Veteran PR Financial Analyst Doubts Firms Are Educating Employees About Under-Charging

Rick Gould has been in and around PR for some 30 years, but even he was surprised by some of the things firms are doing, or aren’t, in an attempt to reduce over-servicing clients.

Take the survey of PR firms that his firm, Gould + Partners, did recently. The survey inquired what firms are doing to try to reduce over-servicing clients and subsequently charging too little for their work, a problem known as scope creep.

“Almost all firms are over-servicing,” Gould says, though small ones, with yearly revenue of $3 million or less, are the major culprits. This largest group of firms often lacks sophisticated time-management systems (one he recommends is ClickTime) and a chief financial officer (CFO) to oversee, interpret and analyze the data such a system produces.

The largest firms, those with annual revenue of $25 million or more, “are doing much, much better” in the area of scope creep since they have quality and sometimes custom-designed time-management systems and CFOs, Gould says. When the large firms detect over-servicing, “they nip it in the bud…the smaller ones let it go and they lose money.”
Firms Not Getting It On Yearly Quotes
But to the survey results, which Gould provided exclusively to PR News Pro. (Eventually they will go to Gould’s clients.) “I was shocked,” he says, by the low response to the 2nd option, positioning the account as an annual fee to better manage monthly charges. “I thought more firms were getting it.”

For example, let’s say a firm responds to a client RFP by saying it can do a job for $10K/month.


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