10/26/11 10:23 AM Filed in: Public relations
Here, you get what you pay for
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal described the backlash by clients against law firms that charge three-digit hourly fees for work by new, green lawyers. That kind of billing can happen in all sorts of firms.
As owner of a public affairs public relations agency, I prefer working with practitioners that have experience in media, politics or government. That’s basic training. The only entry-level help we have around here is my dog. The last time I asked him to fax something, he indicated that wasn’t his job. He was correct.
At Executive Media, we bill clients for hours worked by qualified professionals. In this business, more technology means less clerical work: data entry, copying, collating, mailing and the like. We take advantage of that trend. We believe clients appreciate our efficiency and our focus on strategy, counseling, writing and editing.
Some law firms in the Wall Street Journal article contract out low-level work. We do that, too. We also contract out specialized work to experienced professionals. We don’t bill our clients to train staff for a one-time task.
We’ve said before that the nature of the public relations business has changed dramatically. We believe our clients’ costs should reflect those changes.