by Faith Reidenbach
I am thrilled to announce that on Wednesday during the conference, the AMWA Board of Directors approved a budget variance that will allow some changes to the Freelance Directory. These will take effect sometime in 2011 -- we don't know when yet.
The most exciting change, to me, is that the directory will become open access. That means anyone will be able to search it for free, not just AMWA members. Also, for nonmembers there will be no more lag time while payments are processed. In order to support this change, there will be a modest increase in the fee charged freelancers for their ads.
The directory will be searchable in 7 new ways: by number of years of freelance experience, by overall number of years of experience in medical communications, by level of experience with different types of documents/media, by level of experience with various services, by level of experience with various therapeutic areas, by availability to work on-site, and by country. Keyword searching will remain available.
Thus, clients will be able to refine their searches to a much greater degree than they can currently. For example, they will be able to indicate that they want someone who has at least 2 years of freelance experience, who has at least some experience with substantive editing, who is an expert or has extensive expertise with PowerPoint, and who is an expert or has extensive expertise in oncology. To refine the search even further, the client will retain the ability to type in "breast cancer." When the list of freelancers' names comes up (in RANDOM order, as they already do), the client will be able to see people's degrees and credentials.
We will have a trial period for the directory that will allow freelancers to make suggestions. I believe that when we're through, no directory in the world will match ours for the ability to precisely target a search for a freelance medical communicator.
BIG THANKS to the other members of the Freelance Directory Committee: Peter Aitken, Brian Bass, Kate Casano, Alison Greenwood, Mary King, Mary Royer, and Naomi Ruff.