This week’s Follow Friday guest post comes from my friend and Kellye Crane. Kellye created a successful online community for independent pros. In fact, when I was launching Geben, Kellye offered a wealth of guidance — always willing to answer my questions or provide advice. Fortunately, I’ve met Kellye in “real life” a few times and just think the world of her. If you’re contemplating starting your own PR consultancy — or want to learn ways to increase your existing business — connect with Kellye and the SoloPR community.
Psst… Have you heard? Many businesses and organizations have found their PR secret weapon: independent public relations agencies and consultants.
What are the biggest advantages of working with indies?
As we all know, the media continues to fragment and niche influencers have increased in importance. In this environment, nimble, independent PR pros can offer a strategic advantage by providing specific expertise – from strategy and planning to execution – and can hit the ground running immediately. Why wait for internal staff to learn a new industry, market or specialized skill, when a qualified indie practitioner can deliver better results today?
While large PR agencies remain the best choice in many instances, both agencies and in-house PR teams are recognizing that the challenges of scaling up to build influencer relationships in new industries can often more efficiently – and effectively – be addressed by partnering with qualified independent PR consultants and boutique firms.
Managing Feast or Famine
Though many signs are (hopefully) pointing toward economic recovery, most organizations continue to be cautious in their spending, which often leads to budget limbo and “hurry up and wait” scenarios for PR and marketing programs. Trying to staff appropriately in these situations is nearly impossible – not to mention the additional burdens if a hiring freeze is in place.
Independent PR contractors can be the key to surviving the stop-and-go, feast or famine climate of a jump-starting economy. The U.S. Department of Labor confirms this, noting that “firms [will] hire contractors to provide public relations services, rather than support more full-time staff when additional work is needed.”
With expected response times shrinking and real-time public relations – both planned, or in the case of a crisis, unforeseen – becoming the norm, many have realized that partnering with independent contractors can be the most effective way to manage workflow without sacrificing quality.
What do you think – what have been your experiences working with solo and independent PR practitioners? And if you’re looking for an indie PR pro, you may want to check out Solo PR Pros’ free Find a PR Consultant feature.
Kellye Crane is the principal of Solo PR Pro, the leading resource for those interested in independent PR consulting. Solo PR Pro’s community features include a Premium membership site, a LinkedIn group, the flagship blog, a weekly Twitter chat, Facebook page, and more.