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Corporate Roads Less Traveled: A Guide For Freelance Writers

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When targeting any corporation for freelance work, most writers
contact the communications department. It makes sense, after all,
that the department responsible for the majority of a company's
external and internal communications would have the greatest
potential need for freelancers.

But having worked in a large insurance company for over 15 years, I
can vouch for the fact that the need for strong writers exists
throughout the organization, not just in communications. And the
management in these other departments often realize that need. But
they probably won't even think to seek out a freelancer--unless you
make them aware of your availability, and show them how you might
help them solve one or more problems within their areas.

Moreover, this fact doesn't apply only to insurance companies.
Utilities, banks, hospitals, brokerage firms, and a wide variety of
other organizations frequently have similar departments, with similar
needs. You just have to know where to look, and whom to contact.

The following list, although by no means exhaustive, contains
corporate "roads less traveled" where enterprising writers might be
able to pick up freelance work:

Customer Service Departments

I list this one first, only because I've spent a good deal of my own
work history in the customer service sector, so I know firsthand what
writing needs exist there.

A certain amount of service for many companies is done via
correspondence--either through form letters or more personalized
responses from a representative to a customer. Often these form
letters could use a professional writer's touch, or these
representatives could use business writing training. Some
organizations might even hire a writer to assist them with their
correspondence backlogs, or with the creation of new form letters.

Another idea would be to offer employee newsletters targeted to
customer service departments. The newsletter might include Service
Employee of the Month, customer service tips and articles,
motivational quotes and stress-reducing techniques and exercises. If
you've ever worked in a customer service department, you'd understand
how valuable this type of newsletter could be in terms of employee
morale.

Human Resources Departments

Next to communications, HR departments probably produce the most
documentation within an organization, and most likely would be open
to assistance in doing so. From developing company policies to job
descriptions, from posting fliers announcing upcoming company events
to handling employee benefits paperwork, human resource professionals
for whom writing may not come easily need to constantly communicate
to the rest of the company in writing. Can you help them get their
messages out clearly and professionally? If so, freelance
opportunities await.

Marketing Departments

OK, maybe Marketing produces even more written communications than
Human Resources. Product brochures, businesses proposals, and direct
mail sales letters all fall under the auspices of a company's
marketing efforts. This written work is often outsourced, which frees
up the marketing and sales staff to study trends, identify potential
new business, and make sales calls. If you have desktop publishing
as well as writing experience, so much the better.

IT (Information Technology)

Writers might not think to contact IT department heads, despite the
fact that the need for writers in this area is tremendous. Not only
are technical writers needed to document system specifications or
create system user guides, but nontechnical writers can assist IT
with the creation of Internet site content for a company's customers,
or Intranet content for its employees. People who excel in writing
HTML appreciate working with those of us who excel in writing clear,
crisp content.

Training Departments

My current day job title is "Document Development Coordinator" for
the Training department, in which I support the trainers by creating
and/or editing a wide variety training manuals and procedure
materials. Let's face it, when they're actively training a class,
the trainers themselves have little time to research and update the
materials they use. Writing needs in the training arena include
putting together corporate glossaries of terms and acronyms unique to
an industry and organization, editing training and procedure docs to
ensure that they're user-friendly, and training the trainers
themselves on how to write clearly and effectively. If you as a
freelancer can assist a company with these, many companies might
certainly welcome your services.

You will most likely need to do a good deal of research, and make a
number of telephone calls, to gather the names of the people who head
up these various departments. But the effort could be well worth it,
in terms of uncovering dozens of "hidden markets" and new clients for
freelance writing work.


About the Author

Need a steady stream of freelance writing opportunities?
Visit: http://tinyurl.com/eak . Or for a free biweekly dose of writing
ideas, information and inspiration, subscribe to Mary Anne Hahn's
ezine, WriteSuccess. Mailto:writesuccess-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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