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?

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Mile-high city, step up to the plate. From The Denver Egotist:

We admit our list of recommended PR firms and freelancers in the Denver-metro is looking pretty deflated. Alright, it’s flat dead. Got any suggestions for PR wizards we should let the rest of the city know about? Throw ‘em down below.

Here are some that we know about. Madison House (actually in nearby Boulder) is a large music agency representing artists such as Taj Mahal, Los Lobos and String Cheese Incident. Pushkin Public Relations counts YMCA of Metropolitan Denver and the Colorado BioScience Association as clients. Then there is JohnstonWells, who has something on their “Areas of Specialty” section called Cocktail Talk:

Cocktail Talk is a signature program of JohnstonWells that is designed to help members of an organization—whether they’re staff, board members or volunteers—be effective ambassadors for that organization.

We think most agencies call this media training or voice training. Or at least something better than Cocktail Talk. Are we being to harsh?