The costs associated with hiring a communication consultancy can vary, depending on the nature of the services requested (advice and/or implementation) and the experience and expertise of the consultants.
There are three types of costs:
- The fees of the consultancy, which are based on the hours the agency has allotted to executing the assignment
- The operating costs of the consultancy (telephone, fax, photocopies, local travel, etc.), which is usually a fixed percentage of their fee. As a general rule, they are invoiced at the end of each month
- The costs of third parties (such as photography services, printing, translation, etc.) required for the assignment. These costs are generally invoiced directly to the client, after verification by the consultancy.
With regard to the fees, there are several options that can be considered:
Either you draw up an annual contract for the entire PR programme, and for which invoicing is done on the basis of fixed monthly fees (a retainer fee);
or you can ask to be invoiced at specific times on a project basis, with an pre-agreed budget for each project;
or you opt for invoicing per hour, on the basis of the time actually worked by the consultancy.
This latter is better suited for short-term assignments, e.g. in the event of a crisis, when urgent problems arise or when coordinating international strategies, it is very difficult to accurately estimate a fixed budget in advance.