No such thing as a free lunch
Three times in recent weeks, I’ve been asked to do things for free — offering thoughts on a potential client, contributing to a trends report and analysing the efforts on behalf of a current client.
In the past, I mostly said yes to these sorts of things, if time allowed, because I wanted to be kind and generous. But with Croydon greatly hiking its council tax — all of those failed building projects, library closures and un-replaced bus shelters cost money — plus every other bill going up, I simply cannot work for free anymore.
Nor should I, frankly. As a self-employed worker, I need to be earning. If I was in a waged job, it might be different — although, as far as I can tell, no-one on a travel desk has even one iota of spare time — but as I’m not, it’s academic.
If you are in the position of hoping for or even definitively requiring help like this from us writers, then I’d suggest you either contact journalists with whom you’re chummy or call in favours for previously (or imminently) provided trips, for lucrative copywriting gigs you’ve helped secure and the like.
Better yet, just be prepared to pay. You could enlist a journalist’s services on a paid half-day basis, and get them to additionally provide thoughts on several clients, or get some feedback on a pitch you’ve put together. Done that way, it would likely be money well spent.
What Richard Thinks…
“While this release about a Princess Cruises ship’s postponement is understandably short — no sense in dwelling on bad news — it still provides all that news writers will need, and doesn’t dodge the issue. Good job by Charlotte.”