Thursday, February 25, 2010

My First #PRBC post: "Communicating to Uncle Sam"

I am super excited that my first contributing post to PR Breakfast Club (#PRBC) is posted this morning: 'Communicating to Uncle Sam' is a very broad overview about what companies looking to market and raise awareness about their products and services to the federal sector should consider when seeking to reach a government audience. The post is in no way exhaustive or comprehensive, just a snapshot of how to approach and effectively communicate to the government stakeholders. I plan on writing future posts to expand upon this topic.

I would love your comments and feedback.

PRBC is a great resource with amazing PR professionals who contribute to the site everyday. I highly recommend signing up for the Daily Mailing List which will deliver each day's posts directly to your inbox. It's great!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy HAPPO Day! (Resources)

Happy HAPPO Day everyone!

Last year, I wrote a post called "Resources for Those Looking for A Job." I am pasting what I think are some of the best sources and including in this post some twitter hashtags I follow regarding the job market. While I know today is about extended networking and job listings not necessarily found on job sites, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite resources to help those who are continuing to search for a new opportunity.

Below I have listed some of my favorite job sites. Please feel free to suggest additional sites in the comments section of this post. This list is in no way comprehensive - just where I or others I know have had some success:

The Brad Traverse Group - A subscription site ($5/month) the Brad Traverse Group lists jobs in and around the DC area for those interested in public affairs, public relations, media and consulting. It's worth the $5 a month as many jobs are exclusively listed and will not appear anywhere else. - A job listing aggregator, will save your searches and let you know how many new jobs have been listed since your last search, saving you time. I really like Indeed because it is simple and efficient.

Ned's Job of the Week - Ned's list (available for view on the Web site) highlights jobs in defense, communications, and event marketing/promotion. While the job listings span the globe, there are quite a few in DC Metro Area. - An online publication for those on and around Capital Hill, lists on and off the Hill jobs for those interested. Some are political, some aren't. Definitely worth a look.

Social Media Jobs - For social media and digital strategy pros, Social Media Jobs lists opportunities nationwide.

Other job sites for PR Pros/Communicators:

O'Dwyer's PR Job Seekers and Employers

PRWeek Jobs

Ragan Communications (A great site for corporate and internal communicators) (Great for independent consultants. Also lists some short time and permanent positions)

Public Affairs Council (Government relations, associations, public affairs, policy and communications positions)

DC Public Affairs + Communications Jobs (Great blog that seems to catch and list hot jobs in the DC Area and beyond)

For those interested in nonprofits:

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, DC Chapter - You will have to register to gain access to its career center, but registration is free and it's a great way to network.


I follow the hashtag #prjobs on Twitter to see who is posting jobs. I strongly recommend this. Of course, I would also follow #HAPPO and the specific #HAPPO tag for your area (e.g. #HAPPODC). For entry level I would follow #EntryPR and for internships #PRIntern. You will be able to see individual agencies as well as independent pros, recruiters and job boards that post new opportunities.

Please feel free to send me your favorite job resources and links. Let's all try to help each other out today!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Inaugural #HAPPO Hour

Kick-off #HAPPO week with the first-ever DC #HAPPO Hour tomorrow night at The District Chop House!

DCFlacks' February happy hour will join forces with Help a PR Pro Out (#HAPPO and for DC job-seekers #HAPPODC on Twitter) to connect PR job seekers with employers looking for top talent. Join us Tuesday, Feb 16 at 6:30 p.m. All you have to do is show up, then meet and chat career opportunities with your peers. Many thanks to Mike Schaffer (@mikeschaffer) and Amanda Miller Littlejohn (@amandamogul) for connecting DC Flacks to the DC-area HAPPO happenings. Learn more about #HAPPO here.

Register for #HAPPO Hour here.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 12, 2010

C'mon and Get #HAPPO!

Most of us all know someone who has lost their job or is searching for a new job in communications/marketing/social media/PR in this rough economy. Job searching is tough. Interviewing can be a nerve-wracking, anxiety- ridden process, and to top it all off, many professional communicators may be frustrated that they feel they aren't seeing or finding all the opportunities that may currently be available to them.

Most recruiters will tell you that the best way to find a job is to network. I will admit that I have gotten most of my jobs in communications by networking.

A little background:

I got my start in PR by getting an internship at a major agency in DC when I was still in college. This was shortly after the dot com bust and the only reason I was even considered for the internship is that a professor wrote me a great letter of recommendation to include with my application (this is was back when there were about 300 applications for one paid intern position - yes, paid! I can only imagine what the number is now.)

The same was true with my first job out of college. Another professor was able to recommend me to the CEO of a strategic communications firm who was looking for a new hire. Over the years, I've written many letters of recommendations, given verbal commendations, and provided insight and job leads for former interns, colleagues and friends who are actively looking for and pursuing other opportunities. Paying-it-forward has always paid off for me.

I have been very blessed and fortunate that my network has helped me time-and-time again with finding jobs. But what about those looking for a new position right now? How do they become a part of your extended network?

Solution: Help A PR Pro Out (HAPPO)! A brilliant idea of Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon) andArik Hanson (@arikhanson), HAPPO is an effort to connect brilliant communicators with organizations looking for smart and savvy professionals! On Friday, February 19, from 10 am – 2 pm CT PR bloggers, agency leaders, and PR professionals from across the country will donate their time and talents to help fellow PR pros connect with employers as part of the first-ever “Help a PR Pro Out” day. Here's how you can get involved/help:
  • Are you a job seeker? Prepare a creative blog post, pitching yourself to prospective employers and share it via Twitter during the event on Feb. 19 using the hashtag#HAPPO. The HAPPO “market champions” (see below) will help by retweeting and connecting you with potential employers in your specific market (or markets you’re willing to relocated to).
  • Are you an employer looking for talent? Follow the hashtag #HAPPO on Friday, Feb. 19 and share your openings. Market champions will do their best to connect you with talent they think matches your specific needs.
  • Are you a PR blogger/Twitter addict? Yes? Then share the #HAPPO tweets with your personal networks and lend your support to those in need. Help your market champion identify job seekers and pair them with potential employers. This is your chance to make a difference!
Below is a list of HAPPO champions. Over the next week leading up to Feb. 19, these folks will be posting and tweeting about the event. Make sure to connect with them if you're a job seeker or an employer looking for PR talent.

#HAPPO Champions:

Other resources in Washington DC (#HAPPODC) include Debbie Friez (@dfriez), NicoleN(@NicolePRexec), Patrick Wixted (@pwixted), Ashley Settle (@amsettle), Meghan(@meggiepoo), Amanda (@amandamogul) and of course yours truly. Watch for us to tweet for information about the event and resources for job seekers during this coming week.

For more information about Help A PR Pro Out Day, visit

Monday, February 8, 2010

Google Ad is Gold

Last night I watched the Super Bowl while participating in #Brandbowl on Twitter. Lots of good exchange about the ads as they appeared and discussion over what resonated with the audience and what fell short (talk about a lack of social media presence in the ads - but I digress).

I know there are going to be a TON of posts today recapping the ads and discussing "the best and the worst," but I wanted to focus on the ad that I thought was the best: Google's "Parisian Love:"

Quite simply, this is storytelling at its best. The use of the popular search engine to demonstrate the role and evolution that search plays in our everyday lives is outstanding. Google showed its passion for their product by telling a love story. The ad works on so many levels as the overall story resonates and connects with the many popular and important searches (study abroad; meals; airline travel; and the 'how-to' searches) that we all have done and will continue to do throughout our lives. Choosing to air "Parisian Love" during the Super Bowl only enhanced its effectiveness and resonance as Valentine's Day quickly approaches.

I loved this ad. Google who traditionally shies away from traditional advertising nailed its point through use of a creative and straightforward execution that reflects and tells a story of what individuals do with Google search everyday.

Google is apparently producing a series of these types of commercials/videos that can be found at Google Search Stories on YouTube. I look forward to seeing other stories similar to "Parisian Love."

Great job, Google!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cool Conference - Free Culture X

I'm bummed I'm going to be missing this, but the Free Culture X conference will be taking place at George Washington University (my Alma mater - GO COLONIALS!) on February 13th and 14th. Admission is what you want to pay and there are some cool giveaways for those who make a donation.

About the Free Culture Conference 2010:

Students for Free Culture is convening the international free culture community
for two days of networking, learning and acting. Free Culture X, the 2010
conference of SFC, will take place on February 13th and 14th at George
Washington University in Washington, D.C.

The vision is to bring together student activists and free culture luminaries to discuss free software and open standards, open access scholarship, open educational resources, network neutrality, and university patent policy, especially in the context of higher education.

You can get information about the schedule and register by visiting here.