Debra Bethard-Caplick, MS, MBA, APR

Debra Bethard-Caplick, MS, MBA, APR

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, 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. 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 18+ years experience in hospital, long term care, professional societies, etc. 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, 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 2011 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 the past eight years. I am currently taking the assorted coursework I need to be a National Incident Management System (NIMS) Public Information Officer.

To relax I am a sailor, a reader (of course!), parent to two Siberian Huskies and one “Hawaiian” Husky (she’s really part Beagle and part Labrador Retriever, but my husband doesn’t want her to feel left out), and am studying Spanish and preparing to get my motorcycle license this summer. Who says you have to grow up?