“We haven’t set a budget for PR, but that’s not a problem, just tell us how much you need to do the job properly”

You know that even after all my years in PR I have never ever heard that phrase uttered by any potential client.

I was reminded of it recently when a potential client we were pitching to said: “We don’t have much of a budget, so we’ll need to work on the minimum.” What is even more curious, he thought he was the first person to tell me this.

Potential clients with no PR budget?

What is it with PR budgets? Have all those potential Australian clients that I meet been reading US management books on the astronomical PR fees we are told are charged in the ‘land of the free’?

(I would like to explore the different means of charging for PR services, but I’ll reserve that for another blog.)

I did have a client when I was working in the UK who said that I didn’t need a budget as I had his direct phone number and all I needed to do was ring and explain my idea or the course of action I proposed and how much it would cost and he would say yes, or no. As a rider, he added: “If its 4 o’clock in the morning, it had better be a bloody good idea”.

I have a dream that one day a client will come to us and ask: “Who’s your biggest client and how much do they pay”, and then in response to my answer say, “we’ll pay double because we want to be your biggest client and get all the benefits that we would expect from that position?

I realise that it is a dream that could turn into the nightmare of a grasping, totally demanding client who wants impossible things to be done on a 24/7 basis, but it is always fun to fantasise.

I am very interested to hear from others with PR budget experiences – either from the consultant or client side and whether they are uplifting or sad?

-         @Dennis Rutzou