Which PR Services Should Be Included in Your Retainer?

Feb 28, 2022

Setting up your PR retainers comes with a lot of confusion, especially when you start deciding which PR services to include and which to separate out for an additional fee. Chances are, your clients are going to need more than just your standard PR services. 

It’s up to you to figure out how to best serve your clients with the services you offer, both inside and outside of your retainer. 

Which PR Services Should You Include in Your Retainer? 

There are so many options for which PR services you can include in your retainer. Whether it’s media training, influencer seeding, copywriting services, or regular reporting, you have a lot to consider before setting up your retainers with extra services. 

So, how do you decide what’s best to include in your retainer?

Well…It Depends!

The services you’ll offer are going to depend more on your niche than anything. Sometimes, the services you need to provide will be based on an individual client, particularly if you’re representing experts as opposed to brands. 

Is there anything that, though outside of the usual realm of PR, is considered vital to your niche? Or have you found that clients continually need a service that’s outside of your standard retainer? 

Offer those services with no questions asked! 

Think about what you want to offer to your clients and what your clients need from you, and build from there. 

Related: How to Explain the Value of PR to Your Clients

You Can Build Different Retainers with Different Services 

One approach to consider is creating multiple retainers with different PR services included

You can have a basic retainer with all of your standard services (and the services your clients typically need!), and create differentiated additional retainer fees with extra services included. The number of retainers you can have should be based on the varying levels of your clients’ needs.

Tier it out and decide what works best for you and your clients.  

PR Services You Can Include in Your Retainer

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned PR pro, there are endless PR services you have to consider before building out your retainers. 

Here’s a list of some extra services you can include for your clients:

  • Media list development
  • Strategic press plan
  • Creation of media kit and message alignment
  • Targeted and personalized pitch writing and outreach to a wide variety of media outlets including print, digital, broadcast, and podcasts
  • Creation of press releases and targeted distribution
  • Answering media call outs, media liaison, and media monitoring
  • Live updates of all media outreach and responses
  • Paid media opportunities
  • Management of external opportunities that may arise
  • Unlimited email contact
  • Monthly meetings

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means! It’s just a starting point for you to jump off of to figure out what’s best for you and your clients. 

Related: How to Offer Bundle Pricing for Your Services

The Real Deal About Setting Up Retainers With PR Services

Creating a bunch of different retainers and switching up your services for each client are definitely options, but the fact of the matter is this: you should be including as many PR services as possible into your standard retainer. 

Your clients should see you as a worthwhile investment. They want to know they will be taken care of (and you’ll have their back) no matter what. When you make clients feel taken care of, you’ll start to attract bigger and better clients along the way

It’s all about perception! You want to look like the premium option right from the start and not have additional fees waiting for the client once you’ve begun working together. Nickel-and-diming your clients with a ton of extra service fees is not the way to go. 

But don’t drive yourself mad trying to offer every single possible service! If there’s something you just don’t want to offer, then don’t offer it! 

Your agency is YOURS, and YOU decide which PR services you do and do not provide. 

How Do You Figure Out Which PR Services to Include in Your Retainer? 

Now you know that you need to make your retainers as inclusive as possible. 

But how do you decide which PR services you should include? Some of the services we’ve talked about so far may not work for your niche or for the types of clients you typically take on. 

After considering what you want to offer and what your clients need, think carefully about each service before adding it to your retainer. 

Think About Each Service’s Impact

The first step is to consider how you’d want to be treated if you were in your client’s position. Reflect on how big of an impact a service can have on making a client’s experience exceptional, even if it costs you a little extra along the way.

Think about an amazing customer experience you’ve had in the past, and build the best parts of it into your services. 

For example, I once bought a used Gucci handbag online at a 90% off discount because it was missing the strap and dustbag. I reached out to Gucci and said I’d love to buy the replacement strap and dustbag. 

After a bit of back-and-forth to verify the bag, as a courtesy, Gucci sent me the replacement strap free of charge. That, to me, is the WOW that makes Gucci such a premium experience. They take care of their customers and make sure that you feel like you’re valued, even if it’s not something that’s necessarily directly profiting them! 

Even if an extra service won’t create a ton of extra profit for you, it’s worth adding if it’s going to dazzle your clients. Give them the premium experience that they deserve. 

It’s all about service, service, service. 

Play to Your Strengths and Outsource When You Need To 

What’s most important for your niche? You want to make sure you always address your clients’ needs. 

If there’s a set of PR services that your clients typically need and it’s in your wheelhouse, add it into your retainer! 

If a client need just keeps coming up but you can’t meet that need on your own, it’s time to consider outsourcing or hiring a new team member. You need to have PR services in place to fulfill your client’s needs. 

Even if it comes at an additional cost to you, it’s more than worth it. And remember: the cost of running your business should be completely absorbed into your retainers and never itemized out for your clients to see. 

Change Your Mindset

A huge piece of the PR services puzzle is your mindset. The way you frame your services and retainers to clients starts with building your confidence and knowing the value that only you can provide. 

This is essential. You have to truly believe you’re the best one for the job, and then show prospective clients all that you offer! 

And oftentimes, building your skills is the best way to cultivate confidence…and that’s exactly what we tackle inside The Pitch Lab

To become a premium, full-service agency, you need to create PR retainers with your strongest, most in-demand PR services included. Take into account what you truly want to offer as well as what your clients need from you, and deliver an amazing experience every time.