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

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