Category Archives: Valerie Merahn Simon

You’re Invited: NYC #HAPPO HOUR

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: Continue reading

Welcome guest, or annoying intruder? A guest post on guest posting

Last week when PRCog noted that I had been doing quite a bit of guest posting (and that perhaps I might want to think about starting my own blog), I had a startling revelation; I am on my way to becoming the “Fred” of the PR blogs. “Fred” is a guy I knew in college. No one was sure where he really lived (or even if he actually had a place).

The guy always seemed to be crashing at someone else’s house. If you had a party and Fred came, you could be certain that he would be there in the morning. And yes, I too have come to enjoy the benefits of hanging out at someone else’s place. So when PRCog asked if I would like to guest post at the PR Breakfast Club, I said, “Of course. And I’ll tell you why…”

  1. Personality. Like every blog I choose to “spent the night with,” The PR Breakfast Club has a unique and fabulous personality. Sometimes I’m serious, other times not so much. It’s fun to have an opportunity to embrace the different personality and focus of the different blogs I enjoy reading. This group is a little less formal, than some of the other places I’ve stayed, but certainly no less professional. Lots of great ideas and important discussions.
  2. People. Guest blogging is a great opportunity to introduce friends to some of my favorite communities. And of course, I get to meet and interact with community members that I might not otherwise have the opportunity to get to know. I am so impressed by the creative and savvy group of PR Breakfast Club members I met on Twitter and how they are using social media. They “get” how to use social media to build real relationships and a sense of community.
  3. Commitment. There is something rather liberating about the life of a nomad. A one-time post, with no deadline and full creative license is easy and fun. And then I get to go back to reading, learning and commenting where inspired.

Unlike Fred, who had a habit of eating whatever was in the fridge and leaving empty beer cans all over the place, I hope that I am a good guest… that I respect the style of the home I am visiting, help out with initiating new conversation and maybe even bring some extra traffic for the host(s). So thank you, members of the PR Breakfast Club, for inviting me over to your place. I think it was a great idea, but I’ll leave that for the community to determine.

Have you ever had a guest blogger on your blog? Why or why not? Do you believe guest posts add to the blog, or do you feel they are disruptive?

Valerie Merahn Simon serves as a Senior Vice President at BurrellesLuce media monitoring and measurement, and writes a national public relations column for She is also co-founder and host of #PRStudChat, a monthly twitter chat between PR professionals and students moderated by Deirdre Breakenridge. She can be found on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Recent guest accommodations for Valerie include: