‘Just a written biog then, nothing else involved?’

ARRIVING at the appointed venue to interview a middling rock star for a PR "biog" commissioned by a publicist for a new album's press release, a fellow music writer found a camera crew installed too.

The PR said they were going to do an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) too, while she was at it. EPKs involve an interview, some music and other material neatly edited into a little publicity film - ever more popular in the music world these days because of their ease of transmission.

My colleague had been offered a very acceptable 600 quid for the written biog, but hadn't signed up for the movie version. Having done an EPK before and aware what they're worth, she politely advised the PR that this would mean an extra fee. For historical reasons, EPK fees reflect the film world's financial practices - a good thing, as it means an EPK can earn journos £1500 and up for sitting on (or off) camera and asking questions. My colleague accepted the PR's protestation that he "hadn't thought", and eventually reached an amicable agreement to double her money and preserve their existing working relationship.

Today's mixed-media fiscal culture means we need to politely press our clients to describe the job and the usage required fully so we know what it is we're negotiating a fee for. As in, "So's we know, this interview is just for the 1000-word biog then, nothing else involved?"

Be clear in advance that if any extra work or usage should emerge while you're on site, you will negotiate extra cash.

Last modified: 09 Feb 2011 - © 2011 contributors
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