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A case in point - Seasonal freelance cover

Our case study, showcasing how we continue to support a corporate communications agency, with critical seasonal freelance cover.


The reporting season, as it is often called, simply refers to a period, usually from November to April (depending on the agency), when all the specialist corporate communications agencies are busy producing annual reports.

One of the agencies we work with, Emperor Design, are an employee-owned creative communications agency, who specialise in producing corporate reports but also provide consultancy on how to best communicate ESG matters to all levels of stakeholders. They have been a long-standing client of ours for over a decade now.

The challenge

Given the sheer volume of annual reports being produced over a reporting season, Emperor, along with most of the other corporate communications agencies we work with, tend to experience significant workload peaks over the course of the season. This is across all areas of the business, including client services, creative & design, artwork, and proof-reading. The demand typically tails off again around May, meaning that there simply isn’t enough work all year around to justify an increase in overall permanent headcount. Emperor engaged us for a number of years to source, onboard and manage their freelance requirements and we worked with the following criteria:

• Fit with their culture

• Have experience in corporate reporting

• Are self-employed freelancers

• Can work fully-remotely

• Would be happy to be pencil booked well in advance

• Are open to becoming a long-standing freelancer, to hit the ground running each season

• Skilled AR Artworkers, Designers, Proofreaders and Account/Project Manager

Our approach

We make sure to understand, on a team by team basis, what each skill set will need to contribute, what experience is essential, the flexible working model needed, length of seasonal cover required per skill set, compliance needs and day rate budgets.

We manage the process from sourcing, advanced bookings, process management, compliance management and, where needed, we pay the freelancer or contractor

Given that the reporting season happens every year, those contractors are booked with Emperor time after time, and often well in advance to ensure that their go-to people are secured for the season.

The season falls when contract work tends to be a bit quieter, especially in January to March, and therefore it is an attractive contract for people, making availability and bookings that bit more straightforward.

Good contractors are like gold dust and ours are tried & tested. They can grasp processes/systems/work very quickly to deliver exceptional work. Not only do they bring their expertise on board, while adding some fresh new perspectives, but they also bring their character, which in most cases is a breath of fresh air, during what is often a long and intense reporting season.


The reporting season is a big operation for any corporate comms agency and, based on the feedback from the contractors and freelancers, Emperor have it nailed to a tee. Everyone, on all sides of the fence appreciate a very slick and efficient service, where risk is reduced, and our client can deliver for their clients.

We hope this case study demonstrates how interim resource can be used to bolster the team, where the workload fluctuates.

For more information, visit our Interim resource page.

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