The dilemma of budgeting for PR

There is no standard amount organizations and firms agree should be the share afforded to PR. So how can execs know how much to spend?

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How much should small to mid-sized companies budget for PR? Unlike the advertising discipline, which used to have an answer of between 2 and 5 percent of gross revenue, there have been no real guidelines for PR spending, and for good reason.

PR has traditionally offered no real guidelines for how much organizations should spend. The truth is that there is no standard, just as there is no standard PR program. In an ideal world, there might be a standard for a category of activity—let’s say writing and distributing news announcements—but even that depends on the size of distribution, the targets, the follow-up within the plan, etc. Is there a price for just social media? Maybe, but social media as a stand-alone PR activity would not carry the bite of a program paired with digital communications, or when it’s a cog in the big wheel of a PR campaign.

I know, not much help here. Is there a standard percentage that companies should consider when weighing the PR cost versus gross revenues? Not really. Costs must be considered against goals and anticipated ROI.

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