As an entrepreneur or business owner, you may have considered hiring a freelance PR professional to help you build your brand and increase your visibility. In such a competitive industry, finding a PR Freelancer that best suits your needs can be difficult. How do you know who to choose? How much should you pay them? How do you know what is considered "good?" There are so many questions!
In this blog, let’s focus on how to determine the costs of such services, once you have found a good match. Freelancers may charge anywhere from $50 to $250 per hour but the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as the cost depends on a variety of factors, including their experience, location, and the scope of the project. Additionally, it is not solely up to you to determine this rate – the professional will come in with their expected compensation. This is simply a benchmark for you to understand their fees.
According to a survey conducted by the Freelancers Union, the average hourly rate for a PR freelancer in the United States is around $75 per hour. However, you must consider your professional’s work history. Are they straight out of college or does their LinkedIn boast decades of experience? Experienced PR freelancers know their worth, and often charge upwards of $300 an hour. Clients are often willing to pay more for experienced PR pros who have a proven track record of delivering results, have developed strong relationships with journalists and media outlets, and possess a deep understanding of the industry.
However, it's important to note that experience levels can vary widely among PR professionals, and there isn't necessarily a clear-cut formula for determining how much experience is required to command higher wages. Consider what type of applicant would be the perfect fit for your job at hand. While sometimes a seasoned pro is helpful, other times an eager young freelancer new to the industry can give your campaigns that necessary edge over your competitors.
It's crucial to consider the scope of your project when determining how much to pay a freelance PR professional. Are you looking for a one-time campaign or ongoing services? Will the freelancer be responsible for media outreach, social media management, content creation, or a combination of these services? The more complex the project, the higher you can expect to pay for your PR pro’s time and resources. It is also your job to determine why you need these services and understand what your end goal is.
In addition, the intensity of the project can also impact the pay rate for a PR freelancer. Projects that require significant time and attention on a regular basis, such as full-time media monitoring or crisis communications management, may require a retainer fee or a higher hourly rate to ensure that the freelancer is compensated appropriately.
Identifying the scope of your project is essential as it helps you to define the specific goals and deliverables needed from your freelancer, which can affect the cost and timeline of the partnership. As the client, it is your job to know your end goal. The freelancer can come back to you with the strategy and execution, and from there, you can discuss expectations.
One of the biggest variables in determining a fair pay for your PR freelancer is their location. Whether they’re in office or working remotely, it is important to consider the cost of living and average pay rates in the region. For example, PR freelancers working in major metropolitan areas such as New York or Los Angeles may charge higher rates due to the greater demand for their services and higher living costs, as compared to smaller cities or rural areas. The location of a freelancer can also impact the types of clients they work with and the industries they specialize in, therefore affecting hourly wages.
PR freelancers working in specific industries may command higher hourly rates. Clients are often willing to pay more for PR professionals who have a deep understanding of their industry, so that they can provide specialized insight and strategies tailored to their needs. According to a survey conducted by PR Week, PR freelancers in the healthcare industry reported the highest average daily rate in 2020 at $1,006, followed by the technology industry, with an average daily rate of $986, and the financial services industry at $985. However, it's important to note that these rates may vary based on individual circumstances and the specific project being worked on.
Whether you are just starting out or have already built a successful business, hiring a freelancer is an important decision. It is essential to consider factors like location, industry, project scope, and experience when determining what rate to pay for the job. Careful consideration of these factors will help create mutually beneficial relationships and ensure that both parties become profitable in the long run. So, what pay range is right for you and your PR pro? Only you and them together can make that all-important decision, but with the right research and resources you should be able to find the answer that works best for everyone involved.