All in the Family: 3 Generations of the APR

April marks APR Month at PRSA. Throughout the month, we’ve been sharing the stories of those who have earned their Accreditation in Public Relations.

Among the new APRs: Allyson Pittman Gattin, APR, PR director at The Peacock Group, Little Rock, Ark.

She is a third-generation PR professional, and her grandfather, Bob Sells, and mother, Stacy Sells, were also Accredited PRSA members. This feat is a PRSA milestone: The first three-generational family to earn their APR.

Gattin said she was honored to have her mother present her with the APR pin during a ceremony at the Arkansas Chapter in February.

Here, she shares more about this family Accreditation affair.

How did your mother and grandfather inspire you to pursue your Accreditation in Public Relations?

My first introduction to the world of public relations was at birth. I am a third-generation PR professional. My mom, uncle and grandfather paved the path before me.

This professional family tradition meant I was raised by storytellers, people who understood the power of their words. From the way my mom used her skills to advocate for better education for all children to the award-winning campaigns my grandfather and uncle created, I witnessed the power of good storytelling firsthand.

And while I am grateful to have inherited these abilities from the generations before me, I pursued my Accreditation in Public Relations to prove something to them and to myself. It’s easy to believe their influence to go into the business and their subsequent guidance is why I landed in this profession. But earning my Accreditation was an opportunity for me to demonstrate my skill set and earn these credentials on my own.

It also helped further solidify the connection among three generations of my family. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away in 2017, Even though he’s not physically with us anymore, I hope it’s made him proud.

What was your mother’s advice?

Because she had gone through the process already, my mom became one of my greatest resources — in addition to the Arkansas PRSA “Ready to Roll” program — as I studied and prepared for each Accreditation step. When I was preparing for my Panel Presentation, she served as my sounding board. She helped me review the various elements of my presentation and provided counsel on how to best present my campaign.

Once I passed that phase and moved into studying the recommended literature, my mom helped me think through examples of how I’ve used those theories and skills in my professional life. Since she’s watched me grow professionally, she helped me see how I’ve used the PR teachings and gave me the confidence necessary to take the exam.

What was the most rewarding part of Accreditation for you?

The most rewarding part of earning my Accreditation was the renewed sense of camaraderie I felt with my mom. Life can get so busy, especially when you’re a working mother of two small kids. For five months, the two of us were able to connect on a shared passion. She was a constant throughout the entire process and I am forever grateful for her support.


[Photos courtesy of allyson pittman gattin]

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