Tag Archive for: why hire a PR firm

Have you ever wondered how some businesses seem to get all the press? While quality services and products matter, often, it’s not just about what you offer but how you present it to the world. That’s where a PR agency plays a crucial role. Especially for local businesses, the notion of “finding a PR firm near me” can be a game-changer in your communication strategy. But what does proximity have to do with public relations, and why should “near me” be a consideration in your search criteria?

Understanding What a PR Firm Represents in Your Business Journey

Before diving into the importance of locality in selecting a PR firm, it’s crucial to understand what is a PR firm. In simple terms, a PR firm is an organization dedicated to managing your company’s public image and relations with your target audience. They are your advocates, promoting your interests through various channels and ensuring your key messages reach the right ears and eyes.

The Essence of a Modern PR Firm

Gone are the days when PR was all about press releases. A modern PR firm doesn’t just communicate your news; they craft your narrative. These agencies delve deep into your business’s essence, capitalizing on what makes your brand unique. They then take this core narrative and weave it into every interaction or piece of communication associated with your company, from major announcements to the way employees talk about your brand, ensuring a cohesive presence.

So, What Does a PR Firm Do Exactly?

If you’re wondering “what does a PR firm do in its day-to-day functions,” we’re here to tell you. They perform many activities, from direct outreach to media, which might include crafting press releases, and organizing press conferences, to reputation management, thought leadership, securing awards, and crisis management and social media promotion. They work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure your business maintains a positive, authoritative presence in the public eye.

The Significance of Location in Your Choice of PR Agency

It’s common to think, “Why should I focus on finding PR agencies near me?” Stop scratching your head; here’s when proximity is a factor worth considering.

The Local Advantage

If your business primarily serves a local market partnering with a public relations agency in your vicinity can be advantageous. For instance, these agencies have a deep understanding of the local market dynamics, media outlets, and consumer behavior, which is invaluable for crafting personalized strategies that resonate with your local audience. They’re in tune with what’s on the community’s mind, ensuring your message isn’t just heard but also appreciated and understood.

Access to a Thriving Local Network

Local PR firms often have robust networks within the community, including connections with local journalists, social media influencers, and stakeholders. These relationships can be leveraged to get your business featured in local media, participate in community events, and collaborate with other local entities. This kind of exposure is crucial for businesses that thrive on local customers’ support.

Cost Considerations and Your PR Budget

Your PR budget is also an essential factor in this decision. While you might dream of hiring top-tier PR agencies from major cities, the reality is they often come with a price tag to match the reputation. Local agencies may be more budget-friendly, allowing you to allocate resources efficiently without compromising on quality outreach, ensuring cost-effective solutions.

Navigating the Landscape of PR Agencies in Major Cities

When it comes to PR prowess, it’s hard to ignore the influence and resources available to PR agencies in Los Angeles, Denver, New York, and D.C. These agencies are the epicenters of media, culture, and innovation, providing them with an edge in the PR realm, especially in high-stakes scenarios.

The Pull of Major Cities

PR agencies in Los Angeles and New York operate within the nerve centers of business innovation, entertainment, and media. This proximity gives them unparalleled access to top-tier media outlets, influencers, industry leaders, and trendsetters. For businesses looking to make a mark on a national or international level, these agencies can be the catapult that propels them into the limelight.

Weighing the Costs

With the pull of major cities, it’s important to note that this access and prestige come with higher PR costs. Agencies in these cities tend to charge premium rates that reflect their exclusive resources and brand name. This aspect is crucial to consider within your PR budget, especially for smaller businesses or those focusing primarily on a local market seeking cost-efficient yet impactful solutions.

Hire The Case for Boutique Agencies

Amidst these industry giants, top boutique PR agencies in Los Angeles carve a niche. These smaller agencies offer a middle ground, balancing cost with access to the resources of a major city. They tend to provide more personalized services, adapting to your business’s changing needs and often give direct access to seasoned professionals. Their size allows for flexibility, making them an excellent option for companies seeking the resources of a big city without the colossal agency approach.

The Allure of Recognition: The Inc. Power Partners Awards

Competing in bustling markets means seeking not only effective representation but also agencies recognized for their prowess. Awards like the Inc. Power Partners Awards highlight agencies making significant impacts through client success stories. Being represented by an award-winning agency can enhance your brand’s credibility, positioning you favorably in the competitive landscape.

What Recognition Means for Your Business

When an agency receives accolades like the Inc. Power Partners Awards, it’s an external validation of their expertise, creativity, and results. Aligning with such an agency can position your brand on a similar pedestal, implying a level of quality and success in your initiatives. It reflects well on your business, showing stakeholders that you invest in top-tier representation known for fruitful results.

Beyond the Trophy: Real-World Impact

Awards aren’t just about bragging rights. They indicate an agency’s ability to perform at high levels, often involving innovative strategies or successful campaigns. This experience is invaluable for your business, as these agencies bring tested tactics, creative problem-solving, and forward-thinking approaches to your brand’s unique challenges, enhancing overall market presence and perception.

Local or National: Making the Strategic Choice for Your Business

Understanding the offerings of various public relations companies in Los Angeles or your local area is just the starting point. The crucial part is deciding which aligns best with your unique business objectives, audience, and overall strategic vision, ensuring a partnership that drives growth.

Assessing Your Business Needs

Are you a local brand seeking dominance in your community market, or are you looking to expand nationally or even globally? Know that your PR firm’s location should effectively align with these goals. A national brand can benefit significantly from a PR firm in a major city, while a locally-focused brand might gain more from an agency with deep community ties and understanding.

Consider the Nature of Your Audience

Who are you trying to reach? If your audience is local, a community-rooted PR firm might be more beneficial. They will understand the local sentiments, trends, and preferences, crafting messages that resonate on a more personal level. Conversely, if your audience is widespread, PR agencies from major cities might provide the broad media reach you need, ensuring national engagement.

Budgeting for Success

Be realistic about your PR budget. Investing in a big-name agency doesn’t make sense if it leaves little room for other critical business functions. Thus, remember to carefully assess what you can afford to spend on PR, considering not only the initial outlay but also the length of the campaign, potential additional costs, and ensuring financial balance across your operations for sustained growth.

Integrating PR into Your Overall Business Strategy

Public relations shouldn’t operate in a silo. Instead, it should be an integral component of your overarching business strategy. This integration means your choice of a Public Relations Agency isn’t merely about managing press releases or social media campaigns. It’s about choosing a partner that will advance your business objectives, drive growth, and enhance your market positioning.

Understanding Your Brand Narrative

Your brand narrative is the story that sets you apart from the competition. It’s what makes you memorable and relatable to your audience. Your chosen PR firm should clearly understand this narrative deeply and be skilled at incorporating it into all communications. This strategy ensures consistency, which is key to building brand recognition and trust, crucial for long-term success.

Setting Measurable Goals

What do you aim to achieve with your PR efforts? Are you looking to boost sales, increase online engagement, or establish authority in your industry? Define measurable PR goals before you even begin discussions with a potential PR partner. These objectives will guide your strategy, ensure focused efforts, and provide a benchmark for evaluating success and facilitating effective collaboration.

Aligning with Business Milestones

Your PR activities should also align with significant business milestones. Are you launching a new product, targeting an entirely new market segment, or aiming for a specific sales benchmark? Your PR firm’s initiatives should support these endeavors, ensuring your business milestones are publicized and celebrated, creating momentum, and garnering public support and awareness.

The Future Horizon: Modern Trends in Public Relations

The world of public relations is ever-evolving, mirroring the pace and dynamism of the industries it represents. As we look ahead, it’s evident that the role of a modern PR firm will transform, encompassing much more than traditional media relations and reputation management.

The rise of digital platforms has already shifted the PR paradigm to a 24/7 engagement cycle, emphasizing real-time responses and transparent communication. But what’s next for PR? The answer lies in a blend of technology, data-driven insights, and personalized storytelling.

AI and Machine Learning: Future PR strategies will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to gather insights from vast amounts of data, enabling firms to make informed decisions swiftly. AI can also help in predicting trends and potential crises, allowing businesses to stay one step ahead.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): These technologies are opening new avenues for brand engagement. Imagine a new product launch where stakeholders can virtually experience the product that overlays digital information onto the real world, enriching the user experience.

Personalization at Scale: With advancements in data analytics, PR campaigns of the future will be highly tailored. Brand messages will be crafted to resonate deeply with specific audience segments, ensuring higher consumer engagement and fostering more meaningful, lasting connections.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility: The next generation is more socially conscious than ever. PR agencies will need to guide businesses in communicating sustainability efforts genuinely, ensuring actions match the narrative, thereby building credibility and deepening public trust.

By embracing these forward-looking trends, you can ensure that your PR strategies remain effective and relevant during all seasons. But beyond tools and technologies, the heart of PR will always be about building genuine, trustworthy relationships. It’s this delicate balance between cutting-edge innovation and timeless relationship-building that will define the thriving future of PR.

As you explore the possibilities with PR agencies in Los Angeles or wherever your search might take you, ensure they’re not only rooted in the now but are also gearing up for what’s next.

So, How Important is Finding a ‘PR Firm Near Me’?

The answer lies not just in geography but in aligning your business needs, audience, and goals with the right PR partner. Whether it’s the vast network and resources of PR agencies in Los Angeles, the personalized touch of top boutique PR agencies in Los Angeles, or the community-focused approach of a local agency, the right match is about finding a PR firm that understands your unique story, shares your vision, and has the skills and resources to bring that narrative to life in the public sphere.

At the end of the day, in a world where your public image is your business currency, investing in the right PR partnership is not just beneficial; it’s a strategic imperative. It’s about creating a voice that resonates, a presence that commands attention, and an image that drives your business forward.

Are you ready to elevate your public relations strategy and propel your business into its next growth phase? At Avaans Media, we pride ourselves on being a top-rated PR agency providing exceptional results for emerging industries and hyper-growth companies. Our executive-level team is dedicated to delivering innovative PR solutions tailored to your unique business needs. Contact us today to discover how we can partner in crafting a public image that accelerates your success.

Maybe you’ve never hired a PR firm before, or maybe it’s been a while and you’re just unsure of what a PR agency costs. Either way, you’re asking yourself, “how much will a PR firm cost me?” Since PR usually falls within the marketing budget, let’s start there.

To grow your position in the marketplace, a good marketing allocation is about 15% of revenue. In 2022, the average marketing budget for B2C brands was 13.7% of revenue, and for B2B brands, it was about 10% of revenue.


But what if you’re an ambitious company looking for PR to take you to the next level?

In 2023, PR hourly billing rates looked like this: 

PR Agency CEOs: $439/per hour (up from $417/hour in 2020) 
PR Agency EVPs billed an average of $381/per hour (up from $319 in 2020)
PR Agency Senior Account Execs billed an average of $333/hour (up from $319 in 2021)
PR Agency Account Managers: $257/hour (up from $256/hour in 2020) 

So if you’re an average company, and you’re looking to maintain your position, you’re probably spending in the range of 10% of revenue on marketing. If you’re looking to dominate, your budget should be higher. A typical breakdown might be that 1/3 of the budget is advertising, 1/3 of the budget is content, and 1/3 of the budget is PR.

Ambitious startups typically allocate between 12-17% of revenues to marketing.

Large international agency budgets can be $380,000 or more annually, while a mid-range agency budget typically clocks in at $156,000-$180,000 annually. A smaller agency budget would be $120,000 per year. A mid-range freelancer could be anywhere from $36,000-$100,000 a year.

If you’re a CPG or DTC brand with a marketing spend of under $100,000, then you might consider consumer product PR sprints, which feature micro contracts that align with key buying seasons. Hiring a PR agency is an investment, but considering PR converts 10 to 50% better than advertising, PR is indeed a place where the ROI pays off.

It’s safe to say that if your PR team has executive PR experience, and your agency spends an average of 45 person-hours per month on your account, your monthly retainer will be around $14,400 per month. It could be less if your team is more junior. If you require more executive hours, your fees could go up. 

So, what goes into a PR agency’s fees?


According to Muck Rack’s 2021 State of PR report, the number one cost to a company for PR is the agency itself; the people on the account. This makes sense because, unlike programmatic ad spending (a typical minimum is programmatic spend is $25,000/month), PR agencies rarely have minimum spend or activation fee requirements outside their retainers.  60% of the PR agency fee is for staffing; experience and talent are the main drivers behind the PR agency fee.

Oftentimes, fees are different depending on your strategic objectives. For example, if you want to keep a firm on retainer for a few calls a month and no proactive media outreach, your annual fees may be considerably less. If you are trying to secure investment or you’re pre-IPO, you may find your fees are on the higher end of an agency’s fee structure.

Why is PR so expensive research

USC Annenberg Communication Report 2023


It’s a balance to strike your budget with your goals, but when asked, I always give the same advice to CMO’s and startup founders. If your budget is $400,000 or more per year, hire an agency that does $20 million+ in revenue. If your budget is $180,000 per year, hire a boutique PR firm, with less than $10 million in revenue. If your budget is $60,000 annually, don’t hire an agency, hire a freelancer.

Odwyer PR’s annual report shows rates increased considerably in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023, so if your agency didn’t raise its rates during those year, you’re fortunate, but if you’re shopping, the current rates may come as a surprise; but PR Rates are expected to flatten out in 2024, so while there will be modest increases in 2024, they won’t be the big jumps we saw in the last four years.

Agencies are notoriously reluctant to share minimum retainers, but in 2013, several agency executives did just that with PR Observer, an industry publication.

“To properly scope a client program and assign the proper team support, we feel $15,000 – $17,500 per month is a reasonable starting point.”Anne Green, President & CEO, CooperKatz & Company, Inc.

“Our retainers range from $7,500 – $50,000 or so. Crisis costs are different and generally charged by the hour with a $20,000 minimum.”—Ronn Torossian, Founder & President, 5WPR

“We have some clients that pay us $100,000 or so per year, some clients that pay us more than $100,000 per week, and many clients that pay us $100,000 or so per month.”— Mark Hass, President & CEO, Edelman United States

“Our clients generally pay between $15,000-$30,000 a month depending on the workload.”—Stu Loeser, Founder & President, Stu Loeser & Co.
So, what’s typically included in a bespoke retainer rate? Well, again, that may depend on each agency’s specialty. For example, if your agency specializes in digital communications, you may find that social media content creation is included, but media relations are not. But the following services are a good rule of thumb to expect within our typical PR agency retainer:
  • PR Strategies about how to stand out from your competitors using PR
  • Internal and external communication strategies that match your growth goals.
  • Campaign development and creative activations for marketing opportunities.
  • Media relations, and securing regular media coverage, speaking engagements.
  • KPI and business impact reporting.
  • Copywriting, such as press releases, speeches, white papers, and branded journalism.
  • PR crisis planning – but not necessarily crisis management.
  • Partnership strategy and potential management such as cause, social impact, or purpose-driven PR initiatives.
  • Executive training, including media training, interview prep, and research or executive ghostwriting.
  • Content strategy for video, social media, and inbound leads.
  • Content creation oversight, including social media, photography sessions, and video development.
  • Poll or research development, implementing the poll may or may not be within the agency’s retainer.
  • Peer agency coordination, such as with branding or advertising agencies.
  • PR campaigns that “make the news,” are designed to create word-of-mouth or media opportunities.

For a complete list of what we would include in your PR retainer, reach out to us and tell us more about your business and your goals.

Hiring a PR agency is an investment, but considering PR converts ten to 50% better than advertising, PR is indeed a place where the ROI pays off.


(sources: Odweyer PR)

I was on a webinar presented by Morgan Stanley and PwC about preparing for an IPO – and something struck me – there was optimism, and the organizations were signaling their faith in the return of IPOs, soon. 2023 has been an IPO graveyard, but as one host said, “One thing we know is markets change, and so it will also be for the low point of IPOs.” Their advice? Prepare now. Preparing for an IPO is a daunting task for any startup, and the focus is often on due diligence. Yet communications and PR are critical to public offering preparedness. What do pre-IPO companies need to do from a communication standpoint? 


Reputation Building 

Bankers know that when you pitch them for your IPO, the company has a verified financial model and total addressable market (TAM). And founders know investors are looking for the next $1 billion brand. This makes your company’s reputation extremely relevant. So when you’re looking to stand out to investors, nothing shows social proof quite as well as media coverage. Media coverage can go on the road with you and helps you stand out to investors. Confident, media savvy CEOs give investors confidence; it shows you can handle a very different role as CEO of a public company. 

Thought leadership is vital to reputation building. During this growth stage, executive visibility is more relevant than ever. Since a solid thought leadership program takes time and strategy, we recommend starting a thought leadership program at least 24 months before a desired IPO. 

Create a Compelling Narrative

Many founders mistake the pitch to investors as the corporate narrative. The two are cousins, but different. The narrative should resonate with key stakeholders, investors, and the public, highlighting the company’s mission, accomplishments, and long-term vision.

Know the Difference Between IR and PR

IR (investor relations) and PR (public relations) have important but slightly different roles in a company’s growth pre-IPO phase. Investor relations focuses almost solely on analysts covering topics your potential investors care about. Meanwhile, PR is targeted towards a broader set of journalists, and the public at large. They can and should work together. For example, both should play a role in any press releases. IR will ensure due diligence is met and ensure the investor messaging is correct, while PR will want to ensure the brand message is consistent and the media targets get the information they need. 

Crisis Planning 

The best time to manage a crisis is before a crisis. Before you go public, and get caught up in all the details of going public, plan for a crisis. How you handle a crisis will affect your brand, and god forbid you to have a crisis during your roadshow or quiet period. Your crisis planning should include many scenarios, from the employee, to property, to product, and, yes, cyber security. Every one of these scenarios could require different stakeholder involvement and point persons. Your crisis planning should include table top exercises and the executive team should review crisis PR plans at least once yearly. 

ESG Planning 

 Investors want to be part of companies with the broadest investor audience, and ESG (environmental, social and governance) is part of that, especially since some brokerage firms and mutual funds are offering investment products that employ ESG strategies. Larry Fink, Blackrock CEO, and co-founder, said ESG is “capitalism, driven by mutually beneficial relationships between you, the employees, customers, suppliers, and communities your company relies on to prosper,”.

From a PR perspective, ESG and even purpose-driven brands have special sensitivities, and it’s important to have a coherent plan and PR strategy for these talking points for all your stakeholders, from investors to customers. ESG is not just for the “woke” – investors see the writing on the wall and have for some time. Also, buyers beyond GenZ see the importance of ESG. 

Audit Your External Communications 

Ensure your website and any owned media meet all regulatory requirements – including executive bios, blog posts, and social media. Look at this moment as your last chance to shower before prom. Your website and social media should also be robust and brand consistent. You want everyone to see you in your best possible light, and the most accessible way for new friends to get to know you is your website. 

Media Training 

The press is not the enemy, but they aren’t here to be your BFF either. Talking to the press live and learning to work with the media under various conditions, including in person with lights and mics, is a skill. While you may have undergone media preparedness before interviews, now is the time to take on a full media training program for your CEO, executives and spokespersons, including anyone who attends public events (like trade shows) on your behalf. 

Expect media training to take several days of intense hands-on training and review. Since all relevant stakeholders will be together, it is also a good time to review and practice your crisis plan too. Since media training is a skill, conducting this exercise well before IPO is recommended. 

The Big Show

Your company will never again go public. This is one of the few indisputably great news moments.  Someone (not the CEO) must ensure the moment is documented and promoted. Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s true – not every company makes the front page of the Wall Street Journal when they go public, but it is news – and someone will care. Using this opportunity to connect with journalists is key; it’s a great time to fill up the trust bucket in the eyes of journalists. 

Prepare for the moment with some notable key messages and brand-worthy must-airs. Run through your must airs and make sure you are prepared to answer questions that might come your way. Have your day meticulously planned with your communications in mind and watch the accolades roll in. 

Effective pre-IPO PR planning is crucial for companies aiming to go public. By crafting an interesting narrative, engaging media and influencers, developing investor communication strategies, building a strong online presence, managing crises, leveraging thought leadership opportunities, and engaging internal stakeholders, companies can establish a positive brand image, attract investors, and generate enthusiasm around their IPO


What types of PR do you need, and when do you need then? The type of PR you choose, mostly has to do with your larger strategic initiatives and your desired PR outcomes. When hiring a top PR firm, prioritizing initiatives and timelines is usually incredibly important to companies in emerging industries or companies with big ambitions, but not huge PR budgets. So when SHOULD you use the most important types of PR for fast-growing and ambitious companies?

Strategic Public Relations

Research is the forgotten science behind PR. From surveys and studies that impact consumer or stakeholder opinion, to consumer, product, or media trends, strategic PR puts emotional intelligence in context.

Many startups skip this part because they perceive it as expensive. But that’s why Avaans Media offers a strategic analysis as part of its bespoke PR services. We think it’s important to inform strategies with data. Even startups without a reputational history can benefit from analysis of media trends. The strategic analysis can also save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted advertising or brand expenses because of bad timing or a lack of insight into a buyer’s state of mind.

Media Relations

Media relations is the most visible part of PR.  It’s so visible in fact, that many people think media relations IS PR. It’s usually media relations that secure proactive press and work directly with the media to improve their impression of your company. Most ambitious companies use media relations when the goal is to increase visibility and improve their reputation for stakeholders. Stakeholders could be current or potential investors, current or potential customers or clients, government decision-makers, and even the media itself. A solid media relations strategy keeps you in good graces with the media and improves your reputation with positive press. Media relations can be product PR, like with a new product launch, or during a particular product sales cycle, or it can be part of the thought leadership and strategic relations campaigns.

Media relations PR tactics for fast-growing companies include active outreach to journalists and maintaining an eye on news that impacts the brand, its competitors, or its customers. Media relations PR professionals never forget the “relations” part of their job and ensure that content such as press releases, pitches, and products are delivered in a media-centric way. Your media relations team has two important stakeholders: the media and you, and it’s often a delicate balance.

Community Relations

For emerging industries like cannabis and drones, community relations is a primary PR tent pole. Community relations are the proactive steps a company or brand takes within a particular community to improve its reputation or ease concerns about its product or operations. Community relations can be within a geographic area, a demographic group, or an industry. Tactically, this might include partnering with nonprofits, purpose-driven initiatives, or education campaigns.

Crisis Communications

No one likes to think about it, but from product recalls to cyber attacks to executive missteps, having a solid plan in place for a crisis is an important part of building, and maintaining a hard-earned reputation. Tactically, this should be a plan that’s in place for a variety of crises that could impact your business. You will consider your risks, your stakeholders, and key people who need to be involved, and how they need to be involved. Crisis communications can be one of the most expensive forms of PR if you wait until there is a crisis to engage a PR agency.

Digital/Online Communications

Most modern PR firms, especially those that serve companies with ambitious goals,  will incorporate some level of digital PR in a comprehensive PR strategy. This could incorporate content, social media, and at the very least, how the latest Google changes impact your PR. You simply can’t ignore that your reputation lives and breathes online. Make sure your digital PR collaborates with your SEO and your social media.


Thought Leadership

From public speaking opportunities to content contributions to commenting on important news and leading important conversations, thought leadership for executives improves brand reputations and community relations. What would Apple be without Steve Jobs? What would Spanx be without Sara Blakely? Both CEOs built an incredible brand and added value to it with their own personal branding. Entrepreneurs of fast-growing or ambitious companies with their eye on an IPO or fundraising should invest in thought leadership because it’s one of the most valuable forms of PR.

For startups and ambitious companies, PR is an investment in your company’s future. Knowing when to use important types of PR for ambitious companies will help you prioritize your PR investment.