Public relations is an involved field of work for freelance writers. Freelance public relations usually entails writing reports, designing presentations, putting together ad campaigns, creating press releases, writing speeches, coaching, informing employees/clients/regulatory agencies about what’s going on at the office, and so on.
In short, if you want to freelance as public relations writer, you need a diverse set of skills. This includes exceptional writing ability, a knack for marketing, superior computer skills (with knowledge of presentation and desktop publishing software), and exceptional customer service.
If you don’t have these skills, you can probably outsource some of your work. However, hiring others to do your job for you will seriously dwindle your profits.
Who offers freelance public relations jobs?
Every publicly traded company needs PR people, including many private businesses. Marketing and communications firms are popular examples. In addition, government and non-profit organizations always seek the services of freelance PR pros. Museums, charities, and hospitals are just a few examples that encompass the endless list of organizations needing someone to handle their public relations.
To find public relations jobs, check out employment sites like workopolis.com and Yahoo! HotJobs. It’s also smart to sign up with websites like workinpr.com that specialize in connecting PR jobseekers with employers.
Don’t forget to check out websites like IFreelance and Guru. These freelance job auction sites allow you to bid on projects that suit your timeline, scope of abilities, and desired income level.
How much money can I make in freelance public relations?
That depends on the PR work that you’re doing. Freelance public relations encompass many “sub-jobs,” and consequently, each client will have different tasks that he or she wants you to oversee. A PR client may hire you to do everything from employee newsletters to nationwide marketing campaigns; or the client may hire you to type, copyedit, and proofread press releases. You and your client will have to agree on the list of expectations.
If you’re a jack-of-all-trades public relations writer, then don’t charge less than $40 an hour. If your client wants you to charge by project (which is more common for large PR campaigns), estimate the number of hours you will need and then multiply it by your hourly rate. As your list of happy PR clients grows, you may want to charge more. Many PR freelancers make $150 an hour and up.
In public relations, it is also common to charge by the day. PR professionals usually charge in the range of $300 to $1000 per day or more.
How do I properly respond to a public relations job ad?
Again, it depends on the work the client wants you to do. It also depends on the company it is. If a kids’ soccer league were looking for a PR freelancer, you’d hope to quote them a far smaller fee than you would an oil and gas company!
To ensure you create the best response possible, follow these guidelines:
1. Identify yourself as an extremely capable and professional PR freelancer.
2. Assure the client that you can handle each of the items he or she listed in the ad.
3. Mention how satisfied your previous clients have been with your work.
It’s obviously much easier to get this complex job with prior experience. However, if you don’t have previous PR clients, remember that any job experience with any required job skill is useful. For example, you may have written website content before. It’s not PR experience technically, but it shows you can handle that aspect of the job.
Below is a sample ad for a public relations freelance writer. What would you include in your response?
We are a mid-sized software company that needs a public relations specialist to add energy to our existing ad campaigns. We want to be well positioned within our market to reach out to new customers and generate more sales. You will rewrite our marketing material, design slideshows, and create two press releases per month about our products.
First, let the advertiser know you’re enthusiastic about this job opportunity. The company is looking for someone to reenergize their marketing efforts, so you should convey yourself as an energetic, dynamic person.
Second, address their task list. If you have relevant experience and satisfied past clients, discuss it here. If not, focus on how solid your skills are.
That’s all there is to it! Getting the client excited about your abilities is the key to success in public relations.
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