There’s something no-one told me about life as a Freelance Planner. You need to be a bit of a detective.
You’d be amazed how often I turn up at an agency to find that the person who booked me to come in and work on Client X isn’t there and has left no instructions for me.
Now if I was working in an agency full time that wouldn’t be a problem, I’d just move on to the next thing on my To Do list and leave emails, voicemails and post-its until whoever had a brief for me eventually turned up at my desk.
But when you’re freelance you tend to have a limited time frame in which to complete something and nothing else on your plate that day. So you have to get all Sherlock Holmes about it:
1) check if Key Contact is actually hiding somewhere in the building
2) ring Key Contact’s mobile and leave message
3) speak to Client X’s account director
4) get him/her to check with the rest of the Client X account handling team
5) ask the creative director
6) ask the people who sit near Key Contact’s desk in case they overheard something useful
7) start looking for Something Else To Do
My record for being in an agency and officially Briefless is 6 ½ hours. But by that time I’d written three promotional marketing briefs and a mini desk research report…