Common PR Firm Fee Structures

If you’ve been considering hiring a PR firm in Toronto, chances are the cost is one of the foremost thoughts in your mind. Different PR companies will charge different fees based on a range of variables, but there are a handful of fee structures that you can expect to choose from.

Here are the most common, to help you find the right Toronto PR firm for your needs.


Much of the time, PR companies charge a retainer before they begin working on your account. A retainer is a fixed fee that is charged monthly or quarterly, and usually carried a minimum contractual obligation. Retainers are generally paid in advance, so the PR firm can help ensure the highest level of service and can easily calculate how many hours should be devoted to each client.


Charging clients an hourly rate is another common fee structure for PR firms in Toronto. With this method, the PR company will keep a running tab for all work completed over the month at an agreed upon hourly rate, then bill the client when the month is over. In many agencies, different activities will have different hourly rates, depending on the nature and difficulty of the job.

Project-Based Fee Structure

If there is a special event coming up, or the launch of a new product or concept, your PR firm might charge based on that one project alone. This type of project has a set time limit with clear goals and objectives, so it is easier to agree on a number that works for the PR agency and the client.

Payment Based on Results

Payment based on results includes grey areas that can cause potential problems in the future, yet it is a model that some PR firms in Toronto follow for certain projects. It works well for clients without a lot of capital, and seems riskier for the PR firm, but most of the time the fees are far higher if the goals are reached than they’d be if paid upfront.

A La Carte Fees

Some PR companies include a la carte fees for “one-off” services such as writing press releases, managing social media campaigns, blog writing or producing videos. This type of pricing makes it convenient and straightforward for clients when they are shopping for services, but retainers are more effective if you want complete PR service.

Budget for Expenses

Regardless of the type of pricing structure your PR firm uses, there will likely be some degree of budget for expenses that are incurred during the completion of the service. Things like entertaining, market research; design and production expenses may also be added to the standard fee.


There’s no question that a high-quality Toronto PR firm can help take your company to the next level, and there is usually a fee structure that will be agreeable to everyone concerned. To learn more, contact Grey Smoke Media today.

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