Freelance PR Consultant or PR Agency?

What is the difference between a freelance PR consultant and an agency? Ultimately, I believe, it concerns loyalty and results.

The size of the organisation is an obvious difference. Besides this, the difference between a PR agency and a freelance consultant is smaller and more subtle than it was in the past. It is now relatively easy to set up a virtual PR agency and operate from a remote office. As they say in the technology world, work is now ‘something you do’, not ‘a place where you go’. Also, most freelancers have networks of contacts who can join a project  as associates if required.

How a freelance PR consultant works

I believe the real difference concerns loyalty and commitment to goals. With the PR agency model, account managers are rewarded for billing their clients a good amount at the end of the month. The agency doesn’t want to expend too much resource and effort to deliver the services agreed. That means that the account manager’s first loyalty is to the agency, and they will always act in the agency’s interests. A freelancer looks at it differently. A freelance PR consultant doesn’t have to report to management in the same way, so their loyalty is directly to their client. They are likely to have a greater personal commitment to their client’s business, and they will be 100% focused on achieving success for their client.

Your freelance PR consultant will probably not have a long term contract. This means that he or she will work as hard as they can to achieve great results, as this is the way to build a lasting relationship.

Finally, to succeed as a freelance PR consultant, it’s paramount to have a great portfolio of published work. That’s another reason to give your very best to every client project.

Content Marketing for leads

Content marketing is a high priority for many businesses, and the proportion of a marketing budget that is typically allocated to content marketing is growing.

It will not surprise you to learn that for technology companies, customer case studies are extremely popular for content marketing. To be effective for content marketing, a story has to be unique and it should not be available anywhere else on the Internet so case studies are ideal.

However, companies can work with other forms of content as well. “How To” articles and guides to best practice are popular too. A new piece of research, presented as a report, can work particularly well, because the information it contains is genuinely valuable to the reader.

While this sounds easy, many businesses are finding it challenging to create enough “content” that is of sufficient quality to be attractive as a content download and many companies are struggling. It requires an editorial approach and a “content strategy”, plus some investment in research and careful writing to create the kind of genuinely worthwhile documents which the website visitor will want to download and view.

It takes more effort than many people realise, but if you compare content marketing with other ways of making new marketing contacts, such as gaining sales leads at a trade show, or staging a marketing campaign with a publisher, you soon realise that if it is to be effective, it is unlikely to be easy or free.