How to Negotiate a PR Contract

Written by allison dodge
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How to Negotiate a PR Contract
Sign the PR contract once both parties agree. (signing a contract image by William Berry from

Public relations (PR) companies exist to serve the promotional needs of a variety of different clients. When someone chooses to hire a PR company, that client and the chosen company enter into an agreement for a specific type of representation or services. It’s important that both parties, the client and the PR company, agree on what is being provided. To ensure an agreement is reached, it’s important to know how to negotiate a PR contract.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Decide which public relations services will be offered. Services may include press releases, media kits, speeches, pitch stories to trade publications and more. Set the number for each PR service that will be provided so both parties agree on what exactly will be done. For example, if the PR company is hired to do press releases, both parties should agree to a specific number such as three, 10 or whatever the needs are. Include a clause in the contract for additional services. Using the previous example, any press releases required beyond the number listed in the contract would result in the client being charged an additional price, and this price should be listed in the contract as well.

  2. 2

    Agree on the price. Understand that some companies charge by the hour, while others charge by the project or service being provided. Negotiate the overall price by eliminating some PR services or reducing the hours the company will spend working on this project.

  3. 3

    Decide how billing and payments will occur. Some PR professionals charge half the amount of the contracted fee up front, while others bill clients on a monthly basis for work performed. Negotiate when to pay for services. Some clients need to use the PR services to generate revenue to be able to pay for those same PR services. Carefully read the clauses in the contract that address late payments and how they will be handled.

  4. 4

    Proof the contract. Once both parties agree upon the terms, read over the contract to approve it. Know exactly what the agreement is, and negotiate any final items that don’t work. If any aspect of the contract doesn’t feel right, now is the time to renegotiate.

  5. 5

    Once both parties agree, sign the contract. Get a copy of the contract to know what terms and conditions were agreed upon. Reference the contract if any problems occur during the contracted work.

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