Happy Day-After HAPPO Day

Most of us have probably heard of HARO (Help A Reporter Out) as a successful networking tool amongst our journalist friends. Lucky for us PR folk, Arik Hanson and Valerie Simon, both communications specialists, came together to launch HAPPO (Help A PR Pro Put) that is already acting as a serious PR networking tool using social media.

Yesterday, HAPPO embraced Twitter and had their very own “HAPPO Day”. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST PR professionals, and soon to be ones, from across the country came together on Twitter at #HAPPO to connect, offer jobs and look for jobs. The goal: “Let’s use or collective relationships/networks to make a difference and help speed up the job search for our fellow PR colleagues. They have even established regional hashtags to optimize search results.

As the ultimate embrace of social media, HAPPO even has a Facebook, the buzz seemed to have work for many future and established PR pros. The idea was to network, network, network and as you can see from the #HAPPO page, that’s exactly what was happening.

@aubreymondi: not just looking for a job- I’m looking for mentors, connections, ppl I can learn from. Heck, how bout some friends? #happo

So did it work?

For Aubrey Mondi it did. Free feedback, chats and internship opportunities helped make the event a success for her.

As a soon-to-be grad, I’ve learned social media is where to be connected. You can create priceless relationships with people that you may never meet in person. I love that everyone is so willing to help each other out in this field. Consider me a happy HAPPO fan. What about you?

For those of us that are jumping into the job field in only a few short months, Mike Schaffer’s blog, The Buzz, gave out a few free interview tips in honor of HAPPO Day. One tip that I thought was interesting is not to forget the standard questions. You may be asked to tell your interviewer about you. It may seem easy but it really shouldn’t be overlooked. I tend to struggle with this one because I am so focused on researching the company, the position and remembering questions to ask. Mark’s tip is to ”remember, they want to know about your professional history, not where you were born or where you went to high school.”

Did anyone participate in HAPPO Day or know someone that did. What was the outcome?

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9 Responses to Happy Day-After HAPPO Day

  1. dsmith says:

    I am so excited for the invention of HAPPO. It definitely should make the lives of PR professionals everywhere easier, especially to connect with other pros in the field. I noticed on HAPPO Day that people from all over were pooling their connections to help each other out. Social media has definitely made it easier to put information out and receive instant feedback.

    I also agree with the interviewing tip about being prepared to tell your own story to a company. So often we read everything we possibly can about the organization, take note of their Web site lay out, and prepare to ask questions. However, we usually neglect how we are going to sell ourselves and let the company know that we are the right fit for the job.

  2. dolson says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea, because it brings together a large group of people with the same motivations and goals. I think just by participating in HAPPO is a display of one’s own capabilities. And even if you didn’t find the job you wanted, at least many new people know who you are. Creating a presence is an excellent step.

    I liked the interview tips, as well. The second half of the tips included asking questions about the company, the position, and the hiring manager’s background. The interview works both ways, and being mutually informed is the idea. The same is true when interviewing for internships. The student is picking who to intern with as much as an organization is picking student interns.

    • cnaughton says:

      That’s a great point. In finding a job or an internship it needs to be a good fit for both the employer and employee. In their post “Tell me about yourself: Tough interview questions and how to answer them,” PRSA adds some more advice about the “Tell me about yourself” question. They add that you should come prepared with a two-minute “pitch” about yourself.

      Check out the full post here http://ow.ly/19btP.

  3. crandell says:

    I think in our industry communication is key. HARO was created to shorten the gaps between reporters and sources. Reporters in a time crunch could easily be connected with a possible source and eliminate time spent looking for one and focus more on the quality of the story. HAPPO sounds like a great tool. Not having heard about it until reading this post, I think its a great networking opportunity for PR professionals. Not only are we connected to find internships and mentors, but professionals probably use this resource to further their current career. Knowing as many people as possible in the public relations industry opens new doors for your clients and media exposures as well as expanding the potential of your work on a daily basis. Suppose this form of social media branches out and we embrace new avenues to improve publicity, awareness and practices that never even occurred to us before we were connected with PR professionals around the globe. It sounds like a very positive use of the internet, following in the footsteps of twitter, blogs and an online atmosphere.

    • cnaughton says:

      This resource is all-encompassing. I think your point about professionals using HAPPO to help broaden their current career is very important. As students, HAPPO is great for us to build a foundation for our careers, but it doesn’t stop there. As we continue to break into this field, we should continue to network and use all the resources available to us to the best of our ability. If not for us, for our future and potential clients.

  4. cmcelroy says:

    This sounds like an amazing experience. I wish I would have known about it and could have taken part of it. An online meeting through Twitter is such a brilliant idea for networking. For one thing, it shows any potential employers or connections that you are tech savvy in the Twitter world, a quality that is becoming more and more important, and for another, it offers the possibility to form a plethora of connections at the same time, without being rude or actively annoying someone. I think more and more these Twitter meetups are going to become important in the professional world. I’ve already heard of people who have landed dream jobs entirely through Twitter. It’s nice to see an organization capitalizing on this social media tool and helping PR Pros and aspiring PR gurus to connect and grow.

  5. a_hundza says:

    I am also very excited about HAPPO! I wasn’t aware of the Happo day on Twitter, but I am now friends with them on Facebook thanks to your blog!

    As a soon-to-be graduate, I am terrified of the awaiting job economy out there in the real world. It is great to know that there are people and groups out there looking to encourage the growth of PR when so many people, businesses and career areas have just thrown in the towel, for lack of better words. It’s not going to be easy for us going out there during such a rough economy, but I would like to believe that because we have all been dedicated students focused on our craft for so long that it has not all been for nothing.

    Thank you for sharing a great blog with your PR peers. I appreciated it, as I’m sure countless others did.

  6. acarlin says:

    I think this idea of HAPPO is great! As a former reporter, it wasn’t always easy getting ahold of sources or PR people. A program like this connects people using social media tools, which is exactly what social media is for! Knowing as many people as possible in your field is so important when it comes to networking, especially in an economy like this

  7. alevy says:

    I think HAPPO is a great tool that soon to be PR graduates can utilize for their job searches. I also was not aware of Happo day on Twitter, but knowing that they are networking and creating awareness is beneficial in itself. By simply publicizing HAPPO through Twitter, it helps spread the word and create relationships within the PR world. think that although the job process is timely and tedious, encouraging people to network and communicate is a vital key for success. I also think it is important to help each other because although there are limited jobs in this economy, you never know what connections and networks you can find just by merely sharing information with peers. (Such as your blog post!) Furthermore, since social media has become a pertinent aspect of our field, connecting with professionals can help us gain information and/or feedback about potential employers.

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