How do I determine what to charge for press releases, articles for trade/business publications?
--MB in NJ
Publicity fees vary greatly according to the experience of the writer, the geographic area, the services actually provided, the amount of money the writer thinks they should get, and the minimum they'll accept.
In the New York area, one publicist put the cost of writing a single news release at $250 and up; another source in the New York Metropolitan area put the cost of individual press releases at $350 to $750 and up. A business writer in the Midwest charges $20 to $30 an hour or $200 to $500 per release. That same writer charges $35 an hour or $1 a word for writing advertorials.
If you're planning to go into this field, keep in mind that a single press delivered to the client company usually won't do the client a lot of good. Most publicists prefer to sell a complete package of services to their clients, since it that's what it usually takes to get results. The package of services typically includes developing a press kit, making media contacts, sending out the press materials, and following up after the materials go out. In many cases, in fact, the publicist's media contacts are as important, or more important than the press materials they write. Prices for these services run from a low of $1500 (for just preparing a press kit) to $5,000-$6000 and up depending on the length of time and scope of the assignment.
If you want to sell articles to business publications (rather than writing advertorials for businesses) your best source of information on fees is Writer's Market. The book, published by Writer's Digest Books, contains descriptions of the editorial needs, guidelines, pay rates, royalties and advances for thousands of periodical and book publishers. The book also includes pricing guidelines for freelance assignments and a wealth of other information for writers who want to turn their communications skills into cash. It's available in most bookstores and public libraries.
Copyright 2000, Attard Communications, Inc.