There’s an event taking place tomorrow, Wednesday December 8, called Help a PR Pro Out, or HAPPO. Organized by two people I’m proud to call friends, Arik Hanson and Valerie Simon, the aim of HAPPO is simple and does exactly what it says on the tin – helps a PR professional out.
Specifically, helps a PR pro out when it comes to finding a new job, or putting them in touch with an agency that may be looking.
A Little Back Story
When I was first starting out in the corporate communications industry, no-one wanted to let me speak. I was the new kid on the block, the greenhorn that was good for getting coffee and licking envelopes.
If I had any ideas, I had to run them by my junior account manager, who ran it by the junior manager, who might run it by the manager (depending on their hormones for that day).
It didn’t matter how great my ideas were (and some were crap, I’ll admit, but there were some that I knew were blasting anything my “peers” came up with right out the water). It was frustrating. It was soul destroying, knowing I had more in me. I was about to give up when fate took me for a little spin.
I was at a dinner reception for one of the company’s clients, and managed to be seated next to the boss. As the night and brandy wore on, he asked me why I was so quiet at work. I said I didn’t mean to be, but I wasn’t really given the opportunity to talk. So my boss said talk now. So I did.
And kept on talking. And kept on talking.
Two hours later, I was pretty sure my boss was hammered and I had just spoken to someone for two hours to help then pass the time at a dull party, and they wouldn’t remember our conversation on the morning. I was wrong.
I was made a junior account executive and made a key part of three accounts. I had the foothold on the ladder and didn’t want to look back. All because someone that could help finally listened. So now I want to listen and help out where I can.
Help a PR Pro Out
On Wednesday December 8, PR and communications professionals will be ripping up a storm online, all in the name of helping a fellow PR-ster out. Tweets, blog posts, job pitches, Twitter chats, Facebook status updates – you name it, it’ll be happening. You can follow HAPPO on Twitter or on their Facebook page, as well as get involved in the following ways:
- PR job seeker. If you have a blog, write a post about why potential employers should give you a chance (telling them Danny Brown said so might work, but don’t put all your chickens in that basket!). Then tweet it out, link back to it, and have yourself on display to potentially hundreds or thousands of agencies. Use the #happo hashtag so we can retweet your information. Offer an email where agencies can contact you. (If you don’t blog, leave your details in the comments and/or email me and I’ll tweet you out).
- PR agency. If you have a position open, or one coming up, follow the HAPPO hashtag conversation on Twitter. Or leave your details in the blog posts that are going up of the folks you’re interested in, or email them directly. Or use the HAPPO Facebook Page and let us connect you.
I would have missed on a fantastic career if someone hadn’t taken the time to listen. Let’s make sure that no-one else needs to. Let’s show our fellow PR pros that we’re listening, and we’re here to help.