If you’ve never considered hiring a PR firm, or perhaps it’s been a while since you last did, you might find yourself pondering a common question: “What will a PR agency charge?” It’s entirely reasonable to have this concern, as the cost of PR services can vary depending on several factors.
Further, the expense associated with a PR firm is not fixed. There are many variables at play. The size and reputation of the agency, the scope of services required, and the duration of the engagement can all impact the cost. Now, let’s break everything down for you.
The Cost Is Directly Proportional To The Impact You Want From The Services
If you aim to boost sales, your PR agency’s cost should reflect its significance to your brand. Don’t anticipate a 100% sales growth by allocating just an extra 5% to PR. In fact, you can actually measure PR’s impact on revenue. For instance, if you need a responsive PR agency for just maintenance rather than a proactive one, it should be less expensive than a media relations and placement campaign that can reach billions of people.
Also, agencies of different sizes may charge differently, too. Typically:
- Solo or less experienced PR firms may charge around $3,000 monthly, varying with the client and market.
- Larger, premium, or boutique agencies can demand $18,000 to $25,000 monthly for their services.
Businesses in rapidly growing or emerging sectors may also influence PR pricing.
What’s The Size Of Your Business?
If your company falls within the average category and aims to maintain its current position, you’re likely dedicating around 10% of your revenue to marketing (PR is considered a part of marketing). But if you have aspirations to dominate your field, it’s advisable to allocate a higher budget. Additionally, a common breakdown involves dividing your budget into thirds:
- one-third for advertising
- one-third for content
- one-third for PR
Ambitious startups often earmark a percentage ranging from 12% to 17% of their revenues. If you’re a CPG or DTC brand with a marketing budget below $100,000, consider consumer product PR sprints. These involve micro contracts aligning with key buying seasons. Besides, investing in a PR agency is indeed an investment, and it’s worth noting that PR can deliver a higher ROI compared to advertising. The conversion rates range from ten to fifty percent.
Factors Defining PR Agency Costs
Scope of Services
The extent of services you need particularly concerns the costs of hiring a public relations agency. Many companies opt for a complete PR package encompassing tasks such as:
- Media relations
- Crisis management
- Brand management
- Crafting/distributing press releases
To reduce expenses, you can assign specific tasks. For example, you might hire a PR agency solely for media relations while managing press releases internally.
Moreover, most brands prefer monthly retainers when hiring PR specialists. This means paying for a fixed number of hours every month, whether used or not. Additional hours can be purchased when needed. A retainer-based PR agency ensures availability for crisis management when required.
Besides, some PR agencies charge daily or hourly rates for specific projects, like preparing for product launches or events.
PR costs are directly linked to the agency’s rate card for individuals or teams working on your account. The rate card specifies the hourly or daily rates for agency-hosted professionals. An account manager’s hourly rate will be higher than an account executive’s but lower than an account director’s.
Working with agencies whose typical clients match your budget and size is advisable to ensure quality service.
While many PR specialists work remotely with businesses nationwide, prices can vary based on location. Also, agencies in urban areas generally charge more than the average, whereas those in rural areas tend to offer lower rates.
Choosing Between Full-Service and PR-Only Agencies
Deciding between a full-service agency and a PR-only firm is a common question. We believe hiring a full-service agency to manage your PR needs is a smart choice. Moreover, the main benefit is that when one firm handles all your marketing and communications, the execution becomes more unified and coordinated.
Is My Brand Ready for PR?
While the idea of PR sounds appealing, it’s not the right fit for every brand. Any brand can technically hire a Public Relations Agency and get press coverage. However, it may not always justify the expenses. The process takes time to kick in! For brands that aren’t what we consider “poised for PR,” it can take significantly longer.
To be “poised for PR,” your brand should have a compelling, unique story that not only captivates your PR agency but also the consumer audience. Further, this kind of narrative makes publications eager for your press release and makes it easier to get coverage.
If you lack this engaging story, we recommend investing in a paid media campaign. It’s still a viable way to build brand equity and awareness.
After you’ve decided to team up with a PR agency, it’s important to realize that instant results are rare.
In the long run, bringing in a PR firm is a financial commitment, but it pays off when your objectives match theirs. When assessing if a firm’s rates fit your budget and requirements, factor in your goals, industry hurdles, and the skills of the agency’s team. You better don’t shy away from asking challenging questions because your company’s reputation relies on how the PR agency handles them. Furthermore, the right PR agency can be a valuable asset.