How much does PR cost?

The cost of PR activity is rarely discussed. Why? Well, there are a few reasons we'd suppose. But in true Team Rev style, we're about to chew your ear off about it.

How much does PR cost?

First of all, it’s worth saying that the cost of your PR activity could be likened to a piece of string – because there’s so much you could want to include. So, until you know what you want, you won’t be able to pin down a price. Frustrating, we know.

Helpfully though, there are some things that really do influence the investment you’ll need to make. Here are the top things to consider…

How many things are involved in your monthly activity?

By ‘things’ we mean, what mix of activity will your agency be undertaking on your behalf? Here are some common outputs that fall under the PR scope these days:

  • Traditional media relations – getting you in the press!
  • Influencer relations
  • Social media content and scheduling
  • Blogs, whitepapers and thought leadership
  • Award entries
  • Case studies (client and franchisee)
  • Video and presentation scripting
  • Media relations for grand opening events, product launches etc.

In the most basic terms, the input required for a member of staff or a team to undertake each of these things is different depending on the client and the timeframe. Each brand’s need will be different in size and scale. And, therefore, your retainer package will also be different. One size fits all really isn’t sensible in the world of productive and impactful PR.

The more things you want or need doing on a monthly basis, the more your activity will cost. Simples.

Who is undertaking your work?

At its best, PR is a relationship business. The biggest wins and the content that generates the most engagement is usually the result of personal pitching to known media contacts, either in person or on the phone – email as a last resort. That word then, is really important. Personal. One-to-one, personal interaction with another human being. The level of knowledge, preparation and commitment to this process makes it very labour intensive. That’s often what makes up a large portion of the cost of great PR.

Sure, you can utilise a very inexpensive newswire or e-blast type distribution software to send out your press release to thousands of journalists. But the clue to the effectiveness of such a strategy is in the cost.

Where do you want to be?

There’s a whole lot more under the surface of this question but so as not to complicate things, we’ll keep it simple.

If you are looking to take your brand or your story to local media the cost is likely to be different to if you were trying to reach national or international outlets, influencers or channels. The same theory goes for if you have one story to take out over multiple sites across the UK. Regardless of the scenario, the reason remains consistent. Time and personal input. Again, for a PR Executive or a team of the same, to reach multiple audiences, they must dedicate multiples of the time and effort required. Building media lists, researching contacts, leveraging relationships and in some cases, forging completely new ones as effectively as possible. This ‘behind the scenes’ work in PR is often undiscussed and, therefore, unappreciated as a contribution factor to cost.

In reality, you can spend as little (if you’re going to use a newswire service) or a much on PR as you’d like. But you must align your expectations with your investment. Great PR builds trust and credibility for your brand, your product and/or service. It will position you as a franchise of choice in the eyes of your prospect and a leader in your industry or sector. How much is that worth to you? That’s the real question.

The most important thing, before you engage any person or agency, is to be clear about your requirements and existing content.

  • What activity are you currently undertaking?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Are your messages clearly defined?
  • Do you understand where to find your ideal prospects?
  • What quick wins can be made with current news and activity?
  • What collateral do you have to support your prospect journey?
  • How engaged are your network – will they support with PR content?

This basic groundwork will allow you to answer question one as a starting point and help you to define your strategy going forwards. For obviously self-serving reasons, we’d suggest working with an agency that will undertake this work with you in advance. So, give us a shout if you’d like to.

We regularly share PR advice and posts like this to help you make the most of your PR activity. To make sure you don’t miss out, follow us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.  And, if you fancy a chat about this in more detail then get in touch – we absolutely LOVE chatting about this kind of thing. Email [email protected] or call 07921 572554.

Lucy Archer
Lucy Archer