Our Top Picks

APCO-Worldwide-Logo
APCO Worldwide
  • 250-999 employees
APCO Worldwide is a large international public relations company that offers PR support, branding and social media marketing services. Working with a diverse range of clients in several countries, APCO Worldwide maintains offices throughout the United States and works with clients in almost every industry. The firm is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and handles accounts for government and international clients, as well as for clients in the finance and trade sectors.

Clients of APCO Worldwide have intensive account support and customer service access that helps keep them on top of current campaigns. Account managers consult with new clients as part of the onboarding process, help develop new campaigns crafted to reach key demographic segments and follow through with continuing assessment and reporting on progress. Rates for APCO Worldwide’s services start at $100 an hour and rise to $149, which is near the low end of pricing for many public relations companies.

What Customers Are Saying

Clients who have worked with APCO for initial consultation and product launches are full of praise. One reviewer, from the UPS Foundation, spoke of his experience: “APCO has been instrumental in crafting creative and impactful programs for The UPS Foundation.”

Summary

APCO-Worldwide-Logo
APCO Worldwide
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    250 - 999 employees
  • Service Lines
    Research Strategy & Management, Media Relations & Training, Marketing Communications, Digital, Crisis & Litagation Management, Advertising, Branding
  • Industry Focus
    Sustainability & Social Impact, Non-profits, Health Care, Consumer Products & Services, Retail, Business Services
Features
  • 250-999 employees
BCW-Logo
BCW
  • Global clientele
  • Advanced data analysis
  • Re-branding services
BCW is a large public relations company with near-global reach, which keeps its industry focus wide and flexible by engaging clients in multiple fields. Capitalizing on the general nature of the firm’s services, BCW offers a range of services that includes basic public relations, digital strategy and planning and some social media marketing services. BCW manages social media campaigns with advanced deep-data metrics and advanced learning algorithms to monitor message penetration and the overall success of brand messaging.

Clients reach out to BCW for initial support and idea generation, as well as for early-stage branding and online strategy planning. The company does not publicly disclose its pricing to non-clients, which makes a price comparison with other firms difficult to accomplish. Potential clients should discuss pricing early in the negotiation to be sure BCW is within their allotted budget for a public relations company.

What Customers Are Saying

BCW clients often speak highly of the professionals they encounter at the firm. One reviewer put it this way: “This company gives you the opportunity to work with great people and clients and the atmosphere was always positive.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Contact for quote
  • Number of Employees
    250 - 999 employees
  • Service Lines
    Reputation Risk & Crisis Solutions, Corporate Success, Branding & Marketing Strategy, Advertising, Public Relations, Social Media Marketing
  • Industry Focus
    Health Care, Technology, Digital, Retail, Business Services, Consumer Goods & Services
Features
  • Global clientele
  • Advanced data analysis
  • Re-branding services
BIGfish-Communications-Logo
BIGfish Communications
  • 250-999 employees
BIGfish Communications is a medium-sized public relations company based in Boston, Massachusetts. Specializing in PR, branding and social media marketing campaigns, the firm employs between 10 and 50 professionals, which lends a personal feeling to client interactions with the company. Consulting is available for clients during the early idea-generation phase of a campaign, with strategy and planning services during the lead up to launch. Branding services help establish the look and feel of a client’s online presence, and advanced social media marketing services help manage customer interactions over every social media platform a client uses.

BIGfish Communications works with key clients in the agribusiness, consumer electronics and health care sectors. Others are from the energy, engineering and trade sectors. BIGfish Communications works with clients outside of these industries, but their focus is principally on major players in key fields. Clients can expect to pay between $150 and $199 an hour for most of the firm’s services, which is medium-high by the standards of most public relations companies.

What Customers Are Saying

BIGfish Communications clients tend to leave positive feedback for the big-picture approach the public relations company takes toward initiatives it’s managing. One client spoke in general terms about the experience: “Overall, it was a great experience working with them, and I don’t have any complaints.”

Summary

BIGfish-Communications-Logo
BIGfish Communications
  • Starting Price
    • $150 - $199 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    10 - 49 employees
  • Service Lines
    Branding & Marketing Strategy, Advertising, Public Relations, Social Media Marketing
  • Industry Focus
    Consumer Electronics, Smart Home & IOT, Health & Wellness, Transportation & Travel, Energy & Sustainability, Safety & Security, Mobile Devices & Connectivity
Features
  • 250-999 employees
Blaze-PR-Logo
Blaze PR
  • 10-49 employees
Operating from a single location in Santa Monica, California, Blaze PR offers its clients extensive public relations and social media support for online and real-world campaigns. From the initial consultation phase to launch, and from market research to continuing analysis, Blaze PR helps its clients understand the likely effect of its planned public relations campaigns. The company employs between 10 and 50 staff at a single location, which helps keep clients current with a campaign’s progress with personal reporting and interaction with an account manager assigned to the file.

Blaze PR charges an average of $100 to $149 an hour for most of the services it offers. This is close to the low end of public relations companies’ rates, and it makes the firm very competitive with other PR firms in Southern California.

What Customers Are Saying

Clients often find Blaze PR to be one of the more professional and capable public relations companies they have worked with. One reviewer, in a five-star writeup, said, “They’re extremely professional, proficient in their field, and easy to work with.”

Summary

Blaze-PR-Logo
Blaze PR
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    10 - 49 employees
  • Service Lines
    Public Relations, Social Media Marketing
  • Industry Focus
    Consumer Goods & Services, Food & Beverages, Health Care & Wellness, Sports
Features
  • 10-49 employees
Communications-Strategy-Group-(CSG)Communications-Strategy-Group-(CSG)-Logo
Communications Strategy Group (CSG)
  • 10-49 employees
  • Industry focuses are Education, Financial Services, Health Care & Medical, Sustainability, and Aviation and Space
  • Notable clients include TIAA, Transamerica, Wells Fargo Advisors and Charles Schwab
Communications Strategy Group (CSG) employs between 10 and 50 employees at its Denver, Colorado, headquarters. Clients of the firm get expert strategy and consulting services, public relations management and assistance preparing and implementing marketing strategies. CSG specializes in serving clients in the education, financial services and health care industries, though the firm is open to clients in other fields. The company’s limited size and personal connection encourages collaboration with small and medium-sized clients, as well as local Colorado businesses.

Communications Strategy Group charges between $175 and $200 an hour for its consultation and public relations services. This is high for a public relations company, which makes the firm’s services potentially prohibitive to clients with limited budgets and smaller campaigns in mind.

What Customers Are Saying

CSG clients often speak of the company’s apparent concern for their success in online reviews. One such review noted this trait in particular, saying, “CSG cared deeply about our business and became part of our team.”

Summary

Communications-Strategy-Group-(CSG)Communications-Strategy-Group-(CSG)-Logo
Communications Strategy Group (CSG)
  • Starting Price
    • $200 - $300 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    10 - 49 employees
  • Service Lines
    Public Relations, Content Marketing, Brand Communications, Corporate Communications, Social Media, Design Services
  • Industry Focus
    Health Care, Technology, Education, Retail, Consumer Goods & Services
Features
  • 10-49 employees
  • Industry focuses are Education, Financial Services, Health Care & Medical, Sustainability, and Aviation and Space
  • Notable clients include TIAA, Transamerica, Wells Fargo Advisors and Charles Schwab
Edelman-Logo
Edelman
  • 250-999 employees
Edelman is a very large public relations company with international reach. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, the company employs between 250 and 1,000 employees, making it one of the larger PR firms in the industry. Specializing in social media marketing and public relations services, Edelman also provides expert assistance with video production for online marketing campaigns. Consultation and strategy services are available during the initial stages of a campaign, and analytic and deep-research services are provided throughout the campaign’s run. This helps clients of all sizes gain insight into the success of a public relations campaign, even if the client lacks in-house analysts who could provide their own research.

Edelman offers its services to clients in all industries, at rates that are close to the lower end for most public relations companies. Rates usually fall between $100 and $149 an hour, which makes Edelman’s public relations and consulting services relatively affordable for even very small clients worldwide.

What Customers Are Saying

Clients are full of high praise for Edelman’s superior team ethic and positive approach to client concerns. One reviewer had this to say about the public relations company: “Fantastic, very intelligent, and hardworking professionals who really care about the work they are doing.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    250 - 999 employees
  • Service Lines
    Social Media Marketing, Public Relations, Video Production
  • Industry Focus
    Technology, Retail, Consumer Goods & Services, Social Issues, Health Care, Food & Beverage, Travel
Features
  • 250-999 employees
FleishmanHillard-Logo
FleishmanHillard
  • 1,000-9,999 employees
  • More features at FleishmanHillard
FleishmanHillard is one of the largest public relations companies currently operating, with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees at several locations throughout the country. The firm is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and clients are accepted from all over the world. FleishmanHillard helps its clients with a full spectrum of public relations services, from basic PR and digital strategy consultations, to online advertising and advanced branding strategies. The company works with clients of all sizes, from sole proprietorships and small businesses to some of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world. The firm does not specialize in any particular industry, though in-house teams are available who bring significant expertise to most fields.

Clients of all sizes can expect to pay between $100 and $149 an hour for FleishmanHillard’s consulting, marketing and public relations services. This is relatively affordable even for most small businesses, and contracts can be negotiated for limited hours to help keep campaigns under budget.

What Customers Are Saying

Clients often leave positive feedback about the company’s ability to understand and work with their unique needs: “Our company worked with FH for a variety of PR and Marketing tasks. They have worked with our company for years and have come to really understand our needs and industry as unique as it may be. They helped with preparing for events and different big milestone moments for the company.”

Summary

FleishmanHillard-Logo
FleishmanHillard
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    1,000 - 9,999 employees
  • Service Lines
    Advertising, Branding, Digital Strategy
  • Industry Focus
    Consumer Products & Services, Food, Agriculture & Beverage, Public Sector, Technology, Healthcare, Financial & Professional Services, Energy & Utilities
Features
  • 1,000-9,999 employees
  • More features at FleishmanHillard
H+K-Strategies-Logo
H+K Strategies
  • 50-249 employees
  • Notable clients include 3M, McDonald’s, Instagram and Fiat
H+K Strategies is a medium-sized public relations company with an international presence. Operating from its headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil, the firm accepts clients worldwide for social media marketing services, marketing strategy and basic public relations services. H+K Strategies works with some of the world’s most prestigious brands, including 3M, McDonald’s, Instagram and Whirlpool, to build up an online presence and maximize the reach of its public relations campaigns. Analysis and targeted marketing services are also available for clients. The firm employs between 50 and 250 account reps, which allows for a high degree of specialization without sacrificing the personal contact a medium-sized public relations company can offer its clients.

H+K Strategies charges between $100 and $149 an hour for many of its services, including the mid-campaign analysis it provides to its ongoing clients. Small and medium-sized clients are likely to be able to fit the firm’s services into limited budgets, and larger clients can generally assemble large, complex campaigns without undue cost.

What Customers Are Saying

Clients of H+K Strategies have high praise for the firm’s ability to rapidly produce high-quality content that has been optimized for search engine discovery. One content client said, “We mandated H&K to write a series of 10 blog posts about our industry for our Huffington Post blog. They also wrote op-eds and pitched them to several publications.”

Summary

H+K-Strategies-Logo
H+K Strategies
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    50 - 249 employees
  • Service Lines
    Public Relations, Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing
  • Industry Focus
    Consumer Packaged Goods, Energy & Industrials, Financial & Professional Services, Food & Drink, Goverment & Public Sector, Health & Wellness, Mobility & Transportation, Retail & Leisure, Sports, Technology
Features
  • 50-249 employees
  • Notable clients include 3M, McDonald’s, Instagram and Fiat
Jelly-Digital-Marketing-_-PR-Logo
Jelly Digital Marketing & PR
  • 10-49 employees
  • Industry focuses are Real Estate, Legal and Health Care & Medical
  • Notable clients include 7-11, Sussex Insurance and the Greater Vancouver Zoo
Jelly Digital Marketing & PR offers a high-energy team of go-getters, storytellers, and experts in all things digital who work tirelessly to get your business, product, and message seen and heard by the right people. While social media, PR, and digital advertising are the pillars of their business, it is their unique ability to combine this trio of skill sets that enables them to provide comprehensive amplification for your brand.

They also offer SEO and conversion optimization services from their headquarters in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Working with between 10 and 50 employees, the company offers full-spectrum public relations services for their clients, who are principally in the real estate, legal and health care industries. Jelly does accept clients from other fields, though the limited size of the firm tends to drive engagement with the company’s chosen clientele.

Jelly works with several prestigious international brands, including 7-11, La-Z-Boy and Sussex Insurance. Clients can expect to pay from $100 to $149 an hour for the company’s services, which is low for a public relations company with a specific market focus.

What Customers Are Saying

Jelly Digital Marketing & PR clients often praise the company’s detail-oriented approach, which leaves very few loose ends for most campaigns. One client wrote this: “Their stand-out attention to detail and authenticity that sets them apart from others.”

Summary

Jelly-Digital-Marketing-_-PR-Logo
Jelly Digital Marketing & PR
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    10 - 49 employees
  • Service Lines
    Public Relations, Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Optimization
  • Industry Focus
    Technology, Retail, Consumer Goods & Services, Education, Health Care, Food & Beverage
Features
  • 10-49 employees
  • Industry focuses are Real Estate, Legal and Health Care & Medical
  • Notable clients include 7-11, Sussex Insurance and the Greater Vancouver Zoo
Ketchum-Logo
Ketchum
  • 1,000-9,999 employees
Ketchum is a New York-based public relations company that specializes in advertising, branding and digital strategy services for a diverse clientele. The firm maintains several satellite offices and employs between 1,000 and 10,000 professionals. Ketchum’s consultation and planning services are available to clients in every industry, though there is no specific focus area that the company primarily works in. Ketchum maintains industry teams that can assist client companies of all sizes develop new branding ideas, plan a mass media campaign and manage a successful launch. Digital optimization and analytics services are also available for clients who need outside support to manage campaigns in progress.

Clients can expect to pay between $100 and $149 an hour for Ketchum’s consulting, planning and management services. Contracts are available for limited services at negotiated rates, though even smaller clients of the firm are likely to fit some of the public relations company’s services into their marketing budgets.

What Customers Are Saying

Ketchum clients have left online reviews praising the company for its advanced metrics and insightful data analytics. One client, who manages a small business, said this: “[Ketchum’s analytics were] easy to use and overall help[ed] with marketing.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    1,000 - 9,999 employees
  • Service Lines
    Advertising, Branding, Digital Strategy
  • Industry Focus
    Consumer Goods & Services, Technology, Education, Health & Wellness, Food & Beverage, Travel & Leisure
Features
  • 1,000-9,999 employees
Matter-Communications-Logo
Matter Communications
  • 50-249 employees
Matter Communications offers PR, direct marketing and social media support to clients in multiple industries. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the firm employs between 50 and 250 professionals, making it a relatively large player among public relations companies. Advanced analytics are available for full-service clients of the firm, as are digital planning and implementation services.

Small and medium-sized clients typically pay between $100 and $149 an hour for Matter Communications’ services. This is a relatively low price point for most public relations companies, which helps make the firm affordable for small public relations clients.

What Customers Are Saying

Matter Communications earns praise from many past clients for the skill and professionalism of its staff. As one client put it, in a glowing online review, “The staff at Matter Communications was very professional and helped us at every stage of the campaign.”

Summary

Matter-Communications-Logo
Matter Communications
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    50 - 249 employees
  • Service Lines
    Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Social Media Marketing
  • Industry Focus
    Health Care, B2B Technology, Consumer, Food & Beverage, Professional Services, Cybersecurity, Customer Experience & Retail Technology, Energy & Sustainability
Features
  • 50-249 employees
MSL-Group-Logo
MSL Group
  • 1,000-9,999 employees
  • More features at MSL Group
MSL Group is a very focused public relations company that is based out of Warszawa, Poland. Working across several continents and with clients of all sizes, MSL Group is able to focus several teams on each clients’ account from the earliest stages of a PR campaign to the end of the run. MSL Group employs between 1,000 and 10,000 professionals, many of whom offer services in English, French and other European languages. Digital media support is available for many clients, though the company tends to specialize in traditional public relations work.

Small and medium-sized clients are usually drawn to MSL Group for its PR-specific services, but it may be difficult to plan for a campaign prior to price disclosure. The company does not publicly advertise its hourly rates, though some negotiation is likely possible during the onboarding process.

What Customers Are Saying

Clients of MSL Group praise the public relations company for the way teams work closely with new clients to ensure a smooth rollout. One client left a five-star online review that read in part: “MSL Group was fantastic during our product roll-out. Their team worked with us until everything was better than we hoped.”

Summary

MSL-Group-Logo
MSL Group
  • Starting Price
    • Contact for quote
  • Number of Employees
    1,000 - 9,999 employees
  • Service Lines
    Consumer Marketing, Crisis & Issues Management, Employee, Social Purpose & Sustainability, Financial Communications, Public Affairs, Reputation Management & Corporate Communications
  • Industry Focus
    Automotive, Consumer Goods, Energy, Health, Technology, Financial and Professional Services, Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Manufacturing, Industrial & Defense
Features
  • 1,000-9,999 employees
  • More features at MSL Group
Ogilvy-Logo
Ogilvy
  • 50-249 employees
Ogilvy offers expert advertising, branding and direct marketing support for clients in all common industries. Operating out of its headquarters office in San Francisco, California, the Ogilvy public relations company employs between 50 and 250 account professionals who are organized into client-assigned teams. This helps maintain a personal contact between the firm and even its smallest clients, as well as the flexibility to manage some of the larger accounts the public relations company manages.

Clients of Ogilvy can expect to pay mid-range rates for most of the firm’s services. Consultation, planning and campaign management services typically cost between $150 and $199 an hour, though special rates may apply for more specialized services. Though the company’s rates are higher than many of the entry-level public relations companies in the industry, the higher cost of business and local focus Ogilvy brings to its San Francisco clientele helps to recover some return on the investment.

What Customers Are Saying

One of Ogilvy’s major selling points is the experience the firm brings to public relations. A past client of the public relations company had this to say on an online forum: “Ogilvy has an established name and handled promotions with flair.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $150 - $199 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    50 - 249 employees
  • Service Lines
    B2B, Brand Strategy, Advertising, Customer Engagement & Commerce, Public Relations & Influence, Digital Transformation, Partnerships
  • Industry Focus
    Business Services, Retail, Consumer Goods & Services, Health & Wellness, Technology
Features
  • 50-249 employees
Strategic-Objectives-Logo
Strategic Objectives
  • 10-49 employees
Strategic Objectives is a full-spectrum content creation, marketing, SEO and public relations company based in Toronto, Canada. This medium-sized public relations company employs between 10 and 50 professional staff members, who can recruit, consult and manage accounts for clients across most of the more common industries. New clients receive personal attention from account staff, who can assist with idea generation and strategic planning for upcoming campaigns. Once launched, the company’s initiatives are expertly managed through a team approach that pools all of the available talent and magnifies the firm’s ability to manage larger accounts.

Clients who sign up for Strategic Objectives’ many PR services can expect to pay between $100 and $149 an hour for most services. This relatively low rate brings the public relations company’s services within the range of even most small businesses’ budget targets.

What Customers Are Saying

Strategic Objectives’ clients praise the company for its willingness to listen to feedback and build a customized approach for every account. One past client left this positive feedback on an online review site: “They’re eager to hear what you have to say before molding it into something they can build on.”

Summary

Strategic-Objectives-Logo
Strategic Objectives
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    10 - 49 employees
  • Service Lines
    Media/Blogger Relations, Social Media, Events, Brand Reimagination, Influencer Marketing, Brand & Product Launches, Experiential, Reputation Management, Corporate & Social Responsibility
  • Industry Focus
    Fashion, Non-profit, Consumer Products & Services, Retail, Business Services
Features
  • 10-49 employees
Weber-Shandwick-Logo
Weber Shandwick
  • 250-999 employees
Weber Shandwick is a professional public relations company based on the Avenue of the Americas in New York, New York. From this prime location, the firm employs between 250 and 1,000 people nationwide at a network of satellite offices in several states. Many of Weber Shandwick’s core clients work with the firm to develop public relations campaigns from the initial planning stages to the product launch, with extensive deep study and analytical services provided throughout the length of a campaign. Many clients rely on the company’s expertise in the fields of social media marketing, public relations and market strategy development.

Clients of Weber Shandwick pay an average of $100 to $149 an hour for the firm’s services. This is relatively low for a public relations company, which helps keep Weber Shandwick within the tolerable range for many small and medium-sized companies.

What Customers Are Saying

Weber Shandwick clients have generally high praise for the public relations company’s overall effectiveness. One former client left a five-star rating and said this in her review: “Weber are public relation masters, their ability to make and improve positive business public relations is amazing and 2nd to none, no problems or fear, they are simply amazing and should, without question, be your first point of call!”

Summary

Weber-Shandwick-Logo
Weber Shandwick
  • Starting Price
    • $100 - $149 per hour
  • Number of Employees
    250 - 999 employees
  • Service Lines
    Social Media Marketing, Public Relations, Marketing Strategy
  • Industry Focus
    Healthcare, Technnology, Finance, Environmental, Retail, Business Services, Consumer Goods & Services
Features
  • 250-999 employees

How We Chose the Best Public Relations Companies

Public relations companies offer services many small and medium-sized businesses need to continue to grow. If you manage a business that needs expert public relations, you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the options that are available for you in an increasingly crowded market. Finding the right public relations company for your business can take a lot of research. With the variety of firms serving the market, and with the even wider variety of services each PR firm offers its clients, it helps to have a guide to finding the best public relations companies. We have evaluated dozens of prominent public relations companies to determine which of them might work for you. We rated each company according to the features it offers that are most important to small and medium-sized companies in every industry. Our evaluations judged companies on three key metrics:

Multiple Service Lines

Most public relations companies offer more than one line of service. For many small and medium businesses, the number of services a PR firm offers can make a real difference in how well it serves its clients. Wherever possible, a PR firm with multiple service lines can handle its clients' unique needs in-house, without having to outsource for special projects.

Size of Firm

Public relations companies come in all sizes, from very small single-person operations to sprawling multinational firms with offices in several countries. The size of your public relations company affects its capabilities and potential offerings to clients. As a rule, smaller companies have fewer in-house experts and less international reach than the larger firms, though their rates may be lower for most clients.

Industry Focus

The industry you work in has a significant effect on which public relations company you ultimately choose to work with. Some firms are very highly focused on specific industries, such as finance and trade or entertainment, agriculture or government clients. Other firms have a far more general approach that may serve small businesses well.

What Are Public Relations Companies?

Public relations companies are professional image management and branding services that help their clients interact with the public in non-paid forums. Services can include crisis management, online public relations strategies, investor and labor relations, media relations and press statements, coordinating public affairs, branding, product placement, event planning, sports marketing and corporate tie-ins and trade show support. Clients of public relations companies are generally businesses, which may be of any size, though individuals and governments sometimes retain a PR firm to help manage their public images.

The role public relations companies play in managing corporate brands has been evolving for decades. Most firms offer a suite of unconventional services that help clients connect with the public on terms that maximize the brand’s image and help manage the occasional public downturn. Public relations companies may be of any size, but firms with more than 75 employees are generally considered large for the industry.

Typically, a PR firm targets identifiable segments of the public, rather than trying to reach the broadest possible audience the way an advertising and marketing company might. Professional PR representatives often perform deep analysis of target markets and develop highly detailed profiles of the market segment their clients are eager to reach.

Benefits of Public Relations Companies

Clients come to public relations companies for a variety of reasons, from boosting a brand image to managing a crisis and increasing goodwill among target segments of the public. PR firms have various methods for reaching these goals, but the benefits public relations companies offer fall into three broad categories:

  • Establish a brand identity. Public relations companies can help new brands establish themselves in the public awareness. This is a crucial first step to becoming established in a competitive market, so the up-front cost of an initial public awareness campaign is often worth it for many new brands. Branding services are also helpful for established brands that are looking for a new or updated public image. Rebranding is often an effective way to freshen up a company’s public face and drive a fresh round of engagement with new segments of the public.
  • Manage public perception of the brand. Managing the public’s perception of an existing brand is one of the most valuable services public relations companies offer their clients. It can be difficult for an established brand to find the exact voice that will resonate with its target market segment. PR professionals help find the right look and feel for a brand, driving engagement and improving customer loyalty.
  • Recover from negative publicity. No matter how carefully managed a brand may be, adverse events have the potential to tarnish the image it has cultivated over the years. Public relations companies can assist clients after these events to rehabilitate their images in the public mind, as well as establish positive relations with investors, labor and government regulators again.

What to Look For in a Public Relations Company

No matter what you need a public relations company to do for your business, there are some common elements to look for in a public relations company. These are the variety of services offered by the company, the size of the firm and the focus it brings to the client’s industry.

Multiple Service Lines

Public relations companies often provide multiple lines of service for their clients. From planning and consultations prior to a campaign to product launches and brand management, clients can contract for some or all of a PR firm’s services. Ideally, a public relations company can offer exactly the services a client needs, and it may offer several more services as a client’s needs grow over the years. Typical lines offered by mainstream public relations companies include:

  • Advertising
  • Brand development
  • Branding
  • Communication strategy
  • Content marketing
  • Conversion optimization
  • Digital strategy
  • Direct marketing
  • Financial communication
  • Market research
  • Marketing strategy
  • Media relations and crisis management
  • Public affairs
  • Public relations
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Sustainability communication
  • Video production
  • Web development

Size of Firm

Public relations companies come in all sizes, and the size of an agency might affect the way it works for your company. Some PR firms are sole proprietors run by an owner/operator, while others have upward of a dozen employees. Public relations companies with between 12 and 75 employees are in the middle range of firm size, while companies in excess of 75 employees are usually described as large. Larger firms often have satellite offices and multiple account teams.

Small firms have some advantages to their size. The personal attention clients can expect from a sole proprietorship appeals to many clients, especially if they are also small businesses. Larger firms, however, often have worldwide reach and offer expertise beyond what smaller firms can provide.

Industry Focus

When you’re evaluating a public relations company, it helps to find one that has committed to your specific industry. Firms that specialize in financial services, for instance, often have institutional experience communicating with financial service customers. Some clients, however, prefer a PR firm with broader experience that might appeal to a larger public.

The Cost of Public Relations Companies

Public relations companies vary by a wide margin in the prices they charge clients. Most PR firms charge by the hour, with prices that run between $100 and $300 an hour. Firms that offer different services may charge different rates based on what a client needs, with some services falling higher or lower in the company’s advertised range. Regardless of a company’s listed prices, you may be able to negotiate a lower hourly rate for services from the public relations company you ultimately choose to work with.