PR Pros Helping Each Other

February 11, 2010

One thing I love about public relations practitioners is our loyalty to the profession and our willingness to share experiences and best practices. It was in the spirit of giving back that a new movement is taking shape called Help a PR Pro Out or #HAPPO, which I am sure is a tribute to Peter Shankman’s wildly popular #HARO (Help a Reporter Out).

However, rather than posting story queries, this newest effort is one to help PR professionals find job opportunities.

As someone who was laid off unexpectedly a few years ago from a job that I loved and program that I built from scratch to an award-winning one, I am known in Orlando for my passion about this cause. If I had my way, other people in our market would NEVER have to endure that uncertain feeling of searching for your next job in a tight market.

So, we’ve had a few programs locally but now there’s this new HAPPO effort being kicked off Feb. 19 to take help others with their job search. One of my colleagues called it “an incredibly smart concept” and I agree. This grassroots effort from Twitter pals Arik Hanson and Valerie Simon will be from 11 am – 3 pm EST Friday, February 19 when I will join other PR bloggers, agency leaders, and PR professionals from across the country to help fellow PR pros connect with employers as part of the first-ever “Help a PR Pro Out Day.”

I am honored to join John Sternal to help Florida PR professionals during this dynamic event designed to allow folks looking for jobs to connect with actual jobs. There’s lots more information on the official blog site,, but I would encourage everyone to spread the word. Let’s pay it forward!


PR is a Dying Breed?

February 25, 2009

Every day, I witness more colleagues who have lost their jobs in PR. While it makes me sad, I think there may be reasons for the fact that among the first cuts is PR. Unlike what should be perceived (which is that PR is a valuable resource now more than ever), it seems companies see our field as an easy cut. It doesn’t make it fair or right, but that does seem to be the case. I think PR practitioners needs to do a better job of showing value so that we’re not on the very top of the list. We need to prove we’re not expendable. Likewise, I think we do a disservice to our profession by allowing anyone without training to become a practitioner. Just because someone has media experience does not mean they can or will automatically adapt to the skill set of public relations. I would encourage all practitioners to become educated, get involved and stay connected as well relevant to weather this economy.

Pros and Cons of APR

January 27, 2009

I had an interesting virtual conversation with a group of PR folks and journalists yesterday where the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation came up quite a bit. This younger PR pro found NO VALUE in APR, and she maintained that APRs around her had made her feel that it was elitist rather than altruistic. I tried to present the opinion that not all APRs operate that way, but I could tell she would not be swayed. In fact, she likely swayed others that APR is outdated and has no social media, et al significance at all. That point of view I found very interesting… So, I am adding to my 2009 goals one that includes making sure to continue to lead by example. Granted, there will always be those who are slow to come around, but I believe the best thing I can do is portray the image and ideals for which the designation was intended.

Publicist vs PR

January 26, 2009

I was intrigued today by a post I saw for a part-time publicist… What was no surprise was the fact that this PRSA job was in California. That got me thinking: why do NYC and LA primarily use the term “publicist” and what is the difference between their job and PR? I would argue there is no real difference other than nomenclature. The elements of both jobs are the same except one implies entertainment. Here in Florida, we don’t see very many people use the term “publicist.” Something about it doesn’t sit right with me and seems less reputable. I could be wrong, but wanted to throw that out there anyway…

The Beginning…

January 23, 2009

As part of my New Year’s goals (I no longer make resolutions), I am beginning a personal blog. In this blog, I will strive to talk about issues that mean a great deal to me. I am sure recurring themes will center around public relations issues and trends. But, occasionally, I reserve the right to talk about other areas of interest including but not limited to: my love of cruising, my keen interest in utilities and infrastructure and possibly a few light-hearted entries about cats and animals.

I am curious at this point where this blogging tool will take me, but look forward to the journey…