Laura Sutherland: Collaborative working and why working with independent consultants makes sense

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In June, I announced the launch of the Scottish PR Collective at #PRFest. A collaborative group of independent PR practitioners across Scotland.

The idea came about because of two reasons. Firstly, being an independent practitioner can be lonely. There’s no-one to bounce ideas off, talk about situations at work and naturally, if you work in PR, you’re a people person. Secondly, there is an increasing demand for independent practitioners and freelancers, with organisations realising the skills and experience available without the liability for keeping them on the payroll.

I’ve always been a big collaborator. It makes sense. Everyone benefits.

The Scottish PR Collective (SPRC) is primarily a resource, namely a website, where organisations can search by category for their requirement and boom, the relevant practitioners will show up in the search.

With members of SPRC experienced in food and drink, travel and tourism, not for profit, corporate and through to arts, design, leisure and lifestyle, there is a wealth of talent to tap into.

An independent practitioner runs their own PR business with the same duties as any other business, admin, accounts, business development, client relations etc but they simply work on their own.

Read about #PRFest here – [insert page=’worlds-festival-dedicated-public-relations-kicks-off’ display=’link’]

Most independent practitioners specialise in a sector, or they may have specialist skills which can be applied across any sector.

The advantage of working with an independent practitioner is they have the skills and experience you’re looking for but they won’t charge as much as agencies because they don’t have the large overheads of offices and staff.

You’ll find some work from home and some like me have their own small office or co-working space.

Agile and flexible working has allowed more independent practitioners to have a healthy work-life balance. It enables them to manage their families, their clients, their business and to have the opportunity to work on clients they want to work with and work from where they choose. It doesn’t make them any less professional, in fact, because they are the one you’ll be working with directly, you’ll potentially find they are more invested in their work, as it’s their name on the line.

Check out the SPRC website to see who’s involved, sectors and areas of work they cover and contact them via the website to see how they can help your business grow.

Post by Laura Sutherland, Aura PR, Founder of #PRFest and Founder of Scottish PR Collective.


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