freelance market observations

Wednesday, 27 May 2009, 15:18 | Category : General
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As we’re running a slightly different type of PR business, people (clients & peers) are always very curious about what the freelance market is like in these times of flux. So I thought I’d jot down a few observations from the first five months of 2009:

1. PR agencies and in-house departments are making greater use of their existing staff base and buying in less external consultancy
2. It’s a buyers’ market – there are more consultants competing for fewer contracts
3. Day rates are moving downwards as consultants compete for work and cut their rates to win the business
4. Consultants are being more flexible about issues such as home working and working hours, to make themselves more attractive to the client
5. We expect the need for external support to step up rapidly in line with previous recessionary periods as soon as recovery begins
6. Having pared down their workforce and possibly shed some key talent, companies will need to bring in expert support
7. The PR Network is very well placed to help – our network now numbers over 400 senior consultants across industry and from all communications disciplines
8. We’re still seeing big opportunities for freelancers to capitalise on clients’ increasing need for value, flexibility and delivery
9. Business is brisk on the “virtual PR” side of the business
10. In the last year we’ve won retained PR and AR accounts with Adobe, Experian Background Checking and ClickandBuy as well as many smaller companies

There’s no doubt that the market has changed dramatically from where we were last year, but from where we’re standing it’s a great time to be offering a new PR resourcing solution. We’ll come back and update these observations at Christmas! In the meantime, we’d love to know what other people think will happen to the freelance market – and the PR market in general – throughout the rest of the year.


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