Budgeting for a retainer

Deciding on the right amount of money to spend on PR as a high-growth company can be a significant challenge. In many cases, companies predictions of the cost of communications services is lower than what they actually are.

When businesses transition from startup to high growth, the number of communications elements they need increases, including:

  • Media and analyst relations

  • Media training

  • Thought leadership and content development

  • Executive positioning

  • Internal communications

  • Investor relations

  • Audience research/persona development

  • Conference and trade show support

  • Digital marketing and enhanced analytics

  • Award submissions

Not every company needs to focus on every communications-related service, but chances are they’ll need at least a few of them. Integrated communications takes time and resources, and it’s likely that—as much as executives want to do it themselves—they will need a partner who can provide strategic guidance and execution to support rapid growth.

It’s impossible to assign a dollar figure to a retainer without knowing the particular services a brand needs, but there are a few questions you can answer that will help dictate the elements of a communications strategy you might need:

  1. What are your main reasons for seeking a PR firm? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, achieve more recognition for your executives, create sales enablement content, generate buzz for an acquisition?

  2. How do you envision PR helping you achieve your goals?

  3. Are there any specific events or milestones you’re looking forward to in the next six months to a year?

  4. How do you measure success?

Deciding on the right retainer shouldn’t be a one-sided affair. Discuss potential offerings with your potential PR partners, ask questions and be prepared to make a significant investment in a communications strategy that can deliver tangible, measurable outcomes.






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