02 August 2006

More on No!Spec

A while ago, I blogged about the No!Spec campaign. I consider No!Spec to be highly important in terms of educating work providers as to why creative people shouldn't work for free.

Recently, the very dedicated people behind No!Spec have been busy again, this time contacting writers, editors, photographers and the like to contribute towards a survey about designers. The aim of the survey is to get designers thinking beyond design itself and taking into account how they need to work with other creatives in order to produce a quality finished product. A lot of newly trained/qualified designers come out of college full of ideas and raring to go, but fail to consider how they interact with others who have input into a project.

I was asked to participate and the questions were intended to elicit responses about deadlines, briefings, budgeting, keeping people in the loop, building in time for tweaking final versions etc. I gave my tuppence worth on how I like to work with designers (regular readers will already know I work regularly with a very good designer in my locality) and the issues I think are important.

The No!Spec team are getting plenty of responses from their pool of interviewees and the results should form a useful toolkit when collated for the raw talent coming into the market. I await publication with interest.

Talking of working for free, I've just taken on an unpaid job. Not an "on spec" job though. I've been asked to write a monthly column for a free magazine distributed to homes and businesses in Chester. The column will be on good written business communication - the various aspects such as business blogging, why it pays to outsource company literature to editors and copywriters, the pitfalls when firms get it wrong etc. Naturally, my willingness to do this for free has an ulterior motive - to boost my profile in the local market! I'll get a free ad and a plug for my business, thousands of people will see my writing skills firsthand, in the comfort of their home or office, and I'll get a nice, warm feeling from knowing that not only have I helped some floundering businesses to start thinking about how they can improve, but also seeing my turnover increase as a result.

Sometimes, it does pay to work for nothing...

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