Study: Billable hours at PR firms up, productivity down

Among smaller agencies, the average hourly billing rate was $291 in 2010, according to the study.

Let’s start with the good news: Billing rates are up across the board, according to a survey of 104 PR agencies by the consulting firm StevensGouldPincus.

Here’s the breakdown:

$513 per hour is the average billing rate for CEOs of agencies with more than $25 million in revenue, up from $509 the previous year;

$291 per hour is the average billing rate among smaller agencies, a boost from $286 in 2009;

$261 per hour is the average billing rate among agency vice presidents, up from $241 the previous year.

The study said that Washington, D.C.-based agencies notched the highest rates, with $306 for smaller agencies and $356 among senior vice presidents. Overall, agencies that specialize in sports and entertainment, investor relations, and public affairs had the highest rates, the study found.

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