What Companies Get Wrong When They Hire a PR Freelancer
The PR Cavalry
Employers are leaving a tonne of value on the table when they hire a PR Freelancer – that was the theme of our presentation at WaddsCon the quick fire “conference in an hour” run by industry maestro Stephen Waddington.
Where are brand owners and agencies throwing away money on hiring Freelance PR talent?
Chiefly by thinking of PR freelancers as ‘legs, not brains’ to fill a gap. It’s ordering egg & chips at the Ivy. A Bentley to nip to the shops.
PR freelancers allow smart business owners to do some very valuable things like experiment with new revenue streams and diversify into new markets at a much lower level of risk than making permanent hires.
PR freelancers enable you to meet and anticipate volatility in demand for your existing core services. The ebb & flow of income over a quarter isn’t getting any less rapid, is it?
PR freelancers help you to avoid “the problem of the instrument” – give a boy a hammer and everything needs pounding. Your team may be brilliant at what they do, but they can’t reinvent their skillset from one week to the next. The skills they bring to work on a Monday will the same next Monday while the problems that your clients or colleagues need to solve don’t stand still.
Selling what you can offer, rather than what the customer wants is the antithesis of the most basic marketing theory.
PR freelancers bring “that new car smell” to a campaign. Fundamentally the PR programme might be unchanged, but a fresh perspective from someone who genuinely knows the sector can make it a whole like nicer to be around.
They constructively challenge, they sharpen ideas or smooth off the rough edges by bringing their perspective and a fearlessness that comes from not having office politics holding them back. Kind of like the intensity of a holiday romance.
PR freelancers bring their expertise but in a networked world, they bring their little black book too. We don’t mean their media contacts (and you wouldn’t dare ask them to share that, would you?)
We mean their network of people who can problem solve, who can open doors, who can offer a deal. Freelancers are universally resourceful people, it is their defining characteristic and that value goes way beyond comparing a freelancer’s day rate versus a full-time employee.
Too often we hear “we just someone to help out with some sell-ins or we’re a bit short-staffed and we need some extra firepower”
For an industry which sees a lack of a talent as it’s biggest challenge, that’s a shockingly narrow view of a resource of thousands of experienced, motivated people who are energised by the risks they take by being freelance with all that means in terms of uncertainty.
PR freelancers are fired up by that sense of skin in the game and they yearn to bring that combination of intellectual energy and experience to bear on a project.
Or you could just ask them to do a few ring rounds.