Why do you offer different levels of Certification? Offering a generic "seal of approval" doesn't do much to help potential clients or other departments to recognize a team's capabilities. Michelin rates restaurants on a scale of stars. The USDA grades the quality of meats from "prime" to "select." Films are often scored on a scale of 1-10. If quality is expected and referenced for an evening out with friends, so should it be for a year's worth of work from a communications team.
How do teams, agencies and organizations differentiate their level of Certification? A numeric score in the range of 0-100 is generated for all Certified firms. The score is calculated as such:
▪ 20 points for each Foundational Certification. So, for instance, a team, agency or organization that is Certified in Availability, Capability and Depth would earn 60 points, whereas another applicant certified in all four Characteristics would earn 80.
▪ 1 point for each level of Exceptional Certification. The heightened requirements of Bronze-, Silver-, Gold- and Platinum-Level certification can earn an additional 1, 2, 3 or 4 points, respectively.
▪ 1 point for work sample quality. We review all work samples submitted by the applicant. Quality is rated on a scale of one to four stars and earns the respective number of points.
How are teams, agencies and organizations that earn LACP Certification able to communicate their distinguishment? Certified organizations automatically benefit from a series of communications tools that help to highlight accomplishment:
▪ Public Web Site Analysis. Certified teams, agencies and organizations receive a custom URL at LACP's web site (for example: http://www.lacp.com/xyzagency) that details their performance in the LACP Certification process. (See a sample here.) This link is valid as long as Certification is maintained, and the page's contents are updated to reflect the organization's ongoing evolution in capabilities.
▪ Portfolio of Certification Logos. There are two primary sets of available award logos: those showcasing the Certification Arcs and those featuring the Certification Score. Certified teams, agencies and organizations are free to choose which set(s) to use. Both sets also feature minor variations in wording to distinguish being certified teams, agencies and organizations. Logos are provided on
CD-ROM for simple and easy ongoing reference.
▪ Certification Plaque. All teams, agencies and organizations that garner LACP Certification also receive a plaque to recognize their distinguished status. Plaques are also automatically provided those who annually re-certify, so it's possible for qualified agencies to develop an impressive string of recognition over the years.
Is LACP Certification strictly for US-based communications teams? No. Approximately half of all LACP clients are based outside of the United States and represent upwards of 30 countries on six continents. LACP Certification has become recognized worldwide.
What sorts of teams, agencies and organizations can pursue LACP Certification? Given today's broad range of communications conduits and specialties, the range of teams, agencies and organizations that can participate is broad. Those who can potentially qualify includes:
▪ Public Relations Agencies
▪ Corporate Communications Departments
▪ Creative/Design Firms
▪ Marketing Communications (MarCom) Organizations
▪ Ad Agencies
▪ Production Houses
▪ Communications Consulting Firms
▪ Media Organizations
How does LACP Certification Renewal work? Certification renewal occurs on an annual basis. Initial Certification will be for at least twelve months and then be due for renewal on the following January or July, whichever is first. So, for example, a firm that is first LACP Certified in April 2010 would not be due for renewal until July 2011.
Those who are LACP Certified will automatically receive a renewal form, which is used to update the current status of the organization and development of any new capabilities. Renewal and maintenance fees are a small fraction of the initial Certification Fee.
I have more questions—where can I get the answers that I need? Please feel free to contact us.