Do You Get Paid Per Hit?

December 4, 2007

We just came across this question on LinkedIn:

My business, <name removed> has been working with a small PR firm for the past 2 years on a ‘fee per placement’ agreement. I have a line of new products and they would like to change this structure to a monthly retainer. Does moving to a monthly retainer make sense and how do I know what is reasonable to pay on a monthly basis?

Ok, so asking how much a monthly retainer one should pay, based on scope of work needed, is a totally reasonable question. But, we always cringe when we hear of firms who offer a “pay per hit” arrangement.  What would you say when put in this situation?  Tell the potential client to skee-daddle, sign ’em up, or somewhere in between?


3 Responses to “Do You Get Paid Per Hit?”

  1. I wouldn’t mind pay-per-click as part of a fee STRUCTURE (i.e. a lower flat rate plus the pay-per-click), as long as the endgame makes the profit worth my time. But being paid only by the click is not an equitable business arrangement — someone else would be getting the benefit of my work without making a commitment to compensate me for it.

  2. David Says:

    Run fast. Pay per hit clients are cheap and argument-prone. For business, Public Relations is a professional service like law or accounting and should not be treated like its potato salad at the deli counter that you buy by the pound.

    I worked for a firm that did pay per hit PR. The client I worked on had an extremely small list of extremely high profile targets. I spent 13 months getting this client hits at two of their targets. And it wasn’t just the target, the story had to be specific to the messaging and presented in a specific manner.

    I blew up a solid longstanding media relationship with a reporter when the client backed out of the story at a third target when the client decided not to show up for a pre-dawn interview.

    As soon as I could, I escaped. And I would never go back.

  3. Nishi Says:


    Is this firm you work with in India? We were looking for a pay per hit firm too.


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