#PRStudChat community invited to celebrate #HAPPO anniversary

#PRStudChat students, alumni and professionals are taking advantage of the opportunity to meet in person at the Thursday February 24th,  #HAPPO (Help A PR Pro Out) one year anniversary celebration. The events will offer an excellent opportunity to “take some of those relationships we’ve built online and cement them by meeting the people in real life,” explains #HAPPO co founder Arik Hanson

In New York City, #PRStudChat co founders Deirdre Breakenridge and Valerie Simon will be serving as co hosts with Tiffany Winbush and “PRCog” for an informal #HAPPO Hour at Connolly’s Pub. The event will bring together PR pros who are actively seeking a new position, along with those who wish to mentor, find potential hires, or simply connect in person with those they have grown to respect online.

 “I’m really looking forward to the HAPPO event on Thursday night. It’s great to be a part of a community that helps create opportunities for job seekers to network, make new connections and to learn from other professionals,” shares Deirdre.

#PRStudCast host, Temple University Student Harrison Kratz agrees, “As a young student and professional I’m excited to attend my first #HAPPO event because not only will I get to meet new professionals and make new connections, but hopefully I’ll be able to use my experience to connect other professionals and students at the event as well.  It’s always a pleasure to help others find new opportunities.”

“The HAPPO Happy Hour is an excellent opportunity to connect the online network of candidates and employers in an offline environment,” says Sara Whitman. “Representing Peppercom as an employer, I know the candidates I’ll meet will be invested in the industry, and will be savvy with social media-  two qualities of immense importance in today’s market.”

A large number of employers who are actively hiring will be on hand, hoping to connect with talent from junior staffers to senior level pros in a wide variety of specialty areas. Top PR agencies including Burson Marstellar, Devries PR, MS&L, Peppercom and Makovsky and many more will be represented.

Meryl Cooper, managing director of the Home & Lifestyle at Devries Public Relations and author of Be Your Own Best Publicist will be stopping by with her collaborator Jessica Kleiman, Vice President of Public Relations at Hearst Magazines,to share some career tips to help PR pros use their skills for their career and will be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky attendee.

Of course networking is not simply for those looking for a job. As the professionals who support #PRStudChat know, it is important take the opportunity to mentor and learn from others in the industry

“Experienced PR practitioners have an obligation to pass on their experience, creativity and vision, as well as to learn new methods and ‘rules’ for communicating. Forums that facilitate the exchange of information and ideas — as well as passion for the profession –are more important now than ever,” said Lourdes Brezo-Martinez, director of communications at an international professional services firm and former journalist.

The New York event will be held from 6-8pm and is free. To get on the list, simply RSVP here

“HAPPO” Thanksgiving (How you can Help a PR Pro)

This Thanksgiving there is a lot I am grateful for. Family, friends, health, a home, those in the military working so hard to keep us all safe, great teachers for my children, and a career  I love working with people who inspire me every day. I believe that a great career is not something to be taken for granted. My philosophy is to work hard, really hard. Strive to learn something new every day. Listen, contribute, and don’t ever cease to appreciate the opportunities you have; demonstrate your gratitude with an effort to pay it forward.

Last February, after watching so many talented students and seasoned professionals struggle to find a position in a challenging economy, my friend Arik Hanson and I decided it was time to do something. We both knew of employers who were looking to hire, as well as those seeking jobs, and thought that there must be some way to leverage our two most valuable resources (time and relationships) to make a difference. “HAPPO” (Help a PR Pro Out) was born.  An impressive team of PR industry leaders (including #PRStudChat’s Deirdre Breakenridge) joined the effort as “champions” turning the campaign into a veritable movement.

PR professionals, students, educators, and recruiters can all participate in the HAPPO community. Whether you are looking for a job, need to fill a position, or simply want to pay it forward and be that person who helps make a difference, I’d encourage you to get involved. Here are a few steps you can take to “HAPPO”

  • Become an active participant in the HAPPO LinkedIn group. Take a moment to post a job, you’ve seen. Know someone who has posted a position? Leave a comment or refer someone in your network who seems like a good match.
  • Follow the #HAPPO hashtag on Twitter. Share opportunities you know have and introduce great professionals to the many recruiters and hiring pros who follow
  • Be a part of the live Twitter event on December 8th from 8-9 p.m. CT. Our past events have succeeded in connecting people with new jobs. Talk about making a difference! The theme this time is New Year’s Resolutions for PR Job Seekers–How to land a job in 2011. HAPPO champs from across the country (we’re at 35+ now!) will contribute to the discussion sharing tried-and-true job-seeking tips, resume building suggestions and interviewing advice. Look for posts from some of the HAPPO champs across the country in the weeks ahead sharing personal stories and advice and share the suggestions
  • Volunteer or participate in our first-ever online and offline “HAPPO Hour” event. The idea? To get job seekers, mentors, recruiters, agency/corporate PR leaders, and folks generally interested in helping the HAPPO cause, together in person for a couple hours in a number of U.S. cities to talk about job search strategies, resume tips and other job-search-related issues. Arik and I working to organize this event right now. If you’re interested in hosting an in-person event in your city on Jan. 27, please contact Arik or I right away!

Deirdre and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!