Airlines, banks, and even Las Vegas hotels are all pounding the public with various fees for services that used to be free. Perhaps the public relations profession should consider adding surcharges, too.
Many hotels in Vegas tack on so-called "resort fees," so I think the PR profession should have "last resort fees" to compensate for wasted time and tears of frustration.
Here are four you might consider:
We'll have to chase our money fee:
Automatically add 20 to 30 percent to the invoices of clients who you suspect will delay payments for 90 days or more. This fee is on top of any lawyer fees or court costs if you have to sue to collect money owed.
Unrealistic expectations fees (part I):
An additional 10 to 20 percent will be tacked on to each month's invoice for every three times you have to tell the client their routine, 300-word "new hire" news release is not going to be on the front page of The New York Times
nor attract 10,000 followers on Twitter.
Unrealistic expectations fees (part II):
A flat fee of $500 will be added to the invoice in any month during which you have to yet again explain the meaning of an editor's prerogative to edit and the differences between a news story based on a press release and an actual paid advertisement for which the text you submitted is used verbatim. This usually occurs when the client again asks, "How come the (name of news organization) didn't print the news release exactly as we wrote it?”
[RELATED: Hear how top companies adapted to digital PR industry changes at this August event.]
General aggravation fee:
A 30 to 50 percent surcharge will be added to the invoices of clients who incessantly call, email, or text every 15 minutes to find out what's happening with their project and argue each time that their cousin "who used to be in PR [in the 1970s] doesn't think you're doing it right."
Donn Pearlman is an award-winning former Chicago broadcaster and journalist and is president of Donn Pearlman & Associates Public Relations in Las Vegas. He says he has not charged any of the above fees—yet.