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#HAPPO 2: This Time I Need YOUR Help

Posted by 40deuce on 7:17 AM in , , , , ,

I'd like to take you back to a time long ago... about two months ago to be exact.

The day was February 19th and it was the first ever Help A PR Pro Out day, or #HAPPO for short.
The idea behind #HAPPO day was to bring together PR professionals and to help the ones who were currently not working to find new positions. Click here to read my pre-#HAPPO day explanation.

From what I saw, the day was a success. Not in that every person who wrote a pitch had a job by the end of the day, but new connections in the industry were formed all across North America. I know that I connected with people who I never would have known previously. This blog, where my pitch was posted, had the most traffic it had ever seen in a single day. I also received a lot of compliments from complete strangers on my pitch, which was very heart warming and almost as good as finding a job.

One thing I noticed was that a lot of the people who were pitching themselves to companies/agencies were people like me, current or very recently graduated PR students.

Apparently I wasn't the only one to notice that, as the organizers of #HAPPO, Arik Hanson (@arikhanson) and Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon), have brought around a second #HAPPO day specifically for current and recently finished students this Friday, April the 30th. For more info on this, check out the official #HAPPO website.

This means that I'm also going to have a second go at this. Since I already wrote a nice little pitch for myself two months ago (which you can read here) I'm going to try something a little different this time around, and I'd like to get a little bit of help from all of you.

If you know me, in any capacity at all, and have something good to say about me as a person, as a potential PR pro, as a social media "Jedi", as a friend, or any other way you think something nice about me, I would love to use it this Friday as part of my #HAPPO 2 post.

So here my plea to you: if you'd like to help me out and give me a recommendation than please contact me by email ( so we can set something up. I'm willing to take recommendations in any form you're comfortable with. It can be two sentences or a whole story. It can be written, a video, a song, even a drawing (that would be interesting). The only thing I ask is that you get it to me before Thursday April 29th, so I have some time to work with it.

So that's my favour I'd like to call in from all of you. My readers, my friends, my colleagues, my.... whatevers. Please help me help myself.

Hopefully this works better than I'm hoping it will, and if not I'll just do what I always do and get creative and do it myself, but I think this way could turn into something fun.

Looking forward to hearing from any and all of you, and thank you in advance.

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Finding A Balance in The Force of Social Media

Posted by 40deuce on 6:48 PM in , , , ,

This weekend I decided to update and tweak my Twitter bio a little bit. Nothing major. Just a few minor word changes here or there.

One of the changes I tried to make was finding a way to point out my expertise in the area of social media without actually calling myself an expert ('cause everyone is a social media expert these days). Because I'm a huge geek, I decided on the term "social media Jedi" because I figure most people will get the reference and associate the master of the Force with my new term for master of social media.

Then I got thinking...

In all the Star Wars movies they are always trying to bring a balance to the force. Anakin was supposed to do it, but we all know what happened there (well, us geeks do). Luke might have done it (I mean, he did defeat the entire Emipre, Emperor Palpatine and kind of, sort of Darth Vader). Anyways, Star Wars storyline aside, the point I was trying to make was that the Force always seemed to be unbalanced and there was always one person who was going to restore that balance.

This is the job of a person who does PR/Social Media work. They try to bring balance to the social media Force. They are the Jedi's fighting to make everything right in the world (or universe, as the case may be). Let's look at this:

First you have the public. The public is everyone in the world. In Star Wars the public was everyone who lived within the range of the empire. They were/are the everyday people who work their jobs, live their lives and basically just try to be.

Then, you have these big companies, always trying to influence the public. In Star Wars these were the people on the dark side of The Force (not that all companies are evil, but some people will say they are and it works for this analogy). They want to rule. Be it the universe or market share or whatever.

Finally we have the Jedi. In real life these are the PR/social media people. They are the people trying to bring balance to the Force. Balance does not mean good over evil, balance means making everything even. Not too much light Force, not too much dark Force, but a nice happy Force right in the middle.These social media Jedi try to find a way to make a balance that works between companies and their publics.

Social media gives everyone a voice. These voices could be saying good things or bad things. The Jedi want these people to be saying good things about the companies they represent, but while still trying to accomplish the goals of said company. If they lean too much on just pushing product and not caring about the customer, they're using too much of the dark Force. If they're worrying too much about pleasing the customers so that they lose sight of the company goals, they're using too much of the light Force.

They have to find a way to balance out the Force. Make the public feel loved, appreciated and listened to while still helping the company to gain attention and sell whatever it is they sell.

That's what I want to do. I want to be the one to help find that balance in the social media Force. I want to be that social media Jedi.

What'd you guys think?? Is this a fair analogy to use? Now that I've legitimized it, is it fair for me to use the term "social media Jedi"? Leave a comment and let me know.

Oh ya, and may the Force be with you.

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I'm Just Giving It Away

Posted by 40deuce on 8:51 PM in , , , , ,

It's been a bit of time since I gave a an update about my job search... still no job.

Seriously though, I'm trying to up my game a bit.

A little while ago my former teacher turned friend, Karen Snider, recommended that I start to do some volunteer work. It would help me both meet people and get some more experience on my resume.

I wasn't too keen on the idea at first because it made me feel like I would just be working for free, which I didn't really want to do. I sunk a lot of time, effort and money into getting my degree and I want to get that money back (so does the Ontario government).

Now, I didn't go looking for it, but recently I've had a few people approach me and ask me to assist them with some projects, pro-bono of course. Remembering Karen's advice, I figured I have nothing to lose and gladly accepted the projects.

I'm not doing anything too major for these people, but I am doing things that are relevant to my (not too far in the future) field. I think that these things will look great on my resume, plus you never know what kind of recommendation I may get towards a paying job from these people.

In the meantime though I think I may stick with this free work. I have a few things already on the go plus a couple of projects in the works that I've been talking with people about. Even though I'm not getting paid I've at least found a way to do what I want and what I love in my spare time away from my paying non-field-related job. That's what I think is really most important; doing what I love and want to do.

What do you think about working for free? I know most people don't like it, but do you think it can help in the future? Do you have a success story that came from volunteering your services? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

(and for those of you wondering, I may be willing to help you for free too. It never hurts to ask)

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