These are the very definition of uncertain times.
Times when many are planning day-to-day or week -to-week, because the landscape for business changes on a near daily basis.
Times where people are having to make hard decisions about their businesses, which impact many people’s lives.
Even PR Week has talked about nine in ten agencies seeing reductions in budgets already.
While the effects are being felt in every business, we’ve heard a lot about just what this is doing to the freelance community.
These aren’t just our colleagues and friends. Freelancers touch every part of the work we do. They’re the wonderful journalists who we speak to daily, setting up interviews with talent in an upcoming TV show, placing articles with, and who we simply try to have great relationships with.
They’re the brilliant graphic designers who create stunning visual materials.
The media trainers who help prepare clients for dealing with the press.
The lifeblood of many TV production companies we’ve represented.
From runners to set managers and beyond, they have a key role in keeping the UK TV industry truly world-leading.
And beyond. Web designers. Podcast makers. Photographers… These are only a few of the roles freelancers play in our business relationships. There are many more, and we recognise this is an incredibly difficult and uncertain time for every one of them.
There’s a lot of talk in the industry about how we all need to pull together to get through this. That now’s the time for agencies to collaborate on big social projects and contribute to the common good. That we need to overcome enlightened self-interest in tough times and be united.
Current levels of support for this vibrant and creative community of people can still leave huge cashflow problems for many who can’t afford to wait until June at the earliest for payments. But we have to remain confident that we can bounce back and maintain a healthy, thriving PR industry, and that we will pull together when times are tough.
We’ve seen enough pieces in the creative industry and beyond about it being impossible to stop selling, and how vital it is to keep communicating to staff, to customers and to wider audiences in these times. This advice should extend to thinking twice before cutting freelance support.
Freelance journalists right now are leading the way, chairing the discussion and keeping many colleagues in the press balanced when it comes to working from home. And our wider freelance community are coming up with agile solutions daily to keep production ticking over, to keep content vibrant and to help businesses of all sizes to keep going.
To all our freelance friends. We want to say how much we appreciate what you do and that we will be looking to work with you whenever we get the chance. In the meantime, if there’s anything we can do to be there for you in these turbulent times, even if its just a virtual brew, please get in touch.