Freelancing... or just lancing.
Many agencies utilize the expertise of freelancers from time-to-time, as does HMA Public Relations. There are usually solid written agreements in place that prohibit the freelancer from doing work for the agency's clients without the agency's authorization.
That makes sense. Afterall - the freelancer wouldn't even be at the party with the client -- representing the agency -- if it weren't for the agency bringing them along.
But when the freelancer begins work for the agency's clients outside of the agency/freelancer agreement - we have a serious problem.
When that occurs, especially without any discussions with the agency about it, the low road is clearly the one being traveled. It is both a breach of trust and an ethical breakdown.
From an agency standpoint, it's bad enough when an employee leaves to go work in-house for a client and terminates the agency/client relationship, or leaves and takes clients in the process. It's even worse when a freelancer does that to an agency.
Have our ethics been completely lost in the shuffle of life?