PR AGENCIES REPORT WIDE DISPARITY IN BILLING RATES FOR FIRMS OVER $10 MILL VERSUS FIRMS UNDER $10 MILL, ACCORDING TO GOULD+PARTNERS ANNUAL SURVEY.
NEW YORK, August 13, 2015 — The nation’s PR agency field increased their hourly rates in 2014 according to a survey released today by Gould+Partners, the merger and management consulting firm specializing in the PR field.
Based on responses from 104 PR agencies coast to coast, and in Canada billing rates are now averaging $480 per hour for CEO’s of agencies with $25 million or more in revenues and $317 among smaller agencies said Rick Gould, managing partner and director of the survey.
Productivity- measured by billable time utilization- has been far below optimal levels, he said. Senior VP’s are billing out only 61.3% of their theoretical yearly capacity of 1700 hours, respondents are reporting, he said. And while some rank and file account executives are averaging as high as 95%, some are averaging as low as 70%. The average was 89.0%, which is right on target. “The goal for account executives should be at least 90%, a goal reached by almost all firms achieving 20% profitability.”
Productivity averaged in excess of 91% for account executives in most of the 14 specialties. “This should be expected for all AE’s not involved in new business and/or management.
The survey is the annual poll focused on billing rates and agency staff utilization prepared by Gould+Partners which has been conducting other industry wide surveys for 25 years including the recently released Best Practices Benchmarking Report, the industry Growth Reports, The Healthcare/Perks Report and the Executive Compensation report.
After the distribution of the G+P full survey results to those agencies that participated, copies will be available on request after September 1 by writing: [email protected] or calling Rick Gould directly at 212-896-1909.
Gould+Partners is the only consulting firm in the public relations industry that provides merger and acquisition facilitation services, strategic counsel to agency owners on management and operational issues and annual “Benchmarking” regarding Financial Metrics, Billing & Utilization, Industry Growth, Health Benefits/Executive Perks and C- Suite Compensation.
Rick Gould CPA, J.D.