Like most businesses, media houses are streamlining and cutting costs. Word rates are going down, more work is being generated in house and less is being commissioned to freelancers.
Often there is no budget at all to pay writers for online pieces. So, the big question for journalists is – should you ever work for free? What are the pros?
Well if you write something for a high-profile site, it means your currency goes up. Industry people (PR’s, editors and commissioning editors) see your work and value your currency and influence. It also means you can experience treatments/restaurants/spas etc – getting the content from this for your own social channels – whilst the PR gets wide reaching coverage for their client.
This week I had a meeting with a couple of my favourite PR’s which was a total joy. I asked them what type of coverage their clients valued the most (online, print or influencer) and the interesting thing was it was different for each of them. Some still loved print, some valued ‘influencer’ above all, others wanted online coverage on the established sites of magazines or newspapers.
I guess we are all navigating the new landscape and for me it sometimes makes sense for me to write for free if I can gain experience that enriches me and gives me insight that I can to pass onto my followers/readers.