PR people are a gregarious lot, but it's often not easy to meet colleagues outside the sometimes stuffy settings of professional society meetings. Margie Newman of the Flack Rabbit blog took her desire to meet up with fellow pros to heart after she moved to the D.C. area last spring. The result is the DC Flacks Happy Hour.
DC PR Flacks is a meet-up site, but it didn't start out that way, and it doesn't need to be. (Meet-up has a fee structure starting at $12 monthly. Group members sometimes share the fee as "dues.")In its current evolved state
To get started, Margie simply "declared a happy hour." Only a handful of colleagues showed up at first. Then "Twitter word-of-mouth" took over, and the numbers started growing, to 40 one month, 60 the next.
To get more "formally" organized and in the Meetup.com phase (if you want to be there), Margie lists some pointers, including:
"Pick a location, time and date for your first happy hour – this is the exciting part! Just don't forget to check events calendars in your town to ensure you aren't booking your event on the same night as hockey/NBA/football/Disney on ice/U2 concert. Learned that one the hard way."
"Also, you want a location that is not going to charge you alcohol minimum or room fee. This needs to be a no-pressure thing for your guests AND you. Oh, and be sure to book your next happy hour soon after your successful event to take advantage of the after-glow. DC Flacks meets monthly."
Sure beats Chamber of Commerce dues and luncheon fees! Plus, you're among PR colleagues.