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Persuasion | Judy Chopra Consulting
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Tuesday Jan. 10, 2012

Why hire an independent?

I'm borrowing shamelessly here--from my colleagues at the International Association of Business Communicators. They've made a little list of good reasons to call on people like me when your project needs a boost! 


"Busy, effective communicators know how to delegate and when to ask for help. Knowing when to turn to independent practitioners can help keep projects on the right track as well as on time and on budget. Here are the reasons most often cited:

Time. When your plate is already overflowing, an independent practitioner can manage that project, do those interviews or write the piece for you.

Expertise. An independent may offer an ability or experience that’s not readily available internally. [Such as experience in]....  speech writing, change management, marketing communications, investor and shareholder relations, internal communications, media relations, editorial and strategic planning.

Objectivity. Let an independent practitioner look at your project without biases. An objective indie can help distinguish between promoting corporate values and communicating the right message to the target audience. We all know what it’s like to get too close to a project. We can also relate to “having had enough” of an assignment that’s dragged on and on.

Availability. An independent practitioner can help a communicator handle fluctuating requirements. You get the help without increasing the overall head count.

Urgency. An independent practitioner would be happy to take on that huge project your boss didn’t tell you about. An indie will also fill in for the staff member who is on vacation, sabbatical or maternity leave, so deadline commitments can still be met.

Routine. A capable independent practitioner can handle the routine tasks such as the creation and production of press releases, news bulletins, newsletters or e-mail blasts. This allows the staff communicator to apply his or her intimate knowledge of the company and its needs to vital activities such as strategic planning and positioning.

Enthusiasm. To an independent, your assignment is new and exciting. They’ll get you fired up all over again.

Creativity. An independent may be more inclined to think outside the corporate box and may be less likely to say, “But we’ve always done it this way.”

Flexibility. If discussed at the outset, an independent practitioner may be able to accommodate your deadline by working before nine and after five or on weekends. Most indies are flexible and would be willing to negotiate terms and conditions.

Independence. As an external consultant/supplier, an indie is distanced from the internal politics and personality clashes that can adversely affect any project. This can be a great thing."

Compiled by Kara Kuryllowicz with input from Joan Endersby, Veronica Feihl, Sue Horner, Ginny Jones, David Magil and Jane Naczynski.

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