By Penny Carnathan, Creative Director/Writer at EMSI Public Relations
The recession has fueled a growing trend in the public relations industry – and not everyone’s happy about it.
More and more PR firms are moving away from the traditional retainer-plus-billable-hours fee structure to “pay for performance.”
Business leaders have been noting the increasing numbers of these non-retainer agencies for about 15 years, with a sharp uptick since the recession began in 2008. But no one seems to know exactly how many there are.
“We don’t have any hard numbers. A lot of what’s out there is anecdotal,” says Arthur Yann, a vice president of the Public Relations Society of America. “The first of these I can recall started in the early ‘90s.”
Pay for performance agencies promise certain actions or quantifiable results, such as media placements, for a fee. Some agencies offer refunds if they don’t ...