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…
3 thoughts on “let’s play Hunt the Brief”
Forgive my ignorance of freelance work practice, but is this a single whammy; there is a fixed deadline to get something done and time wasted can’t be made up. or a double one; that and an issue over time spent that can be billed to the client for?
Good point Tony, I’m certainly going to bill an agency for the time I spend on their premises at their request – however productive it might actually end up being. But I’d rather have a full day on something and do a decent job than a morning of playing Hunt the Brief and the afternoon furiously trying to catch up.
And to be fair, I think the whole post is probably more about how agencies aren’t necessarily structured to work round the inflexible chunks of working time you get with booking freelancers.
Very difficult situation. My hat off to you, Ms. Holmes!