As someone who just went through a job search and remains grateful for the help offered by an amazing network of friends, colleagues and (not-quite) strangers, I eagerly jumped on the opportunity to join up with “Help a PR Pro Out” (HAPPO) day. Arik Hanson asked me and several others in cities across the U.S. to become “Champions” – experienced PR pros available to help guide PR job-seekers on their way to finding a job.
This is a fantastic idea, born of the same spirit that led Laura Fitton and other friends to put together a “Pink Slip Party” in Boston a year ago, at a time when a number of great PR and marketing pros in Boston were suddenly looking for work.
HAPPO is February 19, and you can expect a number of Tweets, blog posts and other postings form me and the other champions that day.
In the interest of “sharing,” I have cribbed the crucial details from Arik Hanson on the HAPPO site.
“On Friday, February 19, from 11 am – 3 pm EST 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.
- 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!
Of course, we realize not everyone looking for a job can do so publicly online. So, for those candidates who wish to be more discrete about their job search, please contact one of the local HAPPO champions who can help facilitate the appropriate introductions through the Twitter back channel or via good old-fashioned email.
I realize we don’t have all the major markets covered in the list below, but please realize this is a volunteer event. We’re all donating our time and efforts. And we all want to help. But, we also wanted to put some kind of definition around this event. If you’re in one of the markets we didn’t cover below, please don’t let that stop you. Reach out to myself, Valerie Simon (my partner in crime) or any one of the market champions to see how you can help. This certainly isn’t meant to be exclusive.
Below is a list of HAPPO champions. Over the next two weeks 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. That will help us all connect the dots on Feb. 19.
- Jeremy Porter (Atlanta)
- Kellye Crane (Atlanta)
- Doug Haslam (Boston)
- Jennifer Wilbur (Southern CA)
- Gini Dietrich (Chicago)
- Lauren Fernandez (Dallas/Fort Worth)
- Richie Escovedo (Dallas/Fort Worth)
- Justin Goldsborough (Kansas City)
- Arik Hanson (Minneapolis/ St. Paul)
- PR Cog (New York Metro)
- Deidre Breakenridge (New York Metro)
- Valerie Simon (New York Metro)
- Heather Whaling (Ohio)
- Danny Brown (Toronto)
- Mike Shaffer (Washington, DC)
There are also a number of other folks who will be supporting the event in different ways, including Sarah Evans, Dave Fleet, Allan Schoenberg, David Mullen, Shonali Burke, Rachel Kay and a few others.”
Quite an undertaking, and I am glad to be a part. Stay tuned, and get ready.