Social media is an important component nowadays, and it allows companies to share all kinds of information about themselves with the world. That’s why experienced PR managers are appreciated more than ever before. Let’s say you want to hire a PR expert or two to help improve the marketing effort of a campaign. You have an idea and plan they’ll be working on, but you still can’t decide the public relations freelance rates. Of course, budget is one of the few critical elements when deciding whether a PR agency or freelancer is good for you or not.
So in this post, I’ll show you the different options you have when hiring a PR freelancer to help with your communications, what factors have an impact on the costs, and why. This will help you be aware and prepared when you interview PR professionals and feel more comfortable knowing why it costs what it costs. Instead of spending hours looking for information on how much you should pay your PR freelancer, take a look at the data below.
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What Does a Public Relations Manager Do?
Public relations work includes everything from pitching the local paper about the small charity’s appeal, to co-ordinating a campaign to rebrand an international brand as good for the environment and definitely not racist. So their rates are different.
PR managers are also the people who organize and manage interviews with people who work at the brand. This includes finding and choosing good spokespeople for specific topics and preparing them for those interviews.
PR experts might be supervising all kinds of external communication. That covers newsletters, content on social media, the company’s reputation, and events. The person responsible for PR must have a general PR strategy – that includes determining what the overall image of the company is, analyzing how it could be improved, and applying steps to make it so.
Last but not least, PR experts are the ones who handle crisis situations in the company and contingencies involving its reputation. If something goes bad, this is their responsibility to give it a positive spin or find the best way to correct possible issues. PR experts have to minimize damage to a company’s image and do every effort they can to recover it later on.
Public Relations (PR) manager tasks and responsibilities:
- Consulting and support internal departments;
- Market analysis;
- Plan and coordination of communication strategies and campaigns;
- Pitching journalists;
- Create and manage press releases;
- Take care of brands’ public image;
- Organize interview and press conferences;
- Realize and constantly improve public relation strategies;
- Handling any public crisis situation;
- Create or order promotional materials: product brochures, press communications, etc.;
- Budget planning for public communications and events.
Public Relations Freelance Rates
While PR freelancers often charge more than in-house PR managers, at the same time they cost significantly less than a PR agency. Freelancers tend to be real experts in one field, experienced, and often have a tactical focus. Companies usually hire them in addition to in-house PR departments to implement and deliver the strategy that an in-house team has created. Freelancers have specializations and niches, so you may need to hire one freelancer to organize events while another for media relations, for example.
To calculate a public relations freelancer’s rates per hour, you should start with an estimation of their yearly salary and divide that by how many hours they can typically work with your project a whole year. Though the number of hours occupied might change depending on industry and tasks, it’s better to assume that most PR managers work 40 hours a week for 50 weeks.
The other two weeks are likely taken on vacation or spent on sick days. With that in mind, the average full-time PR expert works about 2,000 hours in a year.
So we have the basic formula:
Rate = Annual salary / Hours worked in the year
Beginner PR experts get around $40,000 per year while more senior managers can have an income up to $90,000 per year, on average. We can calculate the average rate at $58,000.
Using the formula from above, we see $58,000 / 2,000 = $29/hr.
Therefore PR freelancers charge between $20 – $45 / hour.
Alternatives to the Hiring PR manager
PR experts can help your business hugely. But if your project is at your starting point and your budget is limited, you can do some important PR job by yourself with the PRNEWS.IO service. It’s a company that already has an impressive list of media contacts to create, publish and distribute content, so important for all brands to introduce and draw the attention of investors and potential clients. Their service is affordable for every business and you can manage the list of publications, choosing the best for you.
Any PR costs should be directly proportionate to the value provided by a PR agency. therefore the decision of hiring a PR agency should be based on value and need, but not cost. At the same time, it is good to know how your money is spent and what you can ask for the budget you have so that you are able to discuss better and understand the cost structures involved.