Re: Agency Response - margins

Subject: Re: Agency Response - margins
From: John Gough <gough -at- AUSTIN -dot- ASC -dot- SLB -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 11:28:33 -0500

>If they first ask your rate and then say it's too high, you can try
>discussing why ("well, what is the client paying, and what kind of split do
>you need?").

I like this approach. It helps create an atmosphere of partnership.

>Still, in my experience, most places won't level with you about what they

Mine, too. I watched one agency replace a tech writer. They negotiated
a lower rate with the incoming writer, then turned around and negotiated
a higher rate with the client. This is only one case among many where I have
observed agencies pushing their spread in what I consider to be
a predatory manner. Oh, and another point: this agency had a great
song and dance about how much "integrity" they had during the interview. :-)

I have gotten accurate pre-contract disclosure twice, once with
a national agency and once with a local one. Other times I have
gotten such data on the phone from agencies, but I did not confirm
it with the client and therefore don't believe it to be reliable.
I intend to keep pressing the point, and I hope all contract writers
do the same. Margins will stay secret only if we let them.


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