Monday, January 19, 2009

Freelance PR Part 6

In my never-ending quest to find out what I really want to do with my life, I came across a new avenue of public relations-- Freelancing.

After interning at an agency this past semester, I realized that perhaps agency work isn't quite the route I want to take upon graduating from college next year. I realized that I love to write, and often prefer working solo. I reached out through our Twitter to find other PR practitioners out there who have done some freelance work. Luckily, many people responded!

This is the sixth post in what is a series of posts featuring different PR freelancers

This week, I interviewed Danielle Armstrong, senior publicist and owner of Organic Public Relations LLC.

Ms. Armstrong would describe Freelance PR as
, "a publicist who operates as a independent contractor for various companies, organizations, individuals small businesses and non-profit organizations." She mentions that Freelance PR activities can range from event planning to press release writing. She also mentions that its beneficial for a company to use a freelancer because its less expensive than hiring a firm because you only utilize a freelancer when you have a need for publicity.

With a degree in PR, Ms. Armstrong began her career interning for a firm and later working for a firm in Virginia Beach. After her time there, she decided to venture out on her own. She has worked with such clients as Tyler Perry, music producers, and authors.

To charge for freelancing services, Ms. Armstrong suggests finding out what others in the business are charging for their services. She then suggests deciding what you would like to make annually and dividing that by the 40 hour work week. After that, you have your hourly rate. She advises that when speaking with a potential client to never tell them your hourly rate and to explain that each project is different.

Ms. Armstrong says that she always knew she wanted to go into business for herself. She obtained her first client through someone she knew who needed PR services immediately. From there, her services were spread through word of mouth.

"I am a walking billboard," Ms. Armstrong jokes. To obtain clients, Ms. Armstrong always attends events, helps out with events, is involved in online communities, and passes out business cards everywhere she goes.

Her favorite aspect of freelancing is the freedom, flexibility and control of working for herself. Her least favorite aspect of freelancing is the lack of a regular paycheck, and not having benefits. She mentions, "It's not something that everyone can tolerate, but it can be very rewarding if done right."

Ms. Armstrong is extremely organized when it comes to time management. Since freelancers do not have set hours, she creates to-do lists, has a white board with task that must be completed, is constantly speaking with clients, and also keeps up with what is happening in the community. She mentions that she is always busy, but makes sure to set a day aside a week to not work. She also schedules personal time into her schedule to ensure that she does not burn out.

She will be speaking on a panel and moderating a panel at the National Black Public Relations Society's conference. Ms. Armstrong is a key player in planning events for their conference in Atlanta in April 2009.

1 comment:

Johnson Denen said...

I hope you keep up the freelance articles.