By Melissa A Vitale
A quick google search for "Paid-Per-Placement" PR brings up a number of blog posts explaining why PR firms with retainers should not be discredited. In my tenure as a publicist, not once have I come across a competitive pay-per-placement package or agency, because they do not exist.
The pay-per-placement packages that do exist often include a quick writeup on a regular newsletter that has as little effort put in to personalization as expected of zero upfront investment.
Like Lawyers, PR firms with proven results expect payment every month even if the coverage changes per month. The month to month payment covers all the work that leads to each secured article. In order to see the results of the services of a publicist, brands must be willing to invest in a PR agency with a strategy. Without a retainer, clients are asking agencies to invest in a PR strategy that they themselves won't invest in.
Because public relations relies on organic earned media, publicists have to continually keep a brand exciting among an editor's list of popular topics, seasonal coverage, audience & advertiser requests, not to mention the thousands of other brands looking to get their name out there. Public relations is constant representation to the media entities that change the conversation of an industry. Earned media however is the slowest form of marketing.
A single article can take months to come to fruition. Between scheduling interviews, media training, securing photo assets and fact-checking, one article can six months and up to 35 hours, sometimes even more, for a single profile.
Any publicist worth their salt is going to insist on getting paid for all of their work. A quality PR plan hinders on strategy, planning and maintaining deep relationships with media. Because organic earned media hinders on politics of follow-ups, circling back and regular unique angles, keeping fresh brand stories on an editor's mind require constant pitching, meetings and networking beneath the surface of every secured feature article.
In order to create a paid-per-placement package that reaches top tiers like Forbes and Fortune, and compensates for all the hours a publicist has represented a brand, there would be an unrealistic price-tag per article.
Though often taking the longest time to see the fruits of efforts, a public relations campaign can put a brand in the headlines of publications that turn industries like Benzinga, Forbes, Bloomberg, Allure, SELF increasing credibility and audience in one fiscal year without the investment of advertising.
For those looking to explore cost effective public relations packages, learn more about MAVPR’s services via: melissaavitale.com/services.html
By Melissa A Vitale
Public relations is not a clear cut industry. It's not like advertising where $50K can lead to one placement. You could pay two months retainers before you see any coverage.
Public relations agencies range in capabilities. Some PR firms manage sponsored placements, social media accounts and offer celeb gifting. Especially for a startup who has never worked with a PR firm, it's totally understandable to be confused about what your publicist provides.
But there's misunderstanding PR, and then there's just being a terrible client to work with:
If this sounds like you, best of luck with your PR Strategy! If this sounds appalling, you're probably a great client to work with.
For brands looking to have regular headlines, be sure to check out MAVPR's suite of services:
A public relations agency specializing in brands and startups across plant and intimate wellness