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"How Do I Decide What My PR Budget Is?": How to Set Your Public Relations Budget and Feel Empowered

Being clear about your level of spending will get a firmer response to your brief which will make your decision easier.

Knowing how much money to devote to your PR is a critical part of the process, yet it is often the most challenging part of starting the journey.

“What should I spend?”, “How much will it get me?” and “How can I decide my budget?” are three questions PR people are asked all the time, but which are almost impossible to answer. Ultimately it is you who has to decide.

Here we tackle these questions, and share some new ways to think about your budget, understand how PR fees could be put to work, and unpick the questions to help you choose a cost level that works for you.

“How do I decide my PR budget?”

The best approach is to start with a figure you are very comfortable with and know you can afford. You’ll also need a clear idea of what you want to achieve - raising awareness, selling more products, gaining new prospects for your company, changing opinions about your brand, or maybe all the above and more? With this, and your expectation level, your freelancer can decide whether it is possible to achieve all your goals and expectations within the funds set, or just one or two for example.

Think about your expenditure elsewhere. What did you spend on your website, other marketing activity, or the product itself? The biggest shame for a PR is when someone spends tonnes of money on an amazing product or brand, but doesn’t allocate a reasonable amount to tell the world about it.

Pick your comfortable number, decide the objective or objectives, explain your expectations and write this up in the brief so you can get matched and start having discussions with experienced PRs about how achievable everything is, and what approaches are available to you.

You’ll hear straight away if what you’re asking to achieve for the budget you have is possible, or unrealistic. If the advice or proposals you receive suggest a level of coverage that doesn’t feel enough to you, ask why that is. If further resources are needed to stand out or ‘layer up’ and you can afford to increase the budget to accommodate the recommended approach, you can then start to adjust based on their experience and advice.

Avoid a “spend what you like” approach too, boundaries are good - even a sliding scale of min to max is useful. Your PR professional may make recommendations for how to spend just a little more, to increase the output significantly, for example. Being open and honest from the start about your level of spending will always get a clearer and firmer response to your brief, and what’s needed to deliver on your goals, which is going to be much easier for you to make a decision with.

PR is not like buying advertising space or pay-per-click, as each freelance PR consultant will use their knowledge, unique approach, skill set and contacts to craft their suggested campaign to deliver on your objectives with varying amounts of time and activities.

Like anything in life, the key is to get a series of quotes from different people. Compare the offers, look at the proposals, references and experience, and judge the options not solely based on price but the approach, the results and how the proposal makes you feel. Check out this guide on how to choose a winning proposal

Other questions answered: “How much does PR cost?” and "How much coverage will my PR budget get me?"

If you’re ready to start your PR journey with a highly recommended freelancer, sign up and post a new brief in minutes to start receiving matches and proposals from our UK PR freelancer network.

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