How much do you need to spend on PR?

How much should you pay for PR? By Shake It Up Creative

Asking “how much does PR cost?” can feel like you’re asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’. For those of you who are wondering how on earth you decide which PR firm to choose, how much it’s going to cost and how to measure the return on investment, this blog post is for you. We understand how tricky it can be to know how much budget to put into PR. There is such a huge variety of spending options when it comes to PR and sometimes it can feel like the best option is to spend as little as possible and monitor the results before deciding on whether to invest in a full blown PR campaign. For others, setting out a comprehensive fully fledged PR campaign from day one is an integral part of their marketing campaign and planning it all out with a well-known and respected PR company is the only way they know how. We’re going to talk you through how much you should expect to pay depending on what your business goals are.

Now, to premise this blog post, it’s important to remember that each business has different goals, different budgets, a different in-house resource level to add and will ultimately have different outcomes. No one company is the same as the other so it’s vital that you and your team research and talk through what is the best decision for you when it comes to PR. You may have heard before that the general rule of thumb is to plan on investing at least 10 percent of your gross annual turnover on marketing. That figure might work out for you but on the other hand, you might find that for the first few years, you need to invest more or perhaps you’re taking off and you simply have to invest less.

We recommend you regularly review your PR spend and stay on top of whether your public relations efforts are showing a fair ROI or not. PR is an investment and that’s how it needs to be viewed.

Some PR efforts are easy to measure and others are a little more complex. For example, seeing how many people click through from a press piece link to your website is trackable but word of mouth and brand awareness are not as easy to track. To see whether or not your PR campaigns are paying off, we suggest looking at the whole picture and not solely relying on one method of measurement because, as we’ve established, some efforts won’t be entirely visible. If you’re increasing traffic and boosting sales through your PR efforts then it makes sense for you to continue to increase your PR budget until you reach a plateau.

That said, PR isn’t just about improving traffic and sales. It also plays a key role in releasing news about your business and promoting upcoming events, launches and products plus building brand credibility through awards. Now, this kind of PR can easily be done in-house by a member of staff who is skilled in writing copy but it could also be handed to a freelancer you know of or who has been recommended to you. This can cost you anything from £10 an hour to £500 a piece. Once you’ve established which PR activities work for your business and which you’d rather not be using then having a freelance PR person on hand to help out is not a bad shout. You’re not tied down to anything plus you can build up trust and a good relationship with them over time and know they’ll do a good job of communicating whatever it is that you want them to.

So how much does PR cost?  If you’re looking for a more extensive PR campaign then you’ll either need to hire somebody to work with your in-house resource which will cost between £14000 to £22000 for part time and £20000 to £55000+ for full time. Or, chose an agency with day rates to work alongside. Figures for PR agencies vary greatly depending on which services you’d like to use, frequencies and whether they are experts in your industry. We know that it’s normal to cost between £500 and £1000 for an agency to draft two media submissions for you and that’s normally on top of a £250 per month retainer fee.  Additional services will cost extra and we estimate that to be around £250 for each local print and radio placement, £500 for local television coverage, £750 for national print and radio placements and £1,500 for national television placements.  Even our fees vary depending on how much work is required from us.

First thing to do when planning PR for your company is outline your goals. We suggest assessing how much talent you already have (or plan to have) in-house before curating a list of which PR activities you believe are going to be most effective for your business. Then, decide whether it’s worth employing someone on a freelance, part-time or full time basis or chose a PR firm with gleaming testimonials, trial periods and portfolio work that you like.

There is more than money at stake when investing in a PR firm, you need to be able to trust them with your brand. Consider whether it’s important to you that your PR firm are geographically close by to be able to attend meetings and see what ideas they bring to you before you decide if they’re right for you. When you find the right PR solution for you, the results will be so rewarding, just remember not to rush the decision and explore all options before forking out.

Have you got a PR firm or do you do it yourself? Talk to us in the comments below.

If you’d like to chat about how we can help you with PR for your company, please call and chat to Rachael on 01273 906128.

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