About a decade ago when I practiced journalism in Blantyre, I remember very well some of my guiding principles when it came to “allowances”.
To most of my peers, each time we went to functions, they always expect some sort of monetary reward for covering events. I am sure that is still the trend up to this date.
In those days, such allowances ranged from K5,000 to K15,000. I always refused them unless it was from K50,000 going up. As a result, I usually came back from events empty handed unlike my friends who pocketed every peanut they were given and went around searching for more other functions.
Here was my trick, despite not getting anything, I went home, wrote the best articles about such events and distributed to all the media houses I wrote for.
I would have a minimum of three media houses publishing my work including creating a very necessary buzz on social media about such. In those days, social media was not as it is these days. It was a bit serious.
In the long run, the next time an organisation I worked for without getting their pre-indicated allowances had other functions, I was being considered differently from my peers.
There was always a special arrangement for me to attend and do what I can do. Thats what led me to register my first media company, Impact-Plus PR.
People like me dont simply accept what has been offered. We price ourselves and let those who can afford us make the payment. The same job that most of you can do for K50,000 to K100,000, I can either do it for K1 million or for free.
I do it for free just to send a message that they should prepared the next time they want to engage me and make no mistake, there is always next time.