Tips on finding a good charity PR consultant

Finding a good charity PR consultant can be difficult for various reasons, including those listed below.

1) Cost and value for money

  - in general, PR agencies and freelance consultants charge around £250 - £1000 per day. Most PR agencies and some freelance consultants expect clients to pay a retainer, which means you will probably have to commit to at least £1000 per month for ongoing PR support. Agencies and consultants vary greatly in what they will produce in a day, so it's worth checking what is included in a day's work to get an idea of which consultant is offering the best value for money.

2) Sector experience

  - very few PR agencies and freelance consultants specialise in the charity sector. Most prefer to focus on other, more lucrative sectors and only dip their toes into charity PR. This makes it hard to find an agency or consultant that has an in-depth knowledge of the sector.

3) PR expertise

  - PR is different to other professional services, such as accountancy or law, as there is no a standard route for qualifying as a PR professional. PR consultants come from a wide variety of backgrounds - some may have done a degree in a related subject (such as media studies or marketing) or moved into PR after working in other corporate job functions, while others are ex-journalists (eg. Tony Blair's spin doctor Alistair Campbell). Journalists offer a useful perspective on PR as they have seen it from the other side - they know what it's like receiving hundreds of press releases and having to choose which ones they'll publish. They also understand how journalists like to be approached and can package the story so it's more likely to generate interest.

Acorn PR charges an affordable rate, does not ask for a retainer and works exclusively with not-for-profit clients. I worked as a journalist for a number of years before setting up Acorn PR. For more information about my approach and background, see the About me page.

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