PR and marketing activity is hugely important to the success of a business. This encompasses multiple different platforms, from traditional PR agency support and copywriting to social media management and email communications, all of which play a vital role in helping a company brand grow. 

Businesses allocate budget for this kind of activity annually and, depending on the size of the organisation, they’ll have an internal department to look after their marketing strategy, or will choose to outsource an agency

But how much does a PR agency actually cost? How are the prices determined and how is a retainer determined when working with a third party? 

To help you get an in depth understanding of PR agency prices, our Junior Manager Tom Alderson has looked at a breakdown of the prices at a typical agency.  

PR agency costs   

Hiring a specialist agency will give you access to experts in the field of PR, often with the knowledge and experience to boost your company profile and reputation through several different avenues to suit your objectives.  

The price your pay for this expertise does depend on the size of the agency. A smaller, more boutique agency will have more modest fees than agencies operating on a larger scale. 

Typically, your average smaller PR agency could charge between £2,000-£10,000 for a monthly retainer. For a larger company, the prices can be notably higher, with retainers regularly costing more than £25,000 a month. 

Such costs will often dictate how extensive the PR activity is, with bigger budgets leading to more wider reaching, national campaigns.  

PR agency prices 

PR agencies often itemise their prices, based on a set hourly rate for their employees. This will include several types of activity, from general account management and communications between client and agency, copywriting, social media scheduling and media outreach. 

All these prices will give you a granular view of how much a PR agency’s services will cost you, and you can employ an agency on three main fee structures: 

  1. A retainer 

As discussed previously, all services will be costed up and included under the umbrella of one overarching, consistent monthly payment, of which the time and resources allocated to each task per month is managed by the agency.  

This is often an option a business will choose when committing to an agency long term. 

  1. A standalone project 

Sometimes your business objectives will lend themselves to require PR creativity for one project, rather than a consistent flow of support. If you’ve secured a big contract, or are launching an exclusive new product, pricing up an agency to channel their time and energy into making a splash with a one-off announcement can be an effective way of achieving results. 

  1. Pay per placement 

Put simply, this is a more modest pay scale where you have the option to pay for every individual media opportunity an PR agency can secure for you. This can be extremely good value for money if successful, as it minimises any additional costs, but is not as sustainable as a retainer if you plan to employ an agency long term. 

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