The importance of tracking time in PR

Knowing how your employees are using their time and which clients are bringing cash into your firm are the keys to successful budgeting.

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But at Counselors Academy, an organization for PR firm leaders, best practices, strategic investments, and even financials are shared among peers with the goal of making everyone a better business owner.

Such was the case when Ken Jacobs and George Rosenberg presented a workshop on profitability for PR firms. There are a few things worth highlighting.

According to the 2012 Agency Billing and Utilization Report from StevensGouldPincus:

• The average profit per agency is 18.7 percent;
• The average salaries and benefits per agency is about 55 percent;
• The average annual billable rate per employee is $199,000;
• The average billable time for the PR firm leader is 40 percent.

Projected billing

The study also shows that to figure an employee’s projected billing, you should take the number of working hours per year (1,800 at an eight-hour day with paid time off and holidays removed) and multiply that by their target billable percentage. Then multiply that by their billable rate, and you have a dollar amount.

So for an account executive, you’d use the following:

1,800 (workable hours in a year)


94% (time that should be spent on billable work)


1,692 (billable hours in a year)



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