… and out… and back in… Ah, the joys of freelancing!

So the gig I had with Rapp Collins (The Collaboratory) didn’t last the expected 2-3 months.

I shan’t say what happened, that wouldn’t be too professional; but I can say with all honesty that it was just a matter of bad luck for me. My “boss” Lindsay was super about it, the short duration of my stint was something beyond her control as well. In the short time I was there, I met some really great, smart people, and I just wish circumstances were different it was a terrific project, and *I* would have learnt a lot there. It was a  business decision which had to be made, so even though I was upset for myself, I totally understood why there really was no choice for the company.

I really should have updated this blog when I ended that contract, but I was back to the job boards and combing through my recruiter contacts immediately to find the next opportunity. I heard from one of my recruiters that there was not that much Project Management work out there – and what there was was mostly contract work.

Here’s the general idea about what’s happening in our market, and why it’s so hard for a freelancer to feel comforted and confident about finding good (or sometimes, *any*) work:

  • Advertisers are still skittish about putting money into marketing dollars with consumer confidence so low
  • Agencies are also in cost cutting mode, so they work with minimal staffing
  • If an Agency makes a bid on an RFP, they need to show the Advertisers they can do the same job for less than their competitors
  • The Agency bid is budgeted with the appropriate resources at “market” prices
  • Sales has to figure out where the budget can be trimmed, while Production needs resources from the market
  • Freelancers/contractors are called in to interview for the *possible* positions needed to be filled
  • Agencies get “pick of the litter” for exceptionally talented professionals right now, there are so many of us competing for the same jobs
  • Of the qualified candidates, we’re asked how low we can go with our rate, and they really push LOW
  • The Agency bid is recalculated with the new figures and sent to the Prospective Client
  • The Advertiser can go one of several ways:
  1. Decide to delay the project altogether
  2. Decide to cancel the marketing initiative altogether
  3. Decide to change the RFP if all the bids are too high
  4. Decide to go with another vendor
  5. Decide to go with the Agency the Freelancer interviewed for
  • So *at last* after weeks or months since the original interview with the agency, the Freelancers on the short list are asked if they are free to begin work…

So, I’ve been asked to come in to start a project with a pharma ad agency in Parsippany. I interviewed with them a couple of months ago and thought that was a dead lead. Funny how that happens. Ah the joys of freelancing!

Hope everyone is able to find work, or keep the job they already have. These are really tough times.

Rant over and out.

Back to work

So I started work this past Thursday at The Collaboratory, an Omnicom division that started up from their agency, RAPP. The purpose of The Collaboratory is to provide the client (in this case, HP’s Technology Services Group) with a single, world-wide agency for World, Regional and Local marketing, in order to bring economies of scale to their advertising budget, as well as culturally relevant marketing to individual markets. Right now, it’s an extremely new organization, their are parts of it that are already in place, essentially all of Omnicom’s various world-wide agencies are theoretically at our disposable during this transition period while HP and Omnicom gear up to implement this new process. I shan’t say too much, I’m sure a lot of the ideas behind either the campaigns or relationships with partner agencies are not publicly known yet, so this is another short post…