The cost of PR for startups does not have to break the bank anymore. Having said that, the costs vary based on the services you need and the goals you want to reach, for example, a press release for a new product launch, and the media outreach you want to achieve.
The costs of each element of your PR strategy can add up to a lot of $$$.
Luckily, the internet has created a marketplace for PR agencies that is very affordable, accessible and transparent with their prices by showing you exactly what you are paying for.
If you have the budget, investing in professional PR services is a step in the right direction. Alternatively, you can look into doing it yourself, but be warned: it takes a lot of time in internet research to cover all your bases.
In this post, we will explain the costs of PR for startups and show you some available options to choose from.
Let’s talk about pricing
If you’re in a hurry, feel free to jump to the section you want to see.
By breaking down the cost of every element of a PR strategy you can see what it is that you’re actually paying for:
- Content Creation – press releases, media kits, blog posts and more
- Media Outreach – conversion rate from the different ways of contacting journalists
- Distribution – getting your content featured in publications
- Sponsored posting – promoting and boosting posts on social media
- Management – managing everyone involved in your PR strategy
The costs of PR for startups #1: Content Creation
To get the ball rolling for PR coverage you need some great content.
Here’s the thing: there’s no clear-cut pricing structure for content creation – I know you’ve heard it before BUT it really does depend on what content you’re looking for and how this is charged.
Costs for content creation can be in a package, per project or hourly rates. According to PayScale, these are the average prices for different types of content.
Public Relations Specialist – $19.60 p/h OR $48,620 p/yr
Tasks: A PR specialist writes and edits press releases and selects other relevant content for publication through media outlets like radio, tv and newspapers. They work hard at executing PR strategies and make sure that everything that’s published is on-brand.
Freelance Blogger – Starting from $15 p/h OR $40, 173 p/yr
Tasks: Freelancers research and write single pieces of content that’s typically guided by a specific topic and word count. They can charge per word, per project or per hour so the costs of PR can vary a lot when you’re using freelance bloggers. It’s easy to outsource this by using sites like Upwork and Fiverr but it can be difficult to find the right fit.
Social Media Manager – $15.60 p/h OR $50,400 p/yr
Tasks: Since social media managers work across social platforms, their prices can vary depending on which platform your startup wants to use. They keep your pages up to date by posting the latest blogs from your website, industry news, post photos and sometimes, memes if it’s on-brand! Social media managers also create strategies for your pages and engage with your followers regularly.
Agencies – packages ranging from $90 – $480 p/yr
Tasks: There are agencies that are very affordable, bringing the cost of PR down significantly. Packages are tailor-made to the size and needs of your startup and you only pay for the services you need. With PR packages such as those which Pressfarm offers, you get extras like free templates for press releases and ongoing email support.
In addition, Pressfarm’s in-house PR specialists can create professional press releases, guest posts and media kits from scratch. They also have a distribution strategy that has proven successful for hundreds of brands. By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can help you rank in relevant search results across different search engines.
With curated media lists and access to Pressfarm’s PR database of over 1 million journalists across industries, Pressfarm can help you connect with the best journalists in your niche.
Interested in more tools of PR for startups? Click here
The costs of PR for startups #2: Media outreach
The best content doesn’t mean much if it’s not pitched to the right people for publication. Enter media outreach.
But who are the “right people?” – simply put, they are the journalists, bloggers or influencers in your niche market that pick up articles and press releases for publication.
Where do I find journalists in my niche?
You need access to a media database – that is a list of journalists, it includes their contact information and names of their publications and blogs. Subscriptions to PR services usually include access to a media database.
If you’re doing media outreach without paid subscriptions you’re looking at a lot of time spent doing research on the best publications to approach. In terms of cost – it’s going to cost you time and effort crafting witty pitches and building a solid media contact list.
What is email conversion rate?
In a nutshell – it’s the number of journalists who respond to the pitch you’ve sent. Here’s a quick example – if out of the 100 emails you sent to journalists, 7 responded positively then your email conversion rate is 7%.
That’s a lot of emails right? And that’s a lot of work you’ve put it to find those journalists.
The cost of PR for startups #3: Distribution
Getting PR coverage in media outlets means casting a wide net and distributing your content and press releases across different types of publications. This is where PR distribution services are handy – they distribute your content and monitor the coverage. They can start from as little as $99 per month and go as high as $1000 per month.
But that’s just for distributing your content – you pay additional fees if they have to create the content for you.
If you’re partnering with a freelance blogger – they can charge anything from $600 and up per month to distribute content on their channels like blogs and social media.
There’s always the option to distribute content yourself but to do this you need an up-to-date list of the best publications in your niche and well-written pitches with great subject lines to increase open and conversion rates. Pressfarm can handle distribution for you – all our packages include the distribution of an online press release and increased visibility on all the major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!
The costs of PR for startups #4: Sponsored posting
As a startup, you might be looking to keep the costs of PR under control.
Sponsored posting on social media is an affordable way of reaching a wider audience.
This is how it works, you can pay to distribute organic posts to users above and beyond your followers on social media. By doing this, more people will see your post which increases the likelihood of gaining more followers.
You’ve seen the ‘promote post’ or ‘boost’ button on Instagram and Facebook right?
Click on that and it will take you to a $ sliding scale where you choose how much money you want to spend. Sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram range from between $1 and $200 per post.
The great thing about sponsored posting is that you can set your budget. Set the number of days your sponsored post will run for and select the desired target audience. If you’re reaching for the calculator trying to add up how much content creation, media outreach, distribution and sponsored posting is going to cost you.. Just a sec!
We have to talk about how much it’s going to cost to manage everything.
Costs of PR for startups #5: Managing it all
Keeping track of who’s doing what when it comes to executing your PR strategy takes time and effort. Basically, you are managing different people making sure they complete their tasks on time.
Managing it all means checking in with bloggers about a piece they are writing and reviewing it. It also includes following up with journalists via email, scheduling content and tracking metrics to see how your sponsored post is doing.
That’s definitely not a complete list of everything you need to manage.
To save time, you can outsource all this to a reputable PR agency like Pressfarm.
Why? An Account Executive that oversees the different tasks included in the package that you select. You also get priority email support, so you don’t have to do it all alone.
Our packages are also transparent – you can see exactly what you are paying for. We help startups achieve the results they’re after at affordable fees.