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Monday, April 20, 2009

EVER WONDER HOW PR FIRMS GO ABOUT HIRING FREELANCERS?

If you said yes, then this is your lucky day. Gina Furia-Rubel of FURIA RUBEL COMMUNICATIONS has answers, and is kindly sharing her knowledge and experience with Freelance Picnic readers. As President and CEO, Gina prides herself on being well-versed in the art of communication – the foundation on which her successful public relations, marketing and strategic planning agency was built. I conducted an interview with Gina on the decision making processes in hiring freelancers.

1. As a top PR firm, what situations would necessitate hiring freelance?
 
At Furia Rubel, we have traditionally used expert freelance services to supplement our public relations offering or to add to the depth of our services. Situations that have necessitated hiring freelance assistance in the past include the need for: in depth research, writing, editing, proofreading, graphic design, Web design, custom illustration, photography, videography and translation services.
 
2. What do you look for in a freelancer, and specifically, what special skills are you impressed by, if any?
 
At Furia Rubel, it is our practice to assemble client-specific teams of experienced communications professionals to meet our clients’ needs. So the first thing we look for in a freelancer is their ability to communicate to us their skills and ability to deliver the services we are seeking. We look for well-written capabilities, solid and relevant work samples, testimonials from other clients, and reasonable fee structures.
 
3. How do you go about hiring freelancers, do you do contracts, and how are fees determined? 
 
We hire freelances on an as-needed basis. We will review their capabilities, work samples and testimonials, we will reach out to referral sources, and we will come to a verbal agreement on fees. Fees are generally determined by the services being contracted for and the level of expertise of the freelancer. Once we have a verbal agreement, we generally require confidentiality and non-compete agreements (as they relate to the clients the freelancer is being hired for), fully-executed W-9 and I-9 forms, and a consulting agreement.
 
5. What advice would you give freelancers about applying to PR firms for work?
 
Remember that public relations is about the art of communicating a targeted message to very specific audiences. As a freelancer applying to PR firms for work, you must target your message accordingly. It is important to be clear, concise and compelling. Explain what benefits you bring to the table and how you add value to the agency’s offerings.
 


Passionate about her work and her life, Gina founded FURIA RUBEL COMMUNICATIONS in 2002. The public relations agency is a full-service, award winning, women-owned certified WBE. Recently, Gina was named one of Governor Ed Rendell’s Best 50 Women in Business.

The Furia Rubel team has developed widely publicized philanthropic programs for clients such as the National Kidney Foundation serving the Delaware Valley and the Hepatitis B Foundation. They have managed successful awareness-building campaigns and events for the Bucks County Covered Bridges Tour, Rohm and Haas, the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center and Oxford Valley Mall. Furia Rubel has created award-winning public relations, marketing and social media programs for clients including the Feldman Shepherd law firm, Montgomery Mall, and GlaxoSmithKline. And Furia Rubel has placed clients in such media as FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, KYW, Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR, MSNBC, Family Circle, The Wall Street Journal, Inside Edition, Forbes and The New York Times (just to name a few).
 
The agency’s work has garnered numerous accolades and awards along with a growing and diverse client base. Furia Rubel represents national and regional lawyers and law firms, professional service firms, healthcare and biotech companies, financial service agencies, business-to-business organizations, retail property management groups, pharmaceutical companies, non-profit organizations and others.
 
A nationally sought-after speaker and author, Gina’s most recent book is, Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. She will also publish a collaborative book, 6 Essentials for Success in Business and Life, in 2009.

Gina supports philanthropy and service. Her company received three Philadelphia Business Journal Top Corporate Givers Awards in 2008. She currently serves as the chancellor of The Justinian Society (Italian-American Lawyers) of Philadelphia. She is the immediate past president of the Women's Business Forum of Bucks County and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Drexel University Alumni Association where she chairs the Communications Committee. She also serves at the Bar-News Media Committee Chair for the Philadelphia Bar Association, and serves on the Bucks County Women’s Fund Speakers’ Bureau educating the community about gender equity, philanthropy and the need for social change.

A graduate of Drexel University and Widener University School of Law, Gina resides in Doylestown, Pa., with her husband and their two children on a 250 year-old farm.

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