You know that PR is extremely important to your company’s image and to keeping a steady flow of communication with your customers. Now the question is, how much money should you put towards these efforts? Let’s get cracking and figure out some numbers. Factors That Will Influence Your Costs

A huge factor on the cost of your PR is the size of your business. The smaller your company, the more likely it is that you’ll only need short-term assistance for things like product launches. Other influencing factors include where you’re located, how elaborate your objective is and how much experience you already have in-house.

What Are the Average Costs & Terms?

In the traditional PR approach, your company will pay a flat rate. The current median cost for hiring an independent PR firm is $125 an hour, with rates ranging $75 to $350. This way you can pay for what you need, exactly when you need it.


Many PR firms are going to ask for a retainer; this means that they want a payment delivered upfront, usually for hiring monthly or annually. This retainer can range from $1,500 for an individual consultant to a $50,000 for a firm doing national coverage.

If dealing with a firm, the most common payment choice is monthly. The PR firm will determine how much time will be needed to support PR efforts and calculate the retainer based on that.

If you’re paying based on project, the cost will range based on the influencing factors. It will usually range from $2,000 to $10,000.

However, there’s also a new method of payment called Pay-for-Performance PR. In this method, you pay the PR firm based on the results they deliver. Instead of paying a flat rate with no guarantee, the amount you pay directly correlates with what they deliver. For most of these agreements it is stated that the risk is shared. By sharing the risk, you don’t have to worry about giving money to a cause that simply eats up your money.


If you’re looking for a personal consultant, it is typical that payment is done per hour. For smaller projects, you may just hire one person, but if the project requires a great deal of work, it is more likely you’d hire from a company rather than an individual. It’s good to note that due to overhead costs, hiring from a company will be more expensive. (The rate of overhead charging can fall between 30% and 100%.)

Make sure to accommodate experience into the consultant’s payment. Someone who is extremely experienced in the field can receive double the payment compared to someone who is entry-level.

Smaller PR firms

Pay-for-Performance PR may be the best choice for your company. Because you are able to start off investing smaller amounts of money, you lower the risk of spending too much of your precious cargo money.

Large Shops

A flat rate fee is probably the way to go. With so many goals and unique needs, paying one fee for everything will most likely save you money and give you the best value in the long run.


Remember that you can negotiate the terms. Request a 90 day review so, if if the firm isn’t delivering results, the contract can be ended.

If you’re interested in the Pay-Per-Performance model, be straight forward and ask if they will offer this. As delivering results is the ultimate goal, stopping services that aren’t producing results will be much easier with this model. (Your retainer will also be severely lower if you are to use this method.)

The Benefits of Paying for PR Services

Because these firms are so specialized in this specific area, they know how to target an audience and how to reach the early adopter crowd.

With companies like Yelp & Amazon around, no one buys anything without researching online first. You want to make sure that when someone types your company into a search engine, they are getting positive reviews. Retail buyers read reviews and just about always require marketing support.

You want to create a consistent message across all of your communication channels so that all your outreach works together cohesively, from your website and social media to your advertisements and sales materials. By having content creation your company will have better SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

You also want to develop an engaged social audience that can be tactfully used for marquee launches or promotions. It’s vital to stay top of mind. By having consistent PR efforts, you will always be present. By increasing your company’s demand and brand recognition, you can increase profit margins and pricing.

A prime example of this is Apple, a brand with a symbol known the whole world over. The logo was widely recognized when it was rainbow colored, but in 1998 Steve Jobs changed it to the current monochrome logo in order to represent the sleek and high tech image Jobs wanted for the company. The new look made the logo something that would look good on all types of materials and far more flexible in general. You know see that symbol, and words like sleek and high tech are exactly what you associate with Apple.

The company was going down in 1998, and they have now risen to become one of the most successful companies in the world. The logo may not be the ultimate reason for Apple’s success, but it certainly demonstrates how branding creates demand for your product. Keep that in mind for your own company, and your business with be victorious!