As a public relations professional practicing independently of a corporation or large agency it can be challenging to define myself. But that positioning is also critical to getting the work I enjoy most. Since I’ve been in a business development phase recently, I’m paying even closer attention.
Freelancers are amazing and unquestionably have a place in our world. They provide a tactical service to support an outside team. They provide support for specific assignments such as writing, event management or social media posting. And that’s okay. I like doing those things.
But I’m also an agency…of one. I much prefer to be a strategic partner with the companies with whom I work. As such I offer valuable outside insight, much like an agency, but at lower prices because there’s lower overhead.
Outside Eye and Ears
I often tell colleagues an independent professional on a corporate team offers a unique perspective because teams are so deep in the forest it’s challenging to see the trees around you, or the way through. We see jargon you don’t notice because it’s no longer jargon to you. We see potholes you drive around because we have a different viewpoint.
As an outside partner, I keep an eye out for opportunities and potential issues and watch for opportunities for you to have exposure in the communities you serve. A regular meeting to talk about challenges and plans often results in a new way of achieving them because of the different perspective. Discussing plans for the release of a new product or service could produce a change of plans because of a fresh set of eyes not used to the usual process.
Project Support and Overload
Having outside counsel on retainer and aware of what’s happening at the company means it’s easy to scale up in a crisis, when team members are on vacation, or when there’s just too much work. And, it’s often much less expensive than a larger agency. We have overhead, but not nearly as much of it.
An Eye to the Future
Virtual team members are also very helpful when it comes to planning for the coming year. We have the time to help with planning and again offer that outside perspective regular team members don’t have.
Whether it’s support for community relations opportunities, projects or events, or simple writing or editing projects, solo entrepreneurs are essential. The list could go on depending on a company’s communications needs. Based on 40 years in the industry, I know it helps to have team members ready to go.
So, when you’re thinking about needing a partner to bolster your efforts, consider a solo entrepreneur. Give me a call. Let’s talk about how we can support each other.