Having a crisis? Not got the experience? Need a game changer? There’s an AP (Associate of PRN) for that.

Friday, 25 February 2011, 19:18 | Category : General
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Please note: Whilst this blog begins and ends with a football reference, and even contains a few related images, football is only a loose analogy, not the “actual” blog topic. If you can’t stand football do not be put off…

Regardless of your feelings towards the nation’s most popular sport, it is unlikely you could have missed the headlines this time last month. The British transfer record was smashed, with Chelsea signing a player for £50 million, and paying him around about £150K a week. By no means the best paid player in the world, but up there.

And it got me thinking. How much is a game changing individual worth to any business? Can you put a value on it? And how do you know if they were worth it? The football analogy may fall down soon, as a player will bring with him sponsorship deals, shirt sales etc, but the fact remains that businesses that want to stay at the top of their game, or challenge the best will always look to bring in the highest calibre people. Banking salaries and bonuses may appear ludicrous, but they will inevitably be a fraction of the sum that individual is seen to make the business. If Chelsea weren’t going to pay Mr Torres all that money, then no doubt another team would have come the summer. Outside football and banking, money is an object, but the fact remains that if you want to be the best, you have to utilise the best people.

The question for an organisation looking to solve a problem with a person is, what impact do they want them to make? There is no doubt that Chelsea are in for the long haul with Torres, but there will undoubtedly be those in the boardroom that would have liked a little early return on that £50m; a goal, a league win, a few points closer to the top of the table. Indeed, if anything, what Chelsea really needed was someone that could come in and make an immediate impact over a short period of time. A player with the experience and form to pick the team up, offer new direction, and fill whatever the role is they are missing if they are to make it back up to the top of the league (if I knew this my wage would be up there with Fernando’s). In fact an ideal situation might have even been a player they did not need to even stump up a long term contract for – a freelance footballer if you will – someone that could be relied upon to get the job done until the season ends in three months.

Beyond Chelsea, what would other teams pay for 6 weeks worth of Rory Delap throw-ins, Scott Parker tackles, or Charlie Adam graft. Sadly for Mr. Ancelotti, and luckily for Mr Torres, no such solution exists in the world of football.

Where football misses out, the communications industry does not. The specific skill sets, experiences, and contacts that one freelancer can bring to an organisation cannot be understated. Our network alone is built up of 500+ senior PR professionals, all of whom have been vetted to ensure they add to our overall ability to meet the demands of the industry. From crisis handlers and change managers, to media gurus and internal comms specialists, the combined experience of the PR Network is vast.

There will always be a place for permanent hires (we look after a little bit at the senior end ourselves), but a competitive day rate for a handpicked individual matched to a specific task is an alternative that more and more organisations are considering. In 2011 we will continue our drive to show the industry what they are missing out on if they happen to be overlooking freelance PR professionals. Because, whatever the brief, there is almost certainly an AP for that… and they will cost a hell of a lot less than £150K a week.

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