What exactly do you do?
I work independently, providing on-demand communications help for PR teams around the country. I spent 10 years on the agency side and in-house, and saw a real need for occasional skilled help, so I started my own business to meet that need. Now I jump in to assist communicators with projects big and small, whenever they need it. I’m like a dial-a-publicist.
Why should I work with you?
There’s not much to lose. If you try me out and you don't like my work, you've only invested a small amount of time and money. If you like me, then you have a skilled pinch hitter in your back pocket to call on when things get busy.
How are you different from a PR consultant?
The market is saturated with senior-level strategic communications/public relations consultants, many of them charging upwards of $300 an hour. They have decades of experience and I don’t pretend to compete with them. While I’m capable of building a communication strategy, my core value is in execution. I’m very talented at carrying out the elements of a strategy - the message development, the materials creation, etc.
As an added bonus, I’m not going to give you counsel unless you want it. Unlike a lot of consultants, I take your direction, and truly get things done. And I charge significantly less.
So you’re like a temp? Or a freelancer?
I’m far more skilled than the temps and freelancers I’ve encountered, and unlike many of them I’m happy to take on even the smallest assignments. A few hours is fine by me. Not to mention, most of the temps and freelancers I know are in a state of transition, really just waiting for a full-time position. I’m not in a limbo. Assisting PR teams is my full-time job.
What’s your experience?
10 years in PR and communications, agency and client-side. I’ve worked in diverse industries - from electric utilities to prestige beauty products. In my last full-time role I was an Account Director with a top crisis and corporate communications firm in Chicago, and I continue to provide freelance support to them today.
Where are you based?
My home base is in Denver, but I work for clients all over the country, from wherever I happen to be. 95% of my work is done remotely - it’s faster and more cost-effective than embedding myself with my clients since I often need to jump in fast.
Do you work from clients’ offices?
Not typically. My assignments are often just a few hours at a time, or several hours a week for a short stretch. It’s rarely necessary to travel to my clients’ offices, especially given the myriad modern options for communication. I do a lot of meetings via Skype, and can even keep clients updated in real-time via Gchat.
Why would I want to work with a remote freelancer?
Because it’s quick, easy and cost-effective. I can get started on your projects immediately after we speak about them. I don’t take up space in your office, and you don’t have to reimburse me for any out-of-pocket expenses. That said, I know face-to-face communication is very important, so I offer in-person meet and greets at no charge (assuming my travel expenses are covered, as necessary).
How quickly can you turn around assignments?
Assuming I have an hour or two to onboard, I can turn work around as quickly as any member of your in-house team. Years of agency experience trained me to work quickly without sacrificing quality. Depending on the ask, I can sometimes turn an assignment around same-day.
What kinds of projects are you looking for?
I’m particularly interested in writing assignments and projects that require creative thinking. I also have a penchant for building communications that better engage employees (especially “hard to reach” employees who don’t work at desks). But I’m flexible depending on what your needs are.
What’s the biggest or longest project you’d consider?
I don’t have a hard and fast rule, but generally I don’t like to commit to more than 10 or 15 hours per week for any one client. Variety is the spice of life!
How many clients do you have? How many do you take on at once?
It’s really a constant rotation - a revolving door of activity from different clients. Sometimes I have one project, other times I have three or four simultaneous assignments. It’s no different than my past life, when I juggled several accounts at the same time.
What if you’re too busy to take on my project?
On the rare occasion that I have to decline a project, I always provide a referral. I know several PR pros who have comparable skill and rates.
How do I know you’re as good as you say?
You don’t, and you won’t until you try me out. Upon request, I give new clients their first four hours of work free of charge, as a trial. I also have references available so you can get perspectives from people who have worked with me - clients, peers, direct-reports and supervisors.
Are you looking for a standing arrangement?
I’m looking to establish ongoing partnerships with high-performing and likable communications teams, so that I can be on-call for them whenever they happen to need me. The beauty of that kind of relationship is that my work will only improve as I get to know your team, culture and clients.
Are you looking for a full-time job?
I'm flattered, but no. My full-time job is running this business.
How do I explain you to my clients?
To keep things simple, I typically work behind the scenes, with little or no client contact. The idea is that I help your team maintain continuity of exceptional client service during a busy period. I’m usually billed to your clients as a contractor, consultant or freelancer (and possibly unnamed).
How can you pitch media you don’t know, from out-of-state?
Typically I produce media materials (like pitches and call scripts), but don’t handle the actual outreach. This maintains your team as the primary point of contact for your media, and preserves budget (because your junior staffers can take my pitches to market). However, if you need a pitcher, I’m confident in my ability to research reporters and customize my approach to fit them.
What about the confidentiality of my clients? How can I feel secure knowing you work with other agencies?
I sign non-disclosure agreements for all clients at their request. Additionally, I find that most clients see my hands-on knowledge of diverse industries, processes and methods as an asset.
How much do you charge?
My rate is competitive but negotiable, depending on the complexity of the required work (i.e. social media content would necessitate a lower rate than comprehensive strategy development). I do add a surcharge for after-hours time, or hours that must be spent onsite, since my preference is to work remotely and within reasonable business hours. If you reach out to me directly, I can provide more detail.
Why did you start doing this? Why does it appeal to you?
I love the work, and I love having the freedom to work from where I want. I’m a highly independent and self-sufficient person by nature.
And while I love people, I’ve found that I generate my best ideas and produce my highest-quality writing while working alone.
This lifestyle also allows me to indulge my wanderlust. I’ve lived in nine states and two countries, and I travel frequently.