There are generally three ways in which a programme is structured:
1 - MONTHLY RETAINER
Many clients prefer to pay a fixed monthly fee for a pre-determined volume of work. This fee normally includes research, writing and managing approvals of press material, commissioning and supervision of photography, liaison with journalists and other contacts, maintenance of press list and forthcoming features databases, management and administrative charges. Fees are charged monthly in arrears.
2 - PAY AS YOU GO
Other clients prefer to pay an hourly rate on the basis that there will be peaks and troughs of activity throughout the yearly public relations cycle.
3 - COMBINATION
The third billing mechanism is a combination of the first two where a client pays a small monthly retainer to cover basic activities but pays for additional services on a 'pay as you go' basis.
In this case the fixed fee covers programme management and general 'press office' facilities such as ongoing liaison with journalists, forward features, lists maintenance and client reporting.
There is normally an extra charge for creative services such as writing press releases, case studies or feature articles and an hourly rate for activities not covered in the basic fee.
It is possible to discuss other charging structures to accommodate a client's special requirements.
Additional costs are recharged to the client at cost with no mark-up:
- travel to meetings
- out of pocket expenses
- photography and prints
- photocopying and postage
- press cuttings monitoring services
Wherever possible, the supplier is asked to bill the client directly. Otherwise these costs are charged monthly in arrears.