Advertising & Marketing

Tuesday, 28 October 2008 12:47

Freelancers for Africa – Unused and Unloved

{pp}I spend a lot of time rewriting other people’s work or worse trying to decipher press releases and editing reams of paper which make up reports. And then I meet up with other freelancers who complain of how quiet it is right now and I wonder?

Well maybe they’re sometimes unused but not all are unloved, but it made you read this didn’t it? Why don’t more companies take advantage of these really talented people, specialist journalists in every field imaginable from finance and IT to health and even the esoteric? Then of course there’s the layout and design guys, photographers – and here we’re talking ex chief photographers of major newspapers, who are all out there waiting for assignments. The thing is this you don’t have to pay them a salary, medical aid, insurance or even have them take up a seat in your office. You don’t have to hear about their family problems or pay them for time unused. There’s no expense account or maternity leave and you get exactly what you pay for.

Think about it, perhaps you produce a company newsletter or write info for a website that goes out to staff, clients and anyone who hits your website. Who writes and edits this? Has any research gone into whether anyone is actually reading it? Is it amateur? For a few hours work a month this could be whipped into professional shape and you could find people actually look forward to reading it. You want to get word out on a new offering or project. You get whoever you think is the best writer in the office possibly to ‘knock something up’. They do this diligently ending up with about four pages not leaving any detail out. You wonder perhaps why you get no response.

Ask a writer – better still get a professional to write it. You’ll find you have one page of clear, concise information. At your company function someone who has just bought themselves a lekker new digital camera goes around snapping shots. The next day when you need these for your website you battle to find any without heads cut off or blurry shots – possibly taken after a few drinks. If you’d hired a professional this wouldn’t have happened. Nothing replaces a professional – so next time you want a few pages of copy, a report edited, a proposal written or some great pics why not try a freelancer. And remember there’s not one size fits all – there are many specialities. Check out (South African Freelance Association).

Marion Scher is an award winning journalist, lecturer, media trainer and consultant with 21 years experience in the industry and for information on her courses, particularly on professional writing skills go to

Contact Information:
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Marion Scher
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