Lama Fleifel is a PR executive at Pencell Public Relations & Event, Beirut. We spoke to Lama about her experience in outsourcing work to freelancers – Fleifel shares with Nabbesh:
“I have been working with freelancers for the good part of three years, assigning them tasks as often as every other day, especially in rush seasons which are usually filled with events and client requests. In slower seasons, we might need the help of freelancers two or three times a month. To be honest, the experience has been great so far, especially that we have been lucky enough to come across many qualified individuals who managed to quickly earn our trust. At some point, you just stop thinking of someone as a freelancer. They become a part of the team and you start calling on them for urgent requests or even calling them for a quick question.
In our work, we need freelancers to help design a campaign by not only producing the accompanying visuals, but also creating content: developing press releases, proofreading communiqués, and writing and editing interviews, among other little jobs we don’t usually have internal capacity to fill.
Each of our clients has their own writing style and preferences when it comes to communicating their messages to their audiences. What is good about having a freelancer work on an account is that the person becomes familiar with the tone. I have had clients request that a press release be revises and rewritten by “that same person who did it last time”. This usually happens when the outcome is satisfactory. Each of our clients chooses their favorite writer and the person becomes unofficially affiliated to a certain PR account. I don’t think there are many disadvantages to working with freelancers, in my experience at least. Freelancers deliver fast and are always excited to receive more work. However, good freelancers who can deliver up-to-par work are usually extremely busy, which may result in delays at times, but we’ve gotten used to it in the sense that we now know when to send an assignment to a freelancer so that we don’t make empty promises to a client.
Knowing that it is rare for us to meet with freelancers and brief them about a job (as we usually communicate with them on e-mail) there is always a risk to end up with an outcome that’s different from the client’s brief or vision. However, once a freelancer gets the hang of the job and masters the style, this problem usually disappears.
I believe a successful experience dealing with freelancers is related to taking the right choices at all stages — starting at the hiring stage, where one must choose a freelancer they know they’d most probably be comfortable working with, making the brief and requirements for each job as clear as possible, and constant follow-up. I believe this is what has made my client-freelancer relationship a fruitful one so far.”