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Archive for April 15th, 2008

When I enter into a professional arrangement with a large corporation, I cross my fingers that an internal Project Manager is waiting for me on the other end.

The project manager is a corporate in-house gatekeeper to whom the various marketing, merchandising and training mangers turn. The PM is a “creative resource wrangler” that serves many functions beneficial to the company and the freelancer.

From the company perspective, the internal project manager:

  • Compiles, vets and maintains a roster of qualified creative talent
  • Matches projects to the appropriate vendors
  • Can field vendors’ general questions about company history, policies, philosophy and, equally important, politics!

From the freelance writer or producer’s perspective, the internal project manager:

  • Helps the writer or producer prioritize competing internal projects
  • Can be a vital sounding board when the project hits its inevitable bumps
  • Is a more credible figure when it’s time to poke or prod the client for a variety of concerns, including: payment, invoicing, getting paid, remuneration, gettin yo moneyz, and so on. (This is exactly what happened during a recent hair-on-fire emergency!)

It is a tremendous convenience to have a single reliable resource looking out for you in a huge corporation. And it is definitely a two-way street. The internal PM has many clients depending on him or her to provide them with a talented, professional creative solution. He puts his credibility on the line and chooses you. You return the favor by not only doing a great job but by keeping him in the loop at all times-during the highs and lows-so that he is absolutely up to the minute. This is professional courtesy, but it can also help prevent any he said/she said if things go rotten!

So, look for an internal project manager to empower/count on/whine to. If one doesn’t exist, help create one. Almost every marketing assistant is looking for a way to stand out and gain more responsibility. Making headaches disappear for managers and directors is a golden opportunity to do that.

I’d love to hear your experiences working with a big corporate client!

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