In my 12-year career in public relations, I have held positions in many different fields: agency, corporate, nonprofit, health care, you name it.
Recently, prior to my current position at Weber Shandwick, I was a freelance PR practitioner. While working as a freelancer was sometimes (most times) uncertain, and didn’t provide me with any job security, it did provide me with job freedom. I could do my job anywhere.
Working as a freelance publicist also helped me to achieve a work-life balance that I loved. I was able to pick projects that I was really interested in, while also spending tons of quality time at home with my son, until he was ready to start kindergarten.
Hiring freelance employees is beneficial for companies as well. It allows them to save money on health care benefits, electronics, and other overhead costs that come along with hiring a full-time employee.
Being a freelance public relations practitioner isn’t easy. You have to have focus and the ability to “police” yourself. If you need a constant hand guiding you throughout your workday, then freelance is not a good choice for you.
Also, it can be a bit isolating. I often found myself craving for adult interaction. You know someone to bounce ideas off of. Actually, that’s the main reason I went back to working full time at an agency once my son was in school – I missed working with people, face to fact, on a daily basis.
However, if you love the freedom of working for yourself, and the thrill of seeking out and landing your own clients, then freelance PR just may be your dream career. I do, however, recommend working for someone before working for yourself.