The costs of PR is different to other commodities such as car insurance, clothes prices and PR agencies cannot really be compared just on price alone. However most businesses do not have unlimited funds, so price comparison does need to take place. Like many things, you do pay for what you what you get, and the cheapest agency does not mean they will be able to get you the best results. Looking at their track record is important, as is the experience they have in your market. Once you have a few agencies that meet the right criteria, getting quotes is the next step.
Like many forms of marketing, it is about being slow and steady as opposed to paying large sums of money and seeing results within a month or so. There are many high profile agencies that work with top global brands that will charge high fees based on their track record and portfolio of clients; however they may not be as well suited as a cheaper agency. Many agencies have worked with celebrity figures or FTSE companies and do set a higher price of fees based on this alone. Costs can vary, so it is worth sopping around. It is about communication, a small PR specialist charging a few hundred pounds a month may well be able to get you better results than a reputed London based global public relations agency. Depending on what sort of business you are, what sort of media you are targeting and what sort of background the firm has will determine how good they will be at getting you the results you need.
All PR companies are different. Some will charge £30 per hour, some will charge £150 per hour. It comes down to them being able to justify their costs. Factor in things like where they are based (rent), how many staff they have (overheads) and how long they have been established. If the agency has been running for 20+ years, chances are they have the experience to warrant having higher costs. If they are newly established, then can they justify high end costs? All agencies set their own rates, so there is no set model to refer to. This is why we encourage shopping around and comparing the costs of PR from different agencies.
Online PR is slightly different to traditional, as it can be done by anyone. Of course agencies will produce better results as their material is very carefully formatted; however anyone can submit an online press release. The costs of PR online can range from being free of charge to costing around £40 per article. There are many different online press release sites so it is a case of comparing.
It is wise to get a few quotes and proposals together from different agencies, in order to find the best company at the best price.