APRwriter.com came about because I am a writer, and I am Acredited in Public Relations, hence the “APR.” Also, once an English major, always an English major – the urge to write is irresistible. And with a second major in public relations, I am doubly compelled to write on what I observe around me in the (not-so) professional world.
I’m Debra Bethard-Caplick, MS, MBA, APR (if you want all the bells and whistles!) Officially I’m a strategic communications consultant and PR agency subcontractor, while unofficially I’m a wanna-be author currently trying to turn my collection of notes and articles into a book in my spare time (what spare time?) Finally, I am a collector of PR history and memorabilia, and have acquired quite a few historical books on the field, including works by Lippman, Harlow & Black, Lee, and a couple of Bernays first editions.
Now for the boring part: I am a healthcare/nonprofit/small business PR pro with 20+ years experience in hospital, long term care, professional societies, you name it. l am drawn to healthcare because of the opportunity to achieve the satisfaction of knowing I have made a difference in someone’s life while at the same time excelling in my chosen career – a rare convergence. Through fortuitous circumstance I’ve become a bit of a generalist, with expertise in social media, development, media relations, PR/marketing management, public affairs, training, even labor negotiations.
I have a strong interest in program implementation evaluation and measurement, probably because it’s an area that many PRPs (PR People) tend to avoid due to the difficulty numbers present to many of us. We are born wordsmiths – numbers are alien creatures. The contrarian in me has pushed me to focus on PR measurement and evaluation in graduate school, and was the subject of my master’s research project.
I am an inveterate volunteer, especially if I can make a real difference. I’m the immediate past president of PRSA Suburban Chicago and served on the Annual Conference Committee for the PRSA Health Academy. I have served on the Board of Directors for my local PRSA chapter in one form or another for too many years to count – wherever there was a hole that needed filling. I am currently working on my Teaching & Learning certificate with DePaul University in Chicago, where I also teach as an adjunct. And I’m a perennial participant in the National Novel Writing Month marathon writing event.
To relax I am a reader (of course!), parent to two Siberian Huskies and one border collie/Labrador retriever mix, studying Spanish and am Sister on the Fly #5726. Who says you have to grow up? I plan to grow outrageous!