PR News | PR Execs. Increased Billing Rates in 2021

Mark it as one other signal of restoration in the post-COVID financial system. Senior executives stationed at North American PR companies elevated their hourly billing charges in 2021, at the same time as common billing charges for a lot of companies remained comparatively flat, in keeping with outcomes from an annual survey performed by PR merger and acquisition consultancy Gould+Partners.

The Gould+Partners’ report, which centered on the hourly billing charges and employees utilization at companies by dimension, area and specialty, discovered that the common hourly billing charge for PR company president/CEOs was $422 in 2021, up from 2020’s $417. EVPs and SVPs charged $371 per hour final 12 months, in comparison with $366 the 12 months prior.

Meanwhile, the common billing charge for PR companies—for companies that cost one hourly charge or make the most of a month-to-month retainer for all employees—remained comparatively flat, inching down barely to $232 per hour in 2021 from $240 in 2020.

According to the report, common hourly president/CEO billing charges elevated most dramatically at companies bringing in between $10–$25 million in web revenues yearly, whose chiefs charged a median of $439 per hour in 2021, an enormous leap from 2020’s $388 per hour. Chief executives on the largest PR outlets—or companies boasting greater than $25 million yearly—additionally noticed their common hourly charges go up final 12 months, billing a median of $492 in 2021, in comparison with $483 in 2020. Presidents/CEOs at companies with web revenues between $3–$10 million additionally noticed an uptick, at $414 per hour on common in 2021, in comparison with $400 in 2020. Even presidents/CEOs on the smallest companies polled—these with underneath $3 million in web revenues—billed at a median hourly charge of $338 final 12 months, up from the common $307 they billed in 2020.

Not all PR employees elevated their billing charges final 12 months. VPs charged $319 in 2021, which was flat from 2020, and account managers billed $257 per hour, nearly the identical as 2020’s $256 per hour. Billing for senior account executives was additionally barely down final 12 months, at $215 per hour in comparison with 2020’s $217. Account executives had been up, then again, billing at $183 in 2021 versus 2020’s $179; and account coordinators had been additionally up, charging $149 versus 2020’s $143.

“My takeaway from that is that the PR business has fully recovered from the pandemic and is on a trajectory for a spike in progress and profitability,” Gould+Partners managing accomplice Rick Gould advised O’Dwyer’s. “The enhance in billing charges confirms this. There is a confidence stage with the companies right now that permits companies to boost billing charges as they enhance wage ranges.”

Despite the main will increase in billing charges amongst companies, the survey additionally found that the utilization charge amongst PR staffers, or the metric by which productiveness is measured, was largely down amongst North American PR companies. For instance, account executives final 12 months billed out solely 84.3 p.c of their theoretical yearly capability of 1,700 hours, beneath optimum ranges and down from 86.5 p.c in 2020. President/CEOs, account managers, senior account execs. and account coordinators additionally billed out fewer hours final 12 months. Only EVPs/SVPs and VPs billed out the next share of their theoretical yearly hours final 12 months than the 12 months earlier than.

Finally, the Gould+Partners report discovered that chief executives at PR companies stationed in the New York / New Jersey area billed, on common, way more per hour than companies in different elements of the nation, adopted by companies positioned in the Washington, D.C. space; the U.S. Northeast; the Midwest; Canada; California; the Southeast; and the Southwest.

Gould+Partners’ 2022 Billing Rates/Utilization report was primarily based on responses from 40 “distinguished, greatest of sophistication” North American PR companies.” Responses had been collected in May.

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