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Blog Post

Freelance or agency – who should you use for video production?


By Keren Haynes

It’s obvious isn’t it? There are loads of good freelance videographers out there, many of whom are talented, creative and producing excellent work.  Universities are churning out thousands of new ones every year and, in comparison to specialist broadcast PR agencies, they’re as cheap as chips. So, when it comes to outsourcing video production, why would you consider using an agency instead?

Well, for a start, an agency is always there. They’re unlikely to save up all their money, then disappear travelling for months at a time. We celebrated our 13th birthday last month and are here for the long term!

An agency is never ill.  If a single person is unwell there are always colleagues who can pick up the pieces in an emergency. We use internal systems to ensure any member of the team can see what’s happening with a project at any point.

Book a freelancer for the day and they would, rightly, expect the job to be completed the day you’re paying them for. Unlike an agency, they might not always be available at any other time for those extra quick edits or tweaks your client is desperate for.

There are clearly some talented freelance videographers out there, but when it comes to quality control agencies have the edge. We have procedures in place to ensure best practise and these have been verified by our industry – for example we have been awarded the PRCA’s Communications Management Standard (CMS), which sets the standard for PR agencies. The quality of our video production is measured by our collective heritage, which for many of the team comes from years spent working in national television.

We’re also insured for what we do. There’s nothing to stop a freelancer getting professional insurance too – but would it cover the myriad of things we have….public liability, employers liability, professional indemnity….

Finally, many hands make light work. Or in this case, many brains leads to more ideas and creativity. Why go for a crumb when you could have a full slice of cake?!

Obviously I’m writing with a bias in my voice, as Head of Video Production for a specialist broadcast PR agency! But I have seen life as a freelancer too. Without doubt you pay less for a freelancer but in the world of PR, I’d argue quality is often worth paying for.

So, before you commit, how do you know you’ve found a good agency? Some top tips to look out for:

  • The agency will give you a thorough proposal about what to expect from the video production process. This should include several creative ideas that they will expand on once you’ve commissioned them.
  • They have procedures and processes in place, to give you the confidence that they’ll deliver the goods!
  • They tell you how many rounds of edits you get as part of the approvals process. For us it’s two, with as many changes as you wish to make in each round – plus as many changes to those changes until you’re super happy with what we’ve done.


For more thoughts on video production check out another of our blogs: Things to Consider When Commissioning a Broadcast PR Video.



Or to chat through an upcoming video project give me a call on 020 7240 7373, or email me at keren@shoutcommunications.co.uk.


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