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:

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich