Key Aspects to Budget in PR

public relations budget identifies things on which a corporate communications team should spend on.

As Public Relations professionals we have noticed that people find it very difficult to make a public relations budget both in B2B and B2C space. While the specific elements vary depending on the company and the profession; I have listed down a few things that corporates should keep in mind while budgeting for their Public Relations activities:

  1. Consultancy Service:

This is the first and foremost cost that comes to mind while creating a Public Relations budget. A corporation usually hires a PR firm and pays them according to the man-hours for the work done by them. A consultancy helps a company in planning and executing media engagement, customer engagement and other activities decided in their respective scope or works. 

Related: Which are India’s Biggest PR Firms?

  1. Digital and Social Media:

Website development and maintenance, SEO, SEM etc. are key aspects of digital media that may or may not be a part of Public Relations budget. The same applies for social media management as well. A company may ask their PR firm to manage their social media accounts or may hire a separate firm, or get an in-house resource. But budgeting for this aspect is very essential today.

  1. Activities:

While a PR firm helps in planning and executing many PR activities for a company, there are additional costs attached. The costs may include – venue booking, press kits and other such items that have to be accounted for.

  1. Recording of Activities:

It is very common for communications functions to record the activities they conduct. The cost for videos, photographs, CD costs, postage etc. are other things that have to be kept in mind while budgeting.

  1. Media Trainings:

Media Trainings is an important component of a Public Relations budget. If there is a new leader in the company or a leader who is not media friendly, a PR consultant has to account for his/her training. The company spokesperson does not have the liberty to make mistakes while speaking to the media hence this element becomes extremely significant.

Related: Can Media Relations be Taught?

  1. In-house Budgets:

There are several activities that corporates do in-house hence a few things about the same should be remembered:

  1. Publications: the cost of subscribing to magazines, newspapers, research papers etc.
  2. Materials: the cost of printing and publishing corporate materials like, newsletters, branded items like mugs, pens etc.
  1. Engagement with HR:

Employee engagement is an important function of PR that is often ignored. There are activities that the communications and human resources department may do together and the budgeting for them is important.

  1. Miscellaneous Expenses
    1. Cabs: This becomes an important element especially in metro cities. There have been times when companies have paid cab bills as high as Rs. 2 lakhs a quarter and have been in a soup because it was not planned for.
    2. Contingencies: Unforeseen costs or urgencies may crop up during media events or otherwise. Hence there should always be room for an extra budgets.

– Radhika Nandwani

after being a student of mass communications, radhika took a plunge into the public relations profession and media relations, working with a leading PR firm. she was a founding team member of india's top best media pr school - SCoReRadhika is the Corporate Communications Advisor at Dell’s Performance Analytics Group. She started her career in 2011, with one of the leading public relations firms of India – MSLGROUP, specialising in technology brands. The campaigns executed by her while at MSL, have won several public relations industry awards including SABRE and PR Week Asia. In her last role, she was the founding team member and the marketing communications manager at SCoRe. Radhika is an English graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. She loves reading and is passionate about gender equality, food and Bollywood. She can be reached at @RadhikaNandwani on Twitter and here on LinkedIn.

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