Sorry, but I don’t really want to work for free
Working for “Exposure” by Hanna Blank
“This morning’s form letter, after having been asked yet again to lend my name/track record/time/energy/expertise to being a “featured speaker” to someone else’s for-profit programming, on the basis that it will somehow make me money through exposure… if I also drive the exposure via social media…
“Thank you for reaching out to me about this event, it sounds like a great offering and I wish you well with it, but I will not be joining you.
“Past experience with events organized on this model has proven that for me, these events are not remunerative, either financially or in terms of my professional CV.
“Therefore I must consider them as entirely pro bono work. My time for pro bono work is of course limited, and as a result I have a longstanding policy that I do not do pro bono work for for-profit events/organizations.
“I warmly invite people who ask me to participate in such events on this sort of remuneration basis to consider, for the future, what some other financial models for such events might be. I feel it is an important gesture of political and professional respect for even organizers to try to make sure that cultural workers, activists, and changemakers are paid in real terms, not contingencies, when they are asked to do real work.”
PS “It’s only flattering so many times, this thing where people like your work so much they’re willing to offer you the chance to make them money.” Hanna Blank