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Iams Home 4 the Holidays 2012: Win a Trip to BarkWorld #IH4tH2012

Last year I had the opportunity to cover the Iams Home forthe Holidays event at the New York Stock Exchange, and although I had been
writing about the campaign since I started authoring this website, it was the
first time I got to experience their work first-hand.
Big macho Wall Street traders instantly fell for the
adorable little kittens and puppies being walked through the trading floor. The
chief operating officer for the NYSE told me that while they have a lot of
events where famous people, including swimsuit models, ring the opening bell,
this one is always the most popular.
For those of you not familiar with Iams Home for theHolidays, it is a yearly campaign to help homeless pets find a loving home for
the holidays. Since it started in 1999, they have helped 7 million families experience
the joy of pet adoption.
As I was standing there next to the public relations reps
watching Mike Arms, president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center ring the
bell, it reaffirmed my desire to use my journalism, social media and community
management skills to help pets who need homes and raise awareness about pet
related issues. One of my dream jobs would be to do this for a foundation, like
the Helen Woodward Animal Center { hint, hint ๐Ÿ˜‰ }
But, thatโ€™s easier said than done in this economy.

Unfortunately, there are not many of those jobs available,
and in my current situation โ€“ having a full-time, in-office, no-benefits contractor
job where if you donโ€™t work, you donโ€™t get paid, there is a) little time for
volunteering and b) hard to take time off because you have to factor in that
you will not be getting paid for the time you are away.  Chase (my mortgage company) is not a fan of
the latter. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 
But, by going to social media conferences like BarkWorld, I learn
new skills, make new connections and learn how I can help more in the animal
welfare space. For example, the session โ€œThe Social Good: Key MarketingStrategies for Shelters and Tips on How Bloggers Can Help,โ€ or โ€œGenerateAwareness and Profit: How to Take Your Social Network Offlineโ€ would be extremely beneficial.
I may not have 100,000 hits a day, 3,000 Facebook โ€œlikesโ€ or
5,000 Twitter followers, but, I do have a loyal reader base who shares the love
of pets. They are dog owners, cat owners, horse owners. They are shelter
volunteers, people who donate money to pet rescues and community activists. They
are a targeted community who will also benefit from ideas, skills and
information I learn if I were to be selected for this amazing opportunity to sharpen my social, pet and media skills — especially since I will be live tweeting from the conference.
By sharing this post using the hashtag #IH4tH2012, you can help me get to BarkWorld since we are being judged not only by our post, but also our social efforts around the contest. Thank you in advance! ๐Ÿ™‚  

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