Know Your Worth – Indie PR Practice Survey

Know Your Worth – Second Annual Practice Survey for Indies

For the second consecutive year, PRSA’s Independent Practitioners Alliance Section launched a practice survey to gather information on how indies in PR work – what do they charge, how they spend their time and to sample the type of work delivered to clients. The Indie PR practice survey results are from anonymous participants nationwide and gathered from members of the IPA section, PRSA’s general membership and the Solo PR Group. The survey was conducted online from August through October 2017.

The PR practice survey provides a benchmark for those who are working independently, virtually or as subcontractors to larger agencies.

The good news: Rates are up a bit on the hourly side. The bad news: Health insurance accounts for almost a quarter of individual earnings. The change in work: Social media is now almost even with media relations work provided in 2017.

Largest representation overall
– From the Western states/no geographic comparisons per survey sample size
– In the 45-64 year age range or mid-career
– More than 70 percent female
– Most based in urban/metro settings
– Most are sole proprietors, followed by LLCs then S corps
– Primary workplace is the home office

Rates and Billing
– The average hourly rate is $139 an hour ($2 higher than last year)
– Lowest hourly rate was $38
– Highest hourly rate was $375
– Almost two-thirds of those surveyed offer a discounted rate to nonprofits with an average discount of 22 percent on the hourly rate
– Most billed on average 20.8 hours a week
– The vast majority are working fulltime for billable hours
– The average markup for vendors and services (such as media tracking/clipping) was 19 percent

Work Type
– Most frequent work is provided in the areas of crisis communications, rush projects and strategic counsel (by type)
– Primary business sectors represented were corporate, nonprofit, small business or subcontracting to other agencies
– NEW this year – social media work is now even with media relations work in terms of time spent

Expenses/Income
– Most spent on average of 23.2 percent of their income on health insurance
– More than 70 percent contribute to a retirement fund most commonly in the form of a SEP IRA, Roth IRA or 401K
– The two largest groups for annual gross billings – 1) under $40K and 2) over $160K

If you’d like to participate in next year’s Indie PR Practice Survey, follow PRSA’s IPA Section and stay connected on Twitter @IPAPRSA.

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