Demand for freelancers in the PR and communications sector has ebbed and flowed over the past decade. In the past, agencies and in-house employers have often called on freelancers to fix short-term staffing challenges such as supporting teams during a particularly busy period, covering maternity leave, or as a stop-gap to affording more time to find the ‘perfect’ full-time candidate.
While the UK communications industry is gradually rebounding after the global pandemic, demand for freelancers has gone into over-drive. We’re seeing agencies and in-house clients across all sectors seeking to engage experienced PR professionals on a freelance basis in numbers we haven’t seen for years. And with lucrative rates to match!
Due to its very nature, freelancing is a less permanent option than full-time employment, however there are times when choosing a flexible position is the very best way to progress in your career.
You should absolutely consider becoming a freelancer when you are:
- Returning to work. Whether it’s been months or years since you were a full-time employee, chances are that you, your contacts and industry best-practices have evolved during your hiatus. A freelance position can give you the chance to reactivate your experience and professional relationships, while also enabling you to evaluate what you love (and don’t love) about the PR industry before you’re full committed to one company or sector.
- Looking to make a change. The events of the past two years have motivated many people to take a good look at their career and evaluate how it aligns with their values and beliefs. If your current company or role falls short, freelancing can provide a sampling of different companies, sectors and specialisations. By working on a variety of clients, campaigns and projects you can gain experience in new environments and see where it takes you.
- Questioning your career. As you become more senior, managerial (and political) responsibilities inevitably consume more of your working hours. While this shift is embraced by some, for others it can seem as though you are moving further and further away from the work that you love. If the latter is your experience, freelancing can give you opportunities to reconnect with the aspects of PR that you’ve been missing. Whether it’s ideation, problem solving, media relations, client servicing or content development, freelance positions can reignite your passion for PR without the politics.
- Prioritising family. You may be welcoming a new addition to your family or assuming the role of a care-giver to an existing family member. Either way, your time is not your own and full-time office job is unlikely to be feasible. In this case, freelancing is a great option that allows you to choose when and where you work.
Senior PR and Communications Recruitment Manager