In celebration of more than a year of using social media to leverage our networks and connect those in the PR industry who are seeking new jobs with those seeking new talent, the #HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out) initiative is moving offline for a special opportunity to build relationships in person. As my #HAPPO co founder Arik Hanson recently wrote, “We’re taking HAPPO to the next level by organizing our first U.S.-wide live and in-person HAPPO Hour chat.”
Whether you are a job seeker, looking to hire, or simply hoping to meet some of your “Twitter friends” in person, I hope that you’ll join us For those in the New York metro area, I’ve been working with the other NY area #HAPPO champions (Tiffany Winbush, Deirdre Breakenridge & PRBC’s very own PRCog) and a team of volunteers to organize a casual event at Connolly’s pub. It will take place from 6-8pm on February 24th.
Here are a few quick tips to help you make the most of the opportunity to integrate social and face-to-face networking:
- Before the event
- RSVP Be sure to include your Twitter handle (we’ll be building a Twitter list to help you follow everyone) and share a little something about yourself.
- Research Take a close look at those who will be attending. Look at their company website, follow them on Twitter, review their LinkedIn profile.
- Bring your business cards (and if your Twitter handle is not on your business card, write it on the back).
- During the event
- Tweet! Take a moment to tweet about the great person you just met, or interesting job opportunity you heard about. Follow #HAPPO on Twitter and take the experience to those who cannot be in the room
- Mingle It can be easy to find a comfortable corner and settle in for the evening with whoever happens to pass by. Don’t. Make an effort to get introduced to 20 new people, and to get to really know 3. (Feel free to challenge my numbers or make up your own; just a starting point)
- After the event
- Follow up After the event, be sure to connect with those you have met using LinkedIn and Twitter. Add their blogs to your reader.
- Blog Blog about the event. Profile a job seeker who impressed you, or share a fabulous opening you heard about. Share your experience taking online networking off the grid.
- Cultivate relationships Connections may happen in an instant, but building new relationships takes time. Continue to engage those that you met and consider who in your network they might like to meet; make an introduction. Remember that regardless of whether you label yourself as a job seeker, employer or PR professional, HAPPO is about leveraging your network to bring value to others. Do unto others…