Public Relations — Fees and Rates

How much does it cost to hire a public relations company?

Public relations companies can do a lot for their clients.

They help clients manage their digital reputation on the internet, TV, or radio. They help foist clients' art or brand onto a large audience. They internally do market research, write press releases, expand business lists, and grow contact networks. They help create flattering content for blogs, websites, and other public outreaches.

Public relations companies can do a lot to help a client reach their full potential, and needless to say, their services aren't cheap.

Hourly basis

On a short term basis, many PR companies charge about $100 to $300 (or even more) an hour.

If you are a client looking for a specific one-time service, many companies may just prefer to charge by the hour. This offers both parties transparency to see what was accomplished and how long it took to do it.

Monthly retainers

However, many PR companies will charge monthly retainers (flat fees) to give the customer a bit of a discount. These retainers can be from $1500 to $20,000 a month.

These retainers are also part of the long term goal of promoting you (or your brand) and less about specific results. Therefore, a client may go some months where a PR company doesn't give them anything concrete, while other months where they give a client a huge story.

Other methods

There are other companies that invoice per project. They may have a low retainer, such as $250 per month plus the coverage they get ($500 for local print, $500 for radio coverage, etc.).

Our PR service waves the monthly retainer entirely (or for as little as $20 a month if you want some extra features) and allows clients to only pay for coverage they receive. We also avoid the pitfall of paying for something that you didn't get by having clients only pay for what gets published.

Are public relations prices fair?

Coins

There is no question that PR firms aren't cheap, however, their prices are certainly justified for the amount of work that goes into managing a public relations campaign.

Normally, fees for PR firms cover the publicist's time. Given that in this line of work there is a lot of communication and cooperation between different entities, time is a very valuable resource that should be priced accordingly. Publicists often may have to work 60 hour weeks to get the proper coverage for their clients.

A good PR company or service is definitely worth that investment. Especially since without their communication skills, contacts, and reputation, you will be stuck doing the pitching yourself which is probably not the best use of your time.

Pros

  • Reputation — PR companies are still very reputable and influential in someone's appearance. Many reputable online magazines won't even take a look at your submission unless a publicist is vouching for you. This is understandable since magazines don't have time to weed out the people who are taking their careers seriously from those who aren't.
  • Cost-benefit — Although PR companies charge a hefty price for their services, what you gain in media coverage, changes in public perception, reputational management, and your own time may have cost you a lot more in the long run.
  • Flexibility – PR companies have the ability to be agile. If you have a specific response or reaction to the news cycle a PR professional can quickly incorporate this into your coverage.
  • Exposure – People in the PR industry likely already have cultivated incredible contacts, which in essence you are paying to have access to. They also know the specific media outlets to target for specific messages.
  • Time — If you really want to try pitching your art/brand/company yourself to various media outlets you are free to do so. However, we all only have so much time on our hands, and letting someone else take care of it can free you up to work on more pressing things.

Cons

Nevertheless, there are downsides.

  • Getting a quality PR firm can be challenging — As we've mentioned because you are paying for a publicist's time you have to trust that they are very good at their job—since you could end up paying a retainer for some months and still end up with nothing. This is why it is either important to find a quality PR firm or only pay for what you get secured.
  • Cost in the short-term — If you are looking for a quick blast about your YouTube video, latest album or a quick shoutout of your brand, a normal PR firm's cost may not be worth it. PR firms are better to contract for the long term so that they can continually get you press/coverage and help you stay relevant.

Is hiring a PR firm the right choice for me?

There are many factors to consider depending on your line of work, however public relations is an overall good look for your brand, whether you are an individual or represent an entity.

As we have mentioned, our PR company helps get digital exposure for clients without a monthly retainer, and only paying for what gets secured, which in looking at norm in public relations, is pretty hard to find. Check out our FAQ or Help section for more information on what we do.