Single, But Not Alone

A 1999 cover story in Fast Company highlighted a major transition in the business world toward a "Free Agent Nation." Several developments at last week's PRSA World Public
Relations Congress in Chicago prove that the trend is continuing. Joann Killeen, an independent PR consultant from Los Angeles, defeated Publicis Dialog CEO Art Stevens in the
bid for the society's next chair-elect spot. And word on the street is that PRSA is now considering developing specific forums and programming to address the interests of
independent professionals, on topics such as strategic alliances, packaged vendor relationships, mentoring and professional development. "Indies," as they are known, are
ubiquitous in local PR circles - nearly 15% of members of DC's National Capital Chapter are independent counselors; in Boston, the number climbs to 40%. The Georgia chapter of
PRSA, whose membership includes 60 sole proprietors, has incorporated a "Freelancers Forum" into its local programming, as has the Oakland, Calif., chapter.