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CPSM: Benefits for your Career

January 17, 2013

Today’s post was written by Jennifer Shelby, CPSM, account director at Rhino Public Relations and Director of the SMPS Boston CPSM Committee. Questions or comments? E-mail her at or visit

The CPSM designation is a recognized mark of distinction.

SMPS CPSMThis is the first year that SMPS Boston has had its own CPSM committee. In years past, the certification program has, understandably, resided within the Education committee. The board’s decision to make it a standalone entity is an important one. It is a declaration by those who are in charge of shaping our chapter that certification in our particular niche industry is critical to the development and growth of our chapter and each and every member firm. I am proud to be the director of this committee and have been overwhelmed by the amount of positive interest we’ve received so far.

One of the first questions people ask is how certification will benefit them. You might get a different question from every CPSM you ask. For me, it’s a matter of validation. I stumbled into this industry 14 years ago without the benefit of a planned introduction. I learned on the job and never really knew if I had a full awareness of what marketing within the professional services field entailed. I had great experience and learned from some amazing colleagues, but that kernel of self-doubt continued to gnaw away at me.

Once I studied for the CPSM exam, my confidence exploded. I suddenly had a comprehensive picture of what my role entailed at any given job, and at any given point along my career. Better yet, I had a set of resources, both written and in the form of a national support group, that I could call upon at any point. I also had a better defined career path, a clearer picture of marketing activities and how to achieve them, and the theory to back up what we do for a living.

As a consultant, my clients rely upon me to be knowledgeable and current. I know that with the backing of the CPSM program I will always have a safety net upon which to rely for support, guidance and confirmation of best practices. I take pride in knowing that I have advanced my professional education to a level that is nationally recognized as having met a measurable standard of excellence.

According to the official SMPS CPSM website “Being a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) means being a part of something special. You have successfully positioned yourself amongst an elite group of professional services marketers who have invested in themselves and understand and embrace the need for continuous improvement through education, enhancing their opportunity for professional success. The CPSM designation is a recognized mark of distinction.”

It goes on to list the following career benefits:

  • Increased knowledge in strategic market planning, market research, plan implementation, business development, and promotion
  • Demonstrated dedication to the professional services marketing profession
  • Industry recognition of professional competence
  • Enhanced credibility with employers, clients, and peers
  • Improved ability to compete in the job market
  • Potential for increased compensation and benefits
  • Career advancement
  • Public recognition in the roster of CPSMs on the SMPS web site
  • Invitation to CPSM-only educational and networking programs
  • Access to the CPSM communities on MySMPS and LinkedIn

I hope you’ll seriously consider becoming certified through SMPS. I am more than happy to discuss the program with you further. If I can be of any help, please contact me at I look forward to someday hearing about what being a CPSM means to you.


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