The costs of PR services vary widely, but don’t imagine that they are out of your reach; you might be pleasantly surprised at the value for money available.
What are the costs of PR services? Well, that’s a bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string’? Many new business owners and entrepreneurs imagine that hiring a professional public relations company would be far too expensive, and consequently try to launch their own products/businesses onto the market place – and many of them fail. The real factor you need to consider is how much a good public relations company can increase your business, and if you use a good public relations company that can far outweigh any costs you may have to pay them.
Okay, so how long IS a piece of string? Well, it can be any length you want it to be, and that pretty much sums up the cost of a PR campaign. Whereas some larger multi national corporations will have a budget of more than $20,000 per month, (obviously this is way beyond the reach of many smaller and newer businesses), it will be possible to hire a PR firm for much less than $1,000 per month. The effectiveness of the campaign is what really matters. Obviously the more you pay out the more you will get, but the trick is to only use your budget on the most cost effective methods of publicity, get as much exposure as you can, for as little money, which doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hire the biggest public relations agency around.
This doesn’t mean that bigger is better, far from it. The big multi-national corporations will certainly use the largest public relations firms, but very often a smaller company can slip through the net in such a massive organization, and you may find that a smaller PR company can do you just as good a job for you as a large one. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to use a PR company which is about the same size as the company you want to promote, so if there is just you and a couple of employees, go for a smaller firm with less overheads and expenses. If you are looking for local exposure, using a local firm can help with much of the market research for your area, as they’ll probably already have information on file from previous campaigns.
Before contacting any PR companies or resources you need to decide on a realistic budget which you can afford. This will give you, and any public relations companies you talk to a good idea of exactly what they can offer you for this price – you may be pleasantly surprised. Very often there are experienced professional self employed public relations agents who will work at a lower hourly rate than the big companies charge for their most junior staff.
In many cases, when starting a new company it really isn’t a case of whether you can afford to hire a PR company to launch your business, it’s whether you can afford not to.