Unfortunately, there are a lot of talented PR professionals out of work right now. It’s a sign of the times. When revenues are down, organizations have to layoff talented people. It’s one of the hardest things a manager has to do, but things are much harder for the professional that finds himself/herself out of work.
I get at least a couple of resumes per week right now, and I don’t know of any open positions in the Atlanta market. I really want to help these people in their job search, but there’s only so much I can do beyond passing them along to other contacts in my network.
The good news is hiring seems to be on an upswing for the first time in the past year. It looks like client budgets are opening up, which means organizations and agencies can start staffing up again. This could be an excellent time to dust off the resume and start looking for that next opportunity.
For this reason, I couldn’t be more excited about the Help A PR Out day idea cooked up by Arik Hanson and Valerie Simon, two of my favorite Twitter-savvy PR friends. On February 19th, PR professionals from across the country will converge on Twitter for the specific purpose of helping out-of-work PR professionals find their next opportunity.
The Help A PR Out (or HAPPO – love the play off HARO’s popularity) will take place between 12pm-4pm EST, and will involve a “who’s who” list of PR professionals active on Twitter. Arik and Valerie have assembled an incredible team to help people connect through Twitter. If you want to get involved, follow the posts on the official HAPPO blog or follow the conversation on Twitter using the #HAPPO hashtag on the 19th.
How Can You Take Advantage of This Promotion?
Leading up to the 19th, job seekers, employers and anyone interested in joining the cause you gear up for a lively and interactive discussion and networking fest. Here are some tips for each group participating:
- For Job Seekers – create a blog post pitching yourself and share a link to the post on Twitter, using the #HAPPO hashtag. HAPPO ambassadors will be “on duty” on the 19th to share the link with their followers. If you’d prefer to be more discrete, reach out to one of the HAPPO project members on Twitter so they can help you get the word out through the backchannel on Twitter.
- For Employers – if you’re currently hiring PR talent, share a link to your job posting on the 19th with the #HAPPO hashtag. Our group will pass the opportunity along, and we guarantee you’ll get some great responses to your request.
- For Employed PR Pros – do you already have a job, but you’d like to help out? Monitor tweets with the #HAPPO hashtag and do what you can to spread the word. There’s no better feeling than helping somebody in need connect with their next opportunity.
Of course, all job seekers should polish up their resumes by the 19th. Feel free to reach out to one of the HAPPO team members for advice in advance if you need some help. Employers should also have their job listings up on their website or blog to share a link via Twitter during the event.
Who Should You Follow?
The following is a list of people who have already signed up to participate in the HAPPO event. If you’re not already doing so, I suggest you follow these people via Twitter leading up to the event:
- Doug Haslam – @dough
- Jennifer Wilbur – @rockstarjen
- Gini Dietrich – @ginidietrich
- Justin Goldsborough – @jgoldsborough
- Arik Hanson – @arikhanson – HAPPO co-creator
- PR Cog – @prcog
- Deidre Breakenridge – @dbreakenridge
- Valerie Simon – @valeriesimon – HAPPO co-creator
- Heather Whaling – @prtini
- Danny Brown – @dannybrown
- Mike Schaffer – @mikeschaffer
TIP: Don’t limit your list to the people above. Use Twitter search to find people interacting with the #happo hastag to discover dozens of other PR pros dedicated to the cause.
Some Specifics on the Atlanta Market
I am partnering with Kellye Crane to help professionals in the Atlanta market find new opportunities. If you’re not already following us on Twitter, I strongly suggest you do so. Reach out to us and let us know what you’re looking for and how we can help.
In case you’re not already familiar with the following, here are some Atlanta-specific resources you’ll want to monitor for new opportunities:
- PRSA Georgia Chapter Job Openings – don’t rely on job boards alone; head out to an event and network
- AMA Atlanta Job Openings
- Atlanta Day Book – a great resource for what’s going on in Atlanta
- BMA Atlanta – another local marketing association with great events for networking
- TalentZoo – a job search site for advertising, marketing and digital
- LinkedIn – search for job opportunities in Atlanta and see who you’re connected to
- TheLadders – a job search site for $100K+ jobs; ideal for management positions
- Google – search for Atlanta public relations agencies and reach out and connect
Don’t overlook the value of networking. While a lot of people dislike being bombarded by job seekers at events, there are an equal number looking for talented professionals to add to their teams. You’ll never know who you’re dealing with until you try.
The HAPPO event is the perfect opportunity for you to jumpstart (or re-energize) your job search in 2010. It’s also a great opportunity for employers to find that perfect candidate you’ve been looking for. Use the comments section of this blog to let us know if you’re looking for a job or have an open position. Or as mentioned above, join the conversation on the 19th to help us Help a PR Out.
Are you looking for a PR job right now? Are you looking to hire a PR professional? Let us know by commenting on this post. If you can’t publicly announce that you’re looking for a new opportunity, reach out to us through Twitter and let us know – we can still help you out.
(Image Credit: Help Wanted, No Bullshit by sekimura)