Are traditional PR fee structures broken?

Broken windowIt’s easy to look at big companies that have had a good run in the media and understand how public relations and the subsequent positive media coverage have helped them achieve success.

It’s a lot harder to try to assess the future value of publicity, particularly if you have not had any coverage before, and it’s this uncertainty that makes it hard for a small/medium business (especially in the B2B space) to justify the cost of the standard PR agency’s monthly retainer.

In a recent column in BRW (Need a PR firm? Read all about it), Leo D’Angelo Fisher makes a number of suggestions for businesses looking to use a PR firm, one of them being that they avoid paying PR firms’ monthly retainers.

Whilst we don’t necessarily agree with this, we do agree with many of the points D’Angelo Fisher raises (for example not needing to go to the biggest to get results). But it still leaves the thorny issue of the best way for a PR agency to charge for its services.

As you may know, we recently launched a fee structure where the largest component is results based, and BRW recently published a letter I wrote in response to some of Leo D’Angelo Fisher’s comments:

(click on image to read)

What do you think is the fairest way for a PR agency to charge for the work it does? Jump on our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts in our poll on the subject.

PS for an idea on how much debate results based fees cause within the PR world, have a look at this article on the Dynamic Business website and read some of the comments below!

David Bateson
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