How much are Public Relations services worth? Is it better to hire a PR agency or a freelancer? What is the rate sheet in a specific country? Let’s finally answer all these questions!
Price of Public Relations…, how much for PR in…? Have you already tried Google-searching this? And encountered answers like: The price for public relations services depends on so many factors that it is impossible to give you the price range without knowing the exact scope of work, and industry, and … – this is not going to be another article like this!
While this does not mean that the above answer is entirely incorrect, we will do our best to give you a concrete sense of price ranges for communications services provided by PR agencies in different parts of the World, including the US, Europe, Latin America, the Arabian Peninsula, and Australia, among others.
Moreover, our network of PR agencies is exceptionally transparent when it comes to prices, so we are going to present sample Scopes of work and their prices.
Why are we talking about this?
Firstly, we believe in transparency and want to promote it among the PR industry.
Secondly, some time ago we prepared an article about the prices of PR for startups. But while the startups that we had been working for grew, so did we as a PR agency. We love working for young, thriving firms, but honestly said, most of our clients now are scale-ups and developed businesses. We need to answer their questions and their needs.
Big PR agency, boutique PR agency, freelancer, or internal public relations division? Which is the most effective?
The question of what unit to engage in your PR campaign is something you need to start with. The answer will vary, depending on who you ask. Here are the most common answers from representatives of these four categories:
- A top PR agency costs a lot, but it comes with quality and experience in serving huge clients. Wouldn’t you like to be assisted by a team that has supported Coca-Cola, Ford, and Microsoft? Their excellency and contacts with media and opinion leaders are usually spotless. Their network internationally can help you go global.
- A boutique PR agency could be more engaged in your project. Your firm wouldn’t be “one among 100 others”, and you wouldn’t face enormous pressure from both a business and PR results perspective. Quality and results are still good, especially when the team consists of more senior members (in a big PR agency you might be handed to juniors). Moreover, boutique agencies often specialise in a given sector. All of this at a noticeably lower price. [Related: How to choose a local PR agency?]
- A good freelancer will have an even more personalised approach, and will be, obviously, cheaper. When chosen carefully, e.g. upon trusted recommendation, it could be a golden bullet. Sometimes freelancers are ex-seniors from PR agencies, fed up with huge organisations. So, are there any “buts”? Yes, there are… But what, if the freelancer gets sick? But what, if the freelancer gets fed up not only with the PR corporation but – after some time – also with your organisation? But what if the freelancer, who can handle a maximum of 2-5 clients, is presented with a better business opportunity? A freelancer will not present a replacement, as the PR agency.
- An internal PR department is something each company is seeking to create. Usually, it comes with time, company growth, and it is always a good choice. Huge investment though, as it’s a long-term engagement, including taxes, insurance, office costs etc., like with all other employees. Interestingly, internal divisions of communications often cooperate with PR agencies, outsourcing some of the assignments, and making sure the PR strategy is executed.
Last but not least, in each organisation, especially at the beginning, its Founders and CEOs are also PR executives (consciously or not.) They are the ones who try to develop a good image, apply to contests, draft presentations etc. This is an important stage of PR activities and should not be underestimated!
Public Relations – what am I paying for?
The starting point when it comes to budgeting for PR services is to make an estimate of the scope of work. Depending on what the client’s goal is, the agency proposes certain activities and makes an estimate of how much time it will take to perform.
Hourly rates are the other major variable. They are linked to the competence required of the consultants to perform each task. An hour of work by a consultant who designs a communication strategy will cost more than a junior consultant who compiles a news feed. This needs to be taken into account when working with freelancers. PR agencies often use average prices and packages. See an example:
PR agency rate card
I promised full transparency at the beginning of this article, right? This is our sample rate card for public relations services in given countries. As we are an EU-based network of PR agencies, we use EUR as a reference currency (but jump to the local currencies later in the article):
Let’s focus on examples of a monthly flat fee. For regular PR services, your company would pay around €4,000-5,000 in Germany and France, €2,500-3,500 in the UK or Spain, and around €2,000 in Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary. More countries are presented below.
What would you get for that? This is the suggested scope:
- Press Releases. Text creation, according to the best local knowledge and specifics of creating a press release, and/or localization in close coordination withthebrand’s coordinator (1-2 per month)
- Interviews. Coordinating high-level 1:1 meetings (or e-meetings) with relevant journalists, including the management (briefing, coordination, follow-up).
- Opinion Pieces / Bylines. Text creation and/or localisation in close coordination with the brand’s coordinator plus media pitches (1-2 per month, depending on the number of press releases)
- Press Office. Coordination of incoming media inquiries, media management, and preparation of answers in close coordination with the brand’s coordinator
- Monitoring & Reporting. Research of publications mentioning the brand (online, print), creation of reports, if desired: competitor monitoring (extra-paid), trend barometer
- Monthly PR Activity Plans. Roadmap of all activities, including updates
- Backend Services – Consulting. Recommendations and proactive suggestions for possible PR activities, regular customer contact
But, again, this is just an example. Agencies prefer longer arrangements. It brings their business stability and enables investment in consultants. Therefore in the case of a retainer agreement, you can always negotiate the price and count on better prices.
Let’s go into detail to answer the main question – how much would I pay for PR in a specific country? We will focus on external opportunities: freelancers and PR agencies.
PR pricing in different regions
This will not come as a surprise that the main component of the wage paid to a PR specialist is based on time spent on the PR project. Obviously, this will differ in different parts of the World accordingly to the purchasing power there. My favourite Bic Mac Index might be helpful here, too.)
However, while taking a look at the below passage, you will find out that there are some surprises: e.g. Enterie’s prices in Norway are similar to Ukraine’s.
Let’s start with the capital of Public Relations, where it all started – the United States. Then we will process regionally:
Public Relations Rate Sheet in the US
PR Cost in the United Kingdom
PR Price in France
PR Price in Germany
PR Price in Eastern Europe (CEE)
PR Price in Southern Europe
PR Price in Dubai and Arabic Penisula (GCC)
PR Price in Asia
International Public Relations agency
Enterie is a global network of tech-focused, independent PR agencies that support brand communication in 80+ markets, including the US and the EMEA region. We can become your one-stop shop, which makes your comms’ daily management easier.
Through our local PR teams, you can flawlessly target your audiences in local languages, knowing local culture and specifics. We mostly specialize in Tech PR, international & digital enterprises, fintech, IT, e-commerce, investments, online marketing, and sustainable businesses, among others.