Gini Dietrich

In the Midwest? Get Involved Locally with HAPPO

By: Gini Dietrich | February 10, 2010 | 

Last January I had to make a really tough decision – keep people employed for a few more months and close the business or lay them off right then and save the business. Then (last year sucked), when we realized the business model was completely changing, I had to make another hard decision: Keep people who I really liked having around or let them go so we could hire experts in digital communication.

For those of you who’ve been laid off, you likely don’t care what your boss went through before he or she made the decision to let you go, so I won’t belabor the point, but it’s not an easy thing to do.

I am much too emotionally involved with my colleagues. My Vistage group always tells me it’s business, not personal, and I have to distance myself so I can make the hard decisions without emotion. That’s like them telling me I can’t eat gelato anymore because it’s bad for me (so what if it is – it’s good!). It’s not in my DNA to not get emotionally attached so I make decisions that affect people much later than I should.

That’s why, when Arik and Valerie asked if I wanted to help with Help A PR Pro Out, or HAPPO, I jumped at the opportunity. Now I can help some of those I had to lay off last year, the pros I’ve met online who need jobs, and even strangers.

If you’ve missed the hub-bub around HAPPO, click on the link above, or visit last Friday’s FADS post about it. You can also fan HAPPO on Facebook and/or follow on Twitter.

I have heard from A LOT of companies and agencies already and I’ve heard from some of you who are looking for jobs, or looking to move to Chicago.

Let’s keep the momentum going.

* If you have job openings, comment here with a way for me to reach you before next Friday.

* If you are looking for a job, write a creative blog post about why you should be hired and post the link in the comments section here.

* If you are neither but want to spread the message, please let your communities know about this blog post, the HAPPO blog, and the champions below so we can all help.

* If you work for a company that provides services to communication professionals (i.e. Cision, Vocus, PCC, IABC, PRSA, Radian6, Alterian, Spiral16, MatchPoint, etc.) and you want to donate something to the cause, comment below and let me know how I can reach you in the next week.

* And, if you’re not in the Midwest, make sure to connect with a HAPPO champion in your area…or let me know if you’d like an introduction:

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

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  • Would certainly like to chat with you Gini. It’s a great idea. – Frank (

  • Kim A.

    Question, I really want to participate in HAPPO and would love to be able to post a link to my reason why you should hire me however, I do not have a blog. I was looking for maybe some suggestions or if it would be ok to post directly here for HAPPO next week. I am looking to relocate to Chicago so this would be a perfect opportunity for me. Please let me know. I would greatly and hugely appreicate it!


  • Great stuff Gini. Idea: let’s ask any PR pros who also have a blog to add HAPPO to their blogroll.

  • Having recently been laid off from my former agency employer due to downsizing, I am ready for a new and exciting career changing in the PR world. With strong account management, interpersonal and creative skills along with my marketing communications, event planning and social media experience, I know how to get PR results for my clients. My strong work ethic, passion for success and entrepreneurial spirit is second to none and gives me the ability to prioritize and get things done efficiently and effectively.

  • Pingback: #HAPPO Trails to You, Until We Tweet Again()

  • I am a PR and marketing communications professional with more than 20 years experience ranging from agency (boutique to very large) to corporate in-house to non-profit to sports and events. I have a passion for hands-on, creative and resourceful solutions. I am seeking to become part of a team where my expertise can really make an impact. I’m looking for opportunities in and around the Chicago area. Visit my LinkedIn profile at

  • Jill Sites

    Thanks so much for this! It is a huge help to all.

  • I don’t have a post up yet, but I am the next interview in Lauren Novo’s series, my interview comes out tomorrow. In the mean time, feel free to check out my website:

    I’m so excited about tomorrow!

  • Gini, thanks again for helping with HAPPO. I’ve linked to my Web site above, where I’ll post my elevator pitch and resume for tomorrow.

  • Sean Sutherland

    Any hope of helping out Baltimore Pr Pros out of a job like me?

  • I currently work in PR as an intern in the Consumer Marketing Communications practice at Weber Shandwick. I absolutely love what I do because I never have to stop learning!

    I’m a social media fanatic and I am excited to continue pursuing opportunities that allow me to utilize my passion while working to further my creativity and writing ability. I have strong internship experience from college, both internally with a performing arts center and in an agency setting. My experience with Weber Shandwick has truly confirmed that I am in the right field. I feel that I really shine in an organization that truly wants to do the best by their clients.

    I’m currently pursuing full-time opportunities in public relations. I’m enthusiastic about the industry and I’m excited to tackle my next project!


  • Okay PR pals known and unknown to me: I’m more comfortable on the giving side of help but am asking you to Help a PR Pro Out:

    Please let me know if you can make an introduction to an opportunity that you think would be a good fit for me.

  • Hey Gini, as promised yesterday, here is my interview from Lauren Novo’s blog. Happy HAPPO!

  • Wanda Whitson

    To Gini and all the great companies supporting this effort, a big THANK YOU! We are most appreciative of your help in our searches.

    Dynamic, results-driven communications professional with a proven track record implementing strategic communications to support senior executives in meeting critical business objectives. Linkedin:, Twitter:@wwhitson

  • I will graduate from Marquette University with a degree in public relations and communication studies in May. I have experience in public relations, social media use for businesses and non-profit organizations, events planning, research, marketing, writing, and editing. I would love to contribute my skills and experiences to a challenging job in an inspirational and dynamic organization. Although I live in Milwaukee, I am willing to relocate.

    Check out my #HAPPO pitch at

    Feel free to connect with me on Twitter (@addy_dren) or LinkedIn (

  • To coincide with the Friday, Feb. 19 HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out) national Twitter event, IABC/Chicago is supporting our in-transition members and area professionals by offering a drawing for one person to win free registrations to our remaining 2010 Monthly Professional Development Lunch Seminars (March through June).

    Gini is handling the drawing, so contact her for details on how to enter. Good luck from your IABC/Chicago colleagues.

  • Hi Gini! I know I’m looking at D.C. but since I love ya, I couldn’t help but comment too!

    Check out my video for HAPPO!