How Should a PR Firm and Client Decide What Realistic Benchmarks Are For a Publicity Campaign?

You cannot control the output (results), only your input (eg. # of press releases you send out, how many media outlets you contact individually, etc.) but you can get an idea of expected output, based on input from previous clients’ campaign performance.

Full Transparency Method: If you want to be fully transparent with your inputs, you can simply let the clients know for X price, this is the specific inputs/work from your PR firm they will receive. Set the expectation. This approach helps mitigate any blame and liability on the PR firm if it results in poor campaign performance since the client is paying for the work, rather than results (of course, you’d still want to get them results too).

Proprietary Formula Method: If you want to keep what you’re doing away from the client, you can focus more on the results and point to your case studies. These clients in the past paid this price, and these were the results we’ve delivered. While these clients paid this more premium price, and these were the results we’ve delivered. This approach works well if you have a lot of case studies to point to, and if you’re a more established PR firm. It also allows for more mark up on your price.

Case Studies: Since your case studies is your portfolio, make sure this is visually compelling. Believe it or not, I have seen both publicists and PR firms send just a bunch of text links to clients. Don’t do this. I’ve included some examples of how we display our reports and case studies for our own customers from our PR Distribution™ platform.

Feel free to take inspiration from our case studies and sample press release distribution reports (without plagiarizing). We wish you good luck with closing your client!