us all so much—personally and professionally.
- Create a path for continuous learning: We all know learning never stops. And, we all know life gets in the way. There are numerous demands for your time from your spouse, friends, kids, parents, pets… and hopefully your own health and sanity get some attention as well. The certification allows you to put rigor around your learning and focus on your own personal growth and advancement.
- Be a wholesome practitioner: The certification illustrates that you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to seamlessly transfer and effectively work in any industry, corporation or agency.
- Career advancement: While the two are not correlated, the designation can certainly help showcase your knowledge and commitment to your personal growth and can lead to advancement. It did for me with a promotion!
- Do your job better: I often joke that I got into PR because I hated numbers. However, the truth is that you can’t be successful in PR without talking the language of numbers with your executives. For example, I had not previously studied “margin of errors” and what to consider for successful surveys and now I am all about what surveys are done right and how to create an effective survey.
- It feels good: Let’s be honest, it is a professional and personal achievement. You are credentialed like other professionals you work with in your organization. A professional certification legitimizes not only public relations as a profession but also emphasizes the meaningful and impactful work we do. And, yes, it feels great to put three letters behind your name.
A guest blog post by Rashi Iyer, CMP