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The Cost of PR Activities and Hiring a PR Agency

The cost of hiring a PR agency varies greatly depending on how established the agency is and the level of service that you require. Large companies can pay tens of thousands of pounds on generating PR, an amount of money that would put many small businesses out of business.

Generally you can look to hire a PR agency on a one-off or on-going basis. PR should be a continuous process but you may be happy with generating some initial media coverage, then managing your PR activities in-house.

As a one-off basis some companies will simply put together a press release, send it out, and hope that it delivers results. This costs in the region of £200 – £400 and is low cost but risky in that results are far from guaranteed.

Online press release services usually cost slightly less, in the region of £70 simply to distribute a press release online to £400 for idea generation, writing and distribution.

High-end PR firms can charge anything from £1,000 to several thousand pounds for a single press release. However, for this they take time to understand your company, its industry and goals, before generating ideas, writing a press release, distributing it to a targeted media audience, and following it up with phone calls.

Many PR firms will also act as media centre taking enquiries from journalists and may offer a guarantee of some kind, which can reduce the risk of spending thousands of pounds for no end product.

Once you’re established in business you may wish to hire a PR agency on an on-going basis. For this they will put together a couple of press releases each month, and develop a longer term PR strategy. The cost for this generally starts at £1,000 per month.

You may also wish to complement your traditional PR activities through generating buzz in other ways, such as guerrilla marketing or getting bloggers to write about your company. You can post ‘opportunities’ on PayPerPost for bloggers to write about, with these opportunities being based around the latest news surrounding your company. This form of marketing can cost as little as £2 per blog that writes about your company.

If you decide to hire a PR agency here’s a checklist to follow before choosing one particular firm:

The right PR agency for your company
Different PR agencies specialise in different areas. Some are better at promoting established businesses whereas others are more focused on newly formed companies.

Do they understand your company and its industry?
This is vital – make sure that they understand what your company does, its background, competitors, and what makes it special or unique. Be cautious if they don’t appear interested in taking the time to understand your company.

Look at previous work
Ask for copies of press releases and media coverage that they have obtained in the past.

Are they desperate?
A good PR agency is a busy PR agency. They shouldn’t be desperately trying to encourage you to take them on – they should simply present the facts and let you make up your own mind in your own time.

Do they have the media contacts?
The PR agency should have local, regional, and national press contacts – previous work should illustrate this.

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