LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Feb. 24, 2022)–The Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recently recognized the achievements of three of its members who have earned the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential.

Pinning ceremonies for the candidates—Mary Claire Hill, Douglas Shackelford and Allyson Pittman Gattin—were held in January and February.

Mary Claire Hill, APR, is a public relations manager with MHP/Team SI who has filled a variety of roles requiring increasing responsibility since joining the firm in 2017. Hill is a member of Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXIX and a graduate of Baylor University. She also serves on the Arkansas Chapter of the PRSA Board, the Rotaract Club of Little Rock, and is a member of the Centers for Youth and Families Emerging Leaders Young Professionals Group and chair of its 2022 Brunchfest Event.

Douglas Shackelford, APR, is the long-time director of public affairs and communications at Central Arkansas Water. A graduate of Benedictine College, he has served in numerous leadership roles within the public sector since entering the communications field in 2001. Shackelford is immediate past president of the West Little Rock Rotary Club, a member of the Museum of Discovery Board of Directors and a graduate of Leadership Arkansas, Class XI.

Allyson Pittman Gattin, APR, public relations director at The Peacock Group, hails from a family known in the public relations field. Gattin was pinned by her mother, Stacy Sells, using the same pin once worn by Gattin’s grandfather, Bob Sells. Gattin is a graduate of University of Missouri School of Journalism. She serves on the board of the Central Arkansas Diaper Bank and is a graduate of the Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXII.

To prepare for accreditation, the three candidates completed the “APR Ready-to-Roll Program,” a four-month process offered at no cost to chapter members that provides guidance and support, as well as access to mentors and informational sessions.

Candidates usually have five or more years of experience and/or a bachelor’s degree in a communications field. They must present a campaign portfolio to panelists who determine their readiness to take the computer-based examination, which is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board. About 40 percent of chapter members are accredited, making the chapter among the highest APR-to-member ratio of PRSA’s 111 chapters, according to APR Chair Keli Jacobi, lecturer of public relations at the University of Central Arkansas and founder of GenXMarketing LLC.

“These achievements are a testament to the hard work of the candidates, as well as the contributions of our chapter members who graciously volunteer their time and effort to mentor these professionals,” she said. For additional information about the APR process, visit this link.

About Arkansas PRSA
Now in its 58th year, the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is dedicated to helping Arkansas public relations and communications professionals become smarter, better prepared, and more connected. The Arkansas Chapter seeks to build understanding and support for public relations throughout the business community and within the academic community for future communications professionals. Learn more at