PR Cost: Understanding the Factors + Getting an Estimate

PR Cost: Understanding the Factors + Getting an Estimate
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: November 06, 2022

Is your business at a point where you are willing to hire a PR agency but are still determining the PR cost? Well, public relations costs or the price of hiring a professional public relations agency is an important question that comes to our minds.

This article will give a proper estimate of PR costs and highlight the difference between PR vs. marketing, along with the factors affecting the costs.

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How Much Does PR Cost: Understanding the Differences between PR & Advertising?

Before getting into the details, it is necessary to understand the difference between Public Relations and advertising. PR is earned media, and advertising is paid media. Both call for a comprehensive strategy.

While PR requires you to attempt to earn media placement in the preferred areas, marketing and advertising make you guarantee the placements by purchasing them. A variety of results become possible with paid media.

Most PR agencies incorporate both strategies because one complements the other. PR assists in brand equity building and positioning to improve brand awareness and convert sales, which is crucial.

Ideally, an organization might spend a lot of money on a combined print and digital campaign, but only with brand awareness and trust will it be able to sell the desired number of products.

That is why a combined PR and paid media approach promises the opportunity to initially build brand awareness, establish trust with the target audience, and increase sales while also bringing down costs per person.

It also becomes easier to gain the attention of the news outlets and publications you aim to earn media with once you have a robust foundation of social proof by advertising first.

This typical chain of events occurs when you combine the two approaches and emphasize the PR process.

What is a Public Relations Agency?

A public relations or PR agency helps you improve the public perception of your brand. An excellent public relations strategy will be indispensable if you are trying to build brand awareness and enhance your company’s credibility.

Public relations specialists are experts in strategic communication, even concerning small business public relations. They have multiple responsibilities, including creating and distributing engaging press releases, collaborating with the media, and assisting you in dealing with potential issues that can harm your brand's reputation.

Hiring and investing in a PR agency is beneficial for any business. Whether it is about improving your reputation or establishing your brand as a thought leader, a public relations agency is extremely valuable.

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Estimating Public Relations Cost

Now that you understand PR and advertising and a PR agency's value, the next step is estimating the costs and working on your PR budget. It would help if you remembered that the prices would vary depending on the city or region, but universally, you will get what you pay for.

On the lower end, monthly retainers with a PR agency range between $2000 and $5000. Top-notch PR firms can charge as high as $20000 to $50000 monthly based on the scope of work and value offered. The average monthly cost for PR would be around $8000 for most agencies.

When you estimate the costs, it is obvious to consider what you are paying for. Well, any PR firm has extensive local and national contacts, which they would utilize for your brand. Plus, they would be conducting different types of public relations programs for your company. PR specialists are valuable because they have common sense, creativity, and the ability to research, strategize, and write efficiently.

If your business has a limited budget, you can consider freelancers who charge less than PR firms. They are specialists in one domain and are tactical and focused on that. However, hiring freelancers is only sometimes a reasonable option if you have to hire one for a niche and the other for another area of work.

Factors Affecting the Costs of a Public Relations Agency

There are quite a few factors affecting the costs of a public relations agency. Some of these are:

Scope of Services

The costs of hiring a public relations agency and its services will also be influenced by the scope and level of assistance you require. Most companies use a complete PR package that includes media relations, crisis management, brand management, and writing and distributing press releases.

If you want to keep the costs down, you can choose only specific tasks. For instance, you might hire a PR agency to handle media relations and deal with press releases in-house.

Payment Terms

Most brands prefer hiring PR specialists through monthly retainers. This implies that you pay for a fixed number of hours every month, regardless of whether you use them. You can, however, choose to purchase extra hours if required. A retainer-based PR agency or specialists implies that they are available for crisis management if the need arises.

Similarly, a daily or hourly rate is also charged by some PR agencies for particular projects. This could include preparing for new product launches or events.

Experience of the Team

The seniority of the team is another factor of consideration. PR prices are, in fact, directly proportional to the agency rate card of the individual or the team working on your account. The agency rate card is the hourly or daily rate for professionals that the agency hires.

The hourly rate of an account manager will be higher than that of an account executive but lower than that of an account director.

That is why it is ideal for working with agencies whose typical client is of the same budget and size as yours. If they are charging less from you, you must question if it is because an inexperienced team is working on your PR and communications.


Although many public relations specialists work remotely with businesses across the US, the prices will vary based on the location. Those found in cities will typically charge higher than the average, while agencies in somewhat rural areas will offer a lower price.

Is It Worth Working with a Public Relations Agency?

The cost of PR might often make you wonder whether it is worth working with PR agencies. However, hiring a PR agency is inevitable if you want to enhance your brand image. The PR experts perfectly understand the needs and requirements of your business and the media. This makes them ideally positioned to bring you together.

Your PR specialist knows how to improve your business's reputation and build brand awareness. They are always there to handle a crisis and mitigate the risks of damage to your reputation.

PR is a significant investment for your company. In return, you achieve greater brand awareness, trust, and increased sales ad inquiries.

Because PR agencies and their work are crucial, businesses must find the right agency that caters to their needs and justifies their investment.

Takeaways on PR Cost

Once you have decided to work with a PR agency, realize that immediate gratification might not come. PR is an ongoing process; it takes considerable time to craft pitches, develop angles, coordinate interviews, and so on.

When all these come together, you see the results of what you have paid.

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