In my never-ending quest to find out what I really want to do with my life, I came across a new avenue of public relations-- Freelancing.
After interning at an agency this past semester, I realized that perhaps agency work isn't quite the route I want to take upon graduating from college next year. I realized that I love to write, and often prefer working solo. I reached out through our Twitter to find other PR practitioners out there who have done some freelance work. Luckily, many people responded!
This is the fifth post in what is a series of posts featuring different PR freelancers.
This week, I interviewed Ken Jacobs, a PR consultant of his own firm, Jacobs Communications Consulting. Instead of actually doing PR writing and attempting to get media placements for clients, Mr. Jacobs helps corporate communications departments and PR firms enhance staff performance, motivation, retention through coaching.
A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Relations of Syracuse University, Mr. Jacobs has 25 years of experience in consumer PR. He decided to make the switch from working at different agencies to consulting because he wanted to focus on what he did well and loved doing. He also mentioned that it became tiresome to commute from New Jersey to New York City each day to work for someone else. "It's much more pleasurable to go to NYC or Philly on a semi-regular basis, at a better hour, and for myself!" he said.
In order to obtain clients, Mr. Jacobs relies on referrals from previous clients, email outreach, writing articles for various PR journals and attending and speaking at agency conferences. Like many others in the business who realize the importance of social networking, Mr. Jacobs' goal for this year is to more effectively use social media, particularly Twitter to build his business.
His favorite part of freelancing is, "being his own brand, being responsible for his own success, and putting money into his own pocket, rather than someone else's."
His least favorite part of freelancing is having to market himself each and every day. He doesn't enjoy not having paid sick days, vacation days, and holidays.
To stay active in the business, Mr. Jacobs relies on social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. "I don't feel unconnected at all," he said, "But I do need to remind myself to get out there and "press the flesh" more frequently.