The Buzz by Mike Schaffer - PR, Social Media, Pop Culture and Sports

PR, happo

February 18, 2010

#HAPPO Pitches – Part 1

Tags: , happodc, jobs, ,

With HAPPO just hours away, I have compiled some “pitches” from some VERY qualified pros!  Some are rising college seniors, some are pros that got crunched in the recession and others are looking for their next career move.  I didn’t give them any parameters for this, so some are longer/shorter than others.  Don’t confuse that with lack of passion – all are phenomenal.  Here are 8 HAPPO pitches (Why 8?  Cal Ripken.) – I’ve got another post of pitches coming later!  And now, in no particular order:

1) Matt Hannaford ()

I earned my B.S. in Business Administration in the fall of 2006 and immediately completed my masters degree, both from California University of Pennsylvania. I earned my M.S. in Sport Management Studies in the spring of 2008. During my time as an undergraduate and graduate student I was able to gain varying degrees of experience in the PR field. As an undergraduate I was the director of marketing and promotions for two under-21 night clubs in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area. With these positions it was my responsibility to communicate with a radio station representative about upcoming events. I was also the key contact person during events.  After completing my undergraduate degree I became involved in the sports information department at California University of Pa., as a graduate assistant. I was responsible for taking care of media packs that included game notes and other pre-game information as well as updating media throughout contests to any changes in those notes or if an achievement / milestone was reached.

I’m currently working as a sports information director at The Catholic University of America in NE Washington, D.C., and it is my responsibility to act as the PR department, marketing department, statistician, publications department, and various other duties as they arise. My position is responsible for all press releases from the athletic department. This includes post-game stories, player of the week, all-american, and various other feature stories as well as being the contact person for all media. I am also responsible for marketing efforts, including halftime contests and pre-game giveaways. I also use Twitter and various other “traditional” marketing tools to encourage students to attend games. Additionally, I record all stats during games as the official record. In my office we also produce game programs, media guides, recruiting brochures, as well as various other marketing publications.

I am driven to pursue a career in public relations because I enjoy the variety of work. While there are likely many times that things just remain status quo it is those “crisis” moments that I enjoy the most. When under pressure to perform I feel that I shine. As the interim sports information director at California University of Pennsylvania I was charged with running all media relations duties as well as statistics from the NCAA Div. II East Regional Men’s Basketball Tournament while also maintaining my media responsibilities for our women’s basketball team competing about an hour away. After that tournament concluded, both of the Vulcans teams earned a bid to the Elite Eight. With the women’s team traveling to Kearney, Neb., while the men’s team traveled to Springfield, Mass., I was put to the test, not only in my organizational skills, but also my ability to work under intense pressure. In the week leading up to the Elite Eight tournaments there were conference calls as well as other responsibilities to maintain. This was also the week leading into spring break, when all of the spring sports teams travel south to take on opponents in warmer climates.

While my experience may look odd, working as a sports information director has prepared me for whatever I do. I have experience in many facets of the business world and I am ready to take the PR world by storm. I will bring new and innovative ideas not only as a PR pro, but also with a marketing mind. A successful PR campaign will integrate marketing, publications, and press releases. With my experience in all three I can be a strong asset with any company.

In 140 or less… Hire me bc with 4+ years of sports info. exp, I can do PR, MR, Marketing, Publications and more. Im a 5-tool player in PR!

2) Byron Johnson

Why hire me?  Because for 13 years I’ve excelled in the areas of media relations, public affairs, event planning, marketing communications, strategic planning, crisis and issues management and political advocacy. I’ve launched nation-wide health care initiatives and grassroots organizational structures for companies from the ground up.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with chief executives to address crisis issues and turn potentially damaging incidents into educational moments on a national stage.  With experience working in healthcare, transportation and the environmental sectors, I work extremely well under pressure, and am a pro at handling multiple projects with competing deadlines.

For more information about my background, please click here or to connect with me, visit me on

I once successfully partnered with pizza restaurants during SuperBowl week to promote awareness of available diabetes education and resource materials.  I would love to share the details of that campaign with you during an interview.

3) Erica Lawton

Erica Lawton ( / ): “I am smart, driven, and passionate about communication and people. I am just starting my career, and I am eager to take on a challenging and rewarding opportunity to prove myself as an up-and-coming professional. With my academic background and internship experience, I am confident that I am an excellent candidate!”

4) Paige Jorgensen

Hi there, my name is Paige Jorgensen and I am PR student at Marquette University graduating in May. Born and raised in the Midwest, I am ready to the below freezing weather behind for DC. I have Hill experience as a press intern for Senator Max Baucus, but I am looking to break into the nonprofit or private sector doing entry-level PR, communications or fundraising. My strengths lie in writing and ability to think on my feet, and I have great interest and  experience in writing fundraising proposals for my school. To find out more information about me or my experiences, please visit my website, blog Relocation Remedies or email me at . I am completely devoted to any job, even if it means clean up after the Senator’s Bischon Frise!

5) Ally Mann

Allyson Mann ( / ):

Honors senior graduating in May from Indiana University
Implementing a social media promotional campaign that I personally created to various departments throughout my university
Real life internship experience with PR writing, pitching, obtaining print and online hits in varying markets and I am proficient using industry software like Cision and Vocus
Eager to leave the Midwest and fulfill my dream of beginning a career in Washington, DC

Most valuable traits include my attention to detail, outgoing personality, extremely diligent work ethic, fresh point of view and excitement for the PR industry
Entry-level hire with diverse experience in corporate public relations, sales, promotions and social media outreach

When do I start?!

6) Stephanie Majercik

Name: Stephanie Majercik
Twitter: @stephmajercik
CV Link:
I am a well-rounded individual with a broad range of public relations experience including event planning, media relations, and social media. I’m not afraid to try new things, I work hard and work well with others, I LOVE to have fun, I can speak, read, and write German, and I have experience with European politics.

7) Laura Peck

The wonderful idea of Help A PR Professional Out (or #HAPPO) has really made me think about how I define myself. I can give you the basic first introduction pitch: A senior public relations student at Penn State graduating with minors in English, sociology and international studies. I could tell you that I picked my minors because at the end of the day I love to read, write, figure out why people do what they do and travel.

I could tell you that I have a lot of experience. I interned at Mullen Pittsburgh and was the day-to-day contact for a pro bono client. I helped co-found Penn State’s first student-run PR firm, Happy Valley Communications. That I am the Director of Chapter Developments for Penn State’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the Director of Technology for Count Centre County, Penn State’s National Bateman Case Study Competition campaign.

But at the end of the day this hasn’t told you anything about me. It hasn’t told you that I love creative brainstorming above almost anything else. That I love watching Jeopardy but would never have to the guts to go on it. That I’ve caught the and blogging bug. That I love homemade bake goods and old movies. That I’m excited to graduate, because I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. Or that I sprained my ankle when I was four by jumping off my bed wearing a wonder woman cape because I thought I could fly.

What I can tell you is that at the end of the day, if you take the chance on me, you won’t be disappointed.

8 ) Emilie O’Toole

If I were an office supply, I would be a Post-It note.

And that is exactly why you should hire me.

Now hear me out here! Why, you might ask, should you care at all that I would be a Post-It note? Well, I share several important qualities with my favorite stationary tool. Like a Post-It note, I always stick to the task at hand, I am a team player and I am a skilled and artful communicator.

Sticking to it. Post-It notes always stick to critical surfaces and so do I. Well, not surfaces, per say. My stick to it attitude comes in the form of dedication and hard work. I am committed to every project, dream, activity and idea that I pursue. I take pride in what I do and I am always willing to put in the extra hours to see that a project is done  and done well.

Internships with Senator Amy Klobuchar’s press office, APCO WorldwideRasky Baerlein Strategic Communications and the Al Franken for Senate campaign have all taught me the importance of commitment to success. Focusing on the work in front of you is essential, even if it isn’t always the most glamorous. In each internship, every job was vital to the flow of the office, even if I was simply delivering a message to the Senate floor, clipping articles for a client or knocking on doors to get out the vote. I did it all to the best of my ability and with a smile. And to tell you truth, I really enjoyed the work and took pride in it.

Team work. A stack of Post-its is the dream team of office supplies and I am the ultimate team player. I love being a part of something bigger than myself. Throughout college, my involvement with Boston University’s PRSSA chapter has taught me the importance of teamwork. As a member of the executive board and director of our student-run firm, working to be both an active leader and team member has been essential to the success of the chapter. I have truly honed my skills as a leader and team member. The agency has seen its share of problems this year and I have faced each one head on with my team. From clients quitting to agency staffers falling short on their obligations, we have worked together to find solutions and I come out on the other side of each roadblock with a better understanding of what it means to be a leader. I am proud of the work the staff and I have done this year to improve the agency.

Team members come in all different varieties, much like the multi-colored stacks of Post-It notes that fill my desk drawers. I have learned the importance of the ability to work with different types of personalities and people. My easy going and light hearted personality has certainly helped me do this. Everyone brings something to the table, no matter what their position.

The Great Communicator. The purpose of a Post-It note is to communicate a message, whatever it may be. A grocery list. A reminder. A simple note to show someone you care. I know that this may seem like an absurd comparison, but I think I have succeeded in getting my message across to you. I am a highly motivated and creative communicator looking to sink my teeth into a career in public relations. I am an idealist, looking for an opportunity to make the world around me a better place through creative thinking, strategic planning and most importantly, action. I am an organized self starter who always gets the job done, cares passionately about my work and is loyal through and through. I am exactly the eager and insightful PR professional you need.

And I’m certainly the most useful Post-It you’ll ever meet!


I am a senior public relations major and business administration minor at Boston University, searching at the intersection of government, public affairs and communications for my first job. My experiences with agency life have been phenomenal and I would love to pursue a career there. I am also interested in government communications work, on the Hill or in a government agency.

Keep the conversation going! Feel free to check out my resume, follow me on , connect with me on  or send me an email.

  • Good stuff, Mike! One caveat for everyone -- let's make sure to proofread carefully, in the same way we would for other vehicles. Having grammatical errors or typos detract from our messages and hurt our perception of value. Read "Elements of Style" for a useful reminder of comma use, tense and the need to Omit Needless Words.
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