How Much Does it Cost to Write a Press Release?

**UPDATE:  Posted in 2007, this blog no longer reflects accurate press release related costs.  Click here to see our 2013 blog on this topic:  http://blog.businesswire.com/2013/06/13/how-much-does-it-cost-to-write-a-press-release-now/**

Monika MaeckleEON: Enhanced Online News Product Champion poses this interesting query….

In a client meeting in Austin last week, a longtime Business Wire client asked how much I thought it cost to WRITE a press release.

After working in the press release business for more than 20 years and being constantly quizzed about the cost of SENDING releases, never had I been asked the cost of producing a press release.  

Obviously it depends on the release.   But the client revealed that with staff and legal costs tallied, his company spent about $5,000 to write a press release. Add to that distribution–anywhere from $180 to $18,000–and that’s a significant investment.

Is it worth it?

We, and many others, think so.  Even at $5K to write a release and a couple of hundred dollars to send it, the humble press release remains today one of the most cost effective communications tools on the planet.   When well executed, the result can be a simultaneous, ubiquitous bang of exposure coupled with a long tail of visibility that can last a liftetime online. 

As Web 2.0 pushes mainstream media to evolve and new platforms emerge to fill the gaps, the press release serves as a cornerstone of the conversation–for traditional media and online.  

Just yesterday a press release announcing EMI’s download deal with Apple rose to the front page on Digg.   The story was covered extensively by mainstream media.  That Digg users went straight to the press release rather than a secondary source underscores its pertinence.

We’re curious how much it costs YOU to write a press releasePlease leave us your comment on this topic.

26 Responses to How Much Does it Cost to Write a Press Release?

  1. Jay Moyes says:

    Salutations,

    Wow, I’ve got to say five grand is quite a bit. However, when we meet with clients, it’s not uncommon to get cornered with the question “how much do you charge for a press release?”

    That’s like looking at a car and going “how much for the engine?”.

    We work in adult, and when we put out a press release, we have to be very specific as to who we work with. It’s like sitting in a field with a sniper rifle. Each publication and web site, no matter how small is essential to us. Many of our peers shotgun their releases out, and don’t get much of a response.

    The release is also part one of a larger strategy, to get the press interested in our product. A press release we put out may be followed by interviews, reviews, a company profile. Followup is essential.

    A close friend asked me how much it would be for a press release to get press on the set. My salary used to be in the $150-$200 a day mark. Figuring that the best value he’d get would include followup, I suggested $500. That would include the pre-shoot press release, being present with the press on the set that day, and followup on and off through the month to make sure he got the best press possible for one shoot. Overall, that’s about 3 days worth of work, and more than fair for the adult industry.

    We prefer to charge by the month. We charge about $2000-$2500 a month, which includes press releases, requests for interviews, sending out review copies, and followup with the press. It’s a much better value to our clients, and makes us look better in the long run.

    Sincerely,

    Jay Moyes
    Black And Blue Media
    No Smoke and Mirrors, Just Hardcore Service

  2. johnp@dell says:

    There’s no pat answer, obviously, given the number of variables that can be involved in writing a press release. Some companies — either by culture or level of competency or a combo of both — can move quickly and decisively on the thorniest of topics while others can bog down on countless re-dos of the trival and mundane. What’s really important is that you set up your release for a return on your investment by making your messages newsworthy (you did embed messages, right?), homing in on the right keywords for SEO, etc. Business Wire’s EON product, for example, brings a whole new dimension to the game.

  3. Hold your fire, Monika – $5k to “write” a press release seems a trifle excessive, unless this represents a fee as Jan Moyes suggests. Your post conflates two different activities: writing the release and distributing it (with all the subsequent attention to distribution, SEO, key words, etc.)

    As far as the act of writing goes, does it really cost someone five large to collect the input, draft the release, shepherd it through approval, make revisions, and get it ready for transmission? A few hours seems reasonable – call it $1,000 for convenience, although my own writing charges range from $500 to $1,000 depending on complexity. I know professionals who write releases for less.

    Then I’d want to get together with Business Wire, especially since the advent of EON, and work through the distribution mechanisms: a separate activity and an incremental charge. A firm operating under a monthly fee might very well include all these activities. Large-scale PR firms, with personnel attached to various business units of a major corporation, may have (and deserve) hefty montly retainers.

    For independent practitioners, there may be divisions of authority and responsibility…and a client could very well be the person who is in charge of distributing and tracking the release.

    Writing is one thing. Distribution, management and administration is another. Once you have enough comments to your post, it would be swell to see a list of “write” charges. Alternatively, may I quote you when I tell a client that I’ll only be charging $5,000 to write the two-page release?

    All the best for a great Easter weekend. Sincerely,

    Richard Laurence Baron
    Signalwrite Marketing Communications

  4. Harrison Wise, RPR says:

    It’s an interesting question but one that doesn’t get asked much for the simple reason that only an inexperienced client would ask something like that. For most of us, the cost of a press release is factored into the monthly PR retainer or billable hour model (if you’re still doing things that way) which would factor in the time involved in drafting and getting external approvals. We try to evaluate based on initial meetings how much work will be involved for this particular client/account and then assess that pipeline of “news” and related strategy (which includes drafting releases) into our proposal/retainer.

    One point that stood out the most that wasn’t addressed by the comments is “legal dept. approval”, in my opinion that’s where the bulk of this $5k cost is originating from – as I’m sure many of us have experienced, legal teams wear completely different hat and it doesn’t always gel with what we as communicators are trying to accomplish.

    Lastly, as PR practitioners and strategists boiling our experience and skills down to a writing excercise or per release model and putting a dollar figure on it isn’t going to get the client to their desired end zone since what we bring to the table is more than press release writing, but expert counsel and a cohesive, well thought out strategic and tactical communications program that helps them meet their business development goals, sales targets, brand objectives, etc. etc.

    Harrison G. Wise

  5. [...] Businesswired blog has an interesting article on the costs involved with writing a press release.  According to a Business Wire client, the cost involved with each press release hovers around [...]

  6. Hi – I think that you can, in fact, break away from a monthly retainer or project fee and partnering with a client (which is the way my agency works most of the time) to just focus on the writing of a press release for a company, if writing is all they need. My estimate would be between $500-$1,500 for the research needed and the time to write a release that does not involve a great deal of legal expertise.

    Perhaps they have internal methods of getting the release out through BusinessWire and personal media lists they have compiled re: follow up for placement. If they know their audience and they stay in contact with the media they are cultivating, they may need nothing more than a good writer who can hone in on the message and help to make it news worthy and media attractive by making it relevant to their audience (the press).

    I think an agency can be flexible and handle some aspects of media relations, or all of them, if you approach each client with their needs in mind. In a changing industry landscape, I think that’s key.

  7. You cant assign a hard number to this for each news release has diffferent objectives.
    Also, each company is different. Some companies have disclosure requirements and probably several layers of approvals and a few lawyers along the way. That can easily run $5K.

    A small start up can do this themselves in 30 minutes and get lucky for a bit of time and the cost of the distribution.

  8. Alex Koritz says:

    Greetings. The cost of writing a press release depends on the business model you’re working under. For example, if you work for an PR agency, and your firm charges $150 an hour, and you spend 5 hours writing it, then it’s a $750 charge for the writing. Then comes the wire costs and media outreach costs. In the agency business, time is money!

    Alex Koritz
    Sprout Marketing

  9. That is a great question. Honestly, I think it could range anywhere from $500 to $5000. It depends on what it entails. You can work with individual consultants to write a draft release for as little as $500. If you are dealing with private companies, they seldom run releases through legal councel. Also, things to think about are will the price include editing, getting approval, uploading to the wire, SEO optimization techniques, pitching, briefings etc. I think it is important to consider what is needed and what can be done in house. A company can save a lot of money or pay a lot, depending on what they need done.

  10. Kevin Dugan says:

    It could run $500, $5,000 or more. I agree with Alan.

    But what I want to know is how I could spend $18K for distribution? Who’s ass do I get to tattoo it on for that kind of coin?

    Phrased differently, what does one get for an $18K distribution package from BusinessWire?

  11. Monika says:

    Hmmm, tatoo this:

    Could be a 12-page earnings release from a NYSE company with 19 full-text translations sent simultaneously to more than 100 countries worldwide, all relevant stock exchanges, trade pubs, MSM, databases, our 40,000 presspass subscribers, investment houses, et al. Could include a photo of the CEO, an earnings graph and B-roll video, too.

    Honestly Kevin, it happens. Not that often, but it does happen.

  12. Ed Poshkus says:

    The $5k to create a press release does seem excessive. Typical costs that are encountered range from $750 to about $2500. However, if extensive legal reviews are needed due to the subject matter and governance requirements — Well the upside for legal advice — internal or external can drive this well beyond the $5k especially if opinions conflict (never happens though does it).

  13. My name is Donna DelVecchio and I am a Suzanne Somers Charter Consultant. Suzanne started a new business that offers ladies and gents a chance to have their own business. I have been growing and expanding my business my locating places that offer free press releases. Suzanne’s company sells exquisite jewelry, gourmet food, Her infamous FaceMaster and Thighmaster, accessories, and beauty products.
    If you would like to learn more please visit my web site http://www.timelessgoddess.com or email me at donna@suzanne24.com. My business has been expanding thanks to free press releases that are available to help anyone that needs an outlet to spread the news about their new business.

    I have been a Charter Consultant since October 2006 about the same time this company was launched by Suzanne. I have been trying to find ways to advertise on the internet and there are plenty and numerous places where you can receive free press releases. If you go to search and type in free press releases, numerous sites will appear. As someone that wants a chance to expand my small business I think it is wonderful that there are places that we can advertise for free.

    Yes, many of the sites will offer you packages with different price levels, but as a small company that does not have an advertisting budget yet, the free press releases do spread the word about your company. Even your local papers have ways to advertise with free press releases.

    Do your research and you will find numerous sites that you will be thrilled when you see your press release.

    Thank you.

  14. Cosmetic Products

    Cosmetics, Beauty, Cosmetic Products, Cosmetic Supplies

  15. Hello, all. This is Don from Finger Lakes Copywriting. I write press releases and articles for local companies, but I can do nationwide. This is my part time job, so my fees are really reasonable compared to the earlier ones–I deal with smaller companies, and create local specials.

    For larger companies–I charge according to distribution. Being affordable and honest is what is how I am building my business, and I am finding out that I am getting more referrals because of this.

    Thanks for posting the average costs and extreme costs–the next time a client is doubtful of the fees, I will show him or her these posts.

    –Don

  16. [...] Businesswired blog has an interesting article on the costs involved with writing a press release. According to a Business Wire client, the cost involved with each press release hovers around $5K. [...]

  17. aefoster says:

    If I write the press release myself, roughly $50. That covers about an hour of my salary and benefits, and I can’t imagine a press release that should take longer than that if I know my business and subject matter, which I do. Punching in a list number on the fax is what, 45 seconds? Ditto for an emailed media list. On the other hand, if I have to farm it out to our PR consultants, I am paying $125 an hour, and it takes HOURS to get the same release, which I usually have to correct anyway, because they don’t have the same familiarity with the subject matter that I do, and sadly, not quite the caliber of writing I’m hoping for. But once the content is okayed, I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT. If the fax is broken, they will go to Kinkos. If the time is tight, they will email or make phone calls. If the server is down, they will send up smoke signals and get my release out. For entities doing business or dealing with issues at a national level, $5,000 is not too bad. For local or regional activity, it’s unconscionable. If I had to pay more than $1,000 for a press release, I’d jam a pencil in my eye. It deeply wounds me that I have to pay that much, but some boss or board type thinks it’s better to have a consultant write press releases than to hire some admin staff to free up the time of our in-house professionals so we can write our own press releases, so that’s the price we pay. Viva la outsourcing. I love my pr consultants, by the way. It deeply pains me to pay them, but I think they’re great. And they rock the smoke signals.

  18. [...] That’s why it was interesting to read Monika Maeckle’s recent post, which posed the question, “How Much to Write a Press Release?” [...]

  19. oscar says:

    we have to find more information before we judge the price, but we charge depending on region, local, statewide, segment of population, Spanish or English, etc. Our firm charges $550 for region and up to $2500 in English and Spanish. Public Relations is the best and most inexpensive way for companies to increase the brand/message….

  20. Sheridan says:

    I had research PR services for a Philadelphia injury lawyer (www.sheridanandmurray.com) and was amazed how how much the price could deviate from one firm to another. Costs for simply writing a release ranged from $80 to $5,000 and it was nearly impossible to try an apple to apple comparison because the description behind the services where so ambiguous.

  21. dawnabrahambussinesscoach says:

    I have to agree $5,000 would seem a bit steep. I recently opened Motivational Whisperers Internet TV Channel where we will be motivating, inspiring and mentoring the world.

    One of the first things that came to mind was a press release. I wanted to do my homework before hiring anyone to write and or distribute it.

    That is how I happened to find your web site. I was in shock the last time I looked the prices where 150.00 to 200.00. now were talking affordable prices that is doable but for $5000 you will need to throw in your first born… LOL!

    With that said great web site and I did get what I wanted. I was wondering if people even do press releases any more? How much web traffic can one except? These types of things.

    Either way if you want to be successful , market, market ,market.

  22. If a writer is doing a high-end press release, say for a corporation, I can see how the fees might climb that high.

    But for most businesses, average fees for a Press Release range from $150-$1000 – and generally the writer is not in charge of distributing.

    @Dawna people do press releases all the time. The traffic you get depends on where you release it, and if it is picked up for syndication or not.

  23. fiverrfanatic says:

    Wow, I didn’t know it costs that much especially if you do both the writing and the distribution. But yes Press Releases has a great ROI for any businesses so yes it’s worth it!

  24. I actually would like to book mark this specific blog post,
    “How Much Does it Cost to Write a Press Release?
    BusinessWired – Business Wire Blog” on my personal site.
    Do you care in case Ido it? Thx -Joie

  25. […] by searching Google for “How much does it cost to write a press release?” which leads them to a 2007 blog post by former Business Wire VP Monika Maeckle. In the six years since that post, we have heard from PR […]

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