Budgeting in PR

Foreward by Prof. Jerry Gana
Preface by Senator J. M. Kuye
Financial Environment
Public Finance
Financial Institutions
Public Relations Concepts
Financial Public Relations
Marketing Concepts
Advertising and Integrated Communication
In-House and Consultancy
Target Publics
Research in PR
Budgeting in PR
Planning in PR
Regulating Financial Information
Getting Started and PR Unit
Basic Functions
Requirement for Media Event
Annual Events
Social Responsibility
Information Technology
Reputation Management
Crises Management
Media of FPR
Corporate Identification
Building Brand
Membership of Professional Bodies
Conduct and Ethical Standards
Appendix NIPR Code
Appendix II: IPR Code
Appendix III: PRSA Code
Appendix IV: IPRA Code
Contributions and Reviews


Nothing goes for free, so also effective PR, does not come cheaply. Certainty of programmes and sellable ideas invariably ease the task of costing campaigns. An adequate budget is essential to achieving optimal results. The organisation must, therefore, benefit and get maximum returns from its spending. Whether the PR Unit is given a particular budget to work with or asked to submit a proposal, a reasonable, reliable and achievable cost should be made.

       Once the objective of the programme, the audience, message, channels of communication and activities are identified, it is easier to make a realistic budget.  A realistic plan of action must be presented together with the cost of each activity. Unless a budget was once presented and succeeded, the need to maintain, increase or decrease it should be related to the financial position and projects of the organisation.

The major areas of costing in PR include prints and production, exhibition, workshops and seminars, media briefings and conferences, advertising, transportation, sponsorship, supplements and media coverage. Most activities can have fixed costs of expenses, including taxes and services but a mandatory contingency not exceeding 15% of total cost must be added for any unexpected eventualities. This may be necessary because there is a clear distinction between direct cost and indirect cost. For instance, a hall booked for an hour for press briefing may extend to three or more hours, while an entertainment provision for the briefing of a number of journalists may witness additional attendance of some of them coming with their crews.

 A good budgeting plan may address the problems, objective, public, strategy, media, message and anticipated result. There should also be a time frame for each budgeted activity.  But it must always be known that the budget estimate by an in-house PR departments must be slightly different from that of outside consultants’. This may be so, since in-house practitioners will not consider such expenses on salaries and equipment, which may be at their disposal.

       Sometimes, some programmes are better handled by the in-house or consultation on the demand of the non-specific aspects of the programme. For instance, while a consultant may demand for a consultancy fee and hiring of equipment, the in-house may only request for cost of maintenance of such equipment where available.  It is expected that a well equipped in-house PR Unit must have such facilities as video, photo camera, public address system, TV and Video Machine for viewing and editing, computer, Tel/Fax, E-mail and other relevant tools. But the consultants may need to charge for the hiring or the use of such equipment, which may be additional burden to an ill-equipped PR department.

     Consultancy fees vary from one firm to the other, depending on their reputation and size. Their charges could be based on hourly charges for executive time. Monthly or yearly retainership could be charged for a programme that runs for a year. Some specific programmes, which are done on an ad- hoc basis, also attract special fees based purely on the volume of work covered.  

   Whether it is in-house or consultancy, an acceptable and accountable mechanism should be put in place to monitor cost-effectiveness of the programme which may allow adjustment for total success. An intelligent resource should be allocated by the management to implement the PR advice.


Consultancy Budget

The charges for consultancy services vary from one organisation to the other. But specifically for a long-time PR campaign, the considerations for the budget include advisory fees which are charged after the firm has accepted the service. The consultants charge the expenses to cover the days or hours of attending meetings, its research and the submission of the report. Another area is the implementation of the plan. Some in-house staff may take up this stage unless if the consultant is given the responsibility of implementing the plan as it is recommended in the report submitted .

   Operational costs for the real aspect of the programmes are stated and carried out. These may include the core PR activities such as issuance of press release, media tour, photography and the use of equipment (fax, telephone, IT and courier services). Evaluation level is also important for the consultant to monitor the success of the programme. It carries out secretariat assignment by opening file for press clips and sending media review to the clients.

    The budgets for all the activities above are measured on man-hours or daily activities basis. A typical annual budget is illustrated below.

             Press Release               3 x 12month x cost value

            Feature Articles            2 x 12month x cost value

            Press Briefing               2 x 4quaters x cost value

            Photo albums                2 x 4quaters x cost value

            Video Recording           2 x 4quarters x cost value

            In-house publication       1 x 4quarters x cost value

            Meetings                       1x 12month x cost value

            Reports                         1 x 4quarter x cost value

            Contingencies                10% of the total


The cost value may come in different forms. It may be the cost of single or combination of production cost, travel expenses, hotel accommodation, refreshments, man-hour and unit price of items and materials to be used. Some activities may be undertaken as often as required on a daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, or/and yearly basis. To convince the client in understanding the significant of the programme, technical jargons should be avoided. Where necessary to disclose some technicalities, it should be attached as appendixes and or annexures.


In-house Budget

The in-house PR practitioner submits annual budget which, after consideration, the fund involved is released quarterly or monthly to the office to carry out its activities. Some programmes which are periodical or exceptional and extraordinary are funded at the appropriate time. On the need, request may be made from the approved budget estimate to take care of events and programmes as they unfold. The illustration below is a typical annual budget for a big organisation that has large audiences. The proposals are in two parts. The first part is the budget defence, while the second part is the breakdown of the request for consideration and approval.


Budget Defence


This is to cover the cost of production/publication of monthly bulletin, yearly handbook, quarterly magazine, seasonal cards and complimentary cards.


Corporate Items

This is required for the production/procurement of corporate items such as pocket diaries, executive diaries, calendars and address books. These items will be used as presents or gifts to individuals and organisations as a form of reciprocation for promoting the organisational statues, as well as seek goodwill from the recipients.


Media Activities

The amount is needed for extensive media campaign and image building. These are in the areas of media chat/courtesy calls, press conference hosting/entertainment, research, editing, publications of articles, video coverage editing & dubbing, photo coverage/album and entertainment for media reception. It will also include exhibitions and sponsorships.



The sum is required for the purchase of relevant equipment for the office such as photocopiers, cameras, consumables (video cassettes, films, albums, inks, etc.) and maintenance and services of media equipment. The essence is to enhance the output of the PR Unit.



The amount is to cover expenses for the placement of adverts on issues that concern the organisation in the print and electronic media, and to also cover the cost of documentaries and live events in the electronic media, including interviews, among others.


Editorial Board Meeting

The fund is for providing the entertainment, materials and incidental expenses for the meetings of the editorial board.


Information Technology

In its drive to show a high level of integrity and commitment to the public, the unit should introduce a timely and efficient way of information dissemination through modern and advance technology. To achieve this crucial goal, the development of a web site is imperative, where enquiries all over the world are promptly responded to, through special media technique of a super highway. All publications and activities will be displayed in the web site for the public to access. These will include press releases, feature articles and profiles of the management. It will also contain handbooks, magazines and pictures of activities in specified pages on the Internet.  The amount would therefore cover Web Site Development, E-mail Installation/Internet Connection, Web Hosting, Domain Name Registration, Internet Usage Training and Technical Support/maintenance.


Human Resources Management

The amount is needed to keep personnel in the Unit up-to-date in the field of Public Relations and Information Technology. The areas include Training in Financial Public Relations & Modern Media Techniques, Professional Seminars, Conferences &Workshops in media management and Annual Dues & Membership of Professional bodies, i.e., NIPR, NUJ, IPR, etc. 

 Budget Breakdown


a. Monthly Bulletin            Unit Cost x 100 copies x12month        =      

b. Quarterly Magazine        Unit Cost x 100copie x 4quaters         =                                 =           

c. Hand book                       Unit Cost x 1000copies x 1year       =

d. Seasonal Cards               Unit Cost x 100copies x 4seasons     =      

            Subtotal                                                                            =      


Corporate Items

a. Pocket Diary                    Unit Cost X 100copies x 1year        =     

b. Executive Diary               Unit Cost X 100copies x 1year         =    

c. Calendars                          Unit Cost X 100copies x 1year       =  

d. Address Book                   Unit Cost X 100copies x 1year       =  

            Subtotal                                                                                    =

Media Activities

a. Media Chats/Courtesy calls           Gen. Expenses X 12month  =

b. Press Conferences                       Gen. Expenses X 2annualy  =

c. Research/Publication of Articles    Gen. Expenses X 12month  =

d. Video Coverage(editing/dubbing)  Gen. Expenses X 12month    =

e. Photo Coverage Album /Media      Gen. Expenses X 12month  =

f. Entertainment/Media Reception     Gen. Expenses X 12month  =




a. Procurement of Media Equipment                                           = 

b. Consumables (Cassettes, Films, Albums, Inks etc.)                   =                     =         

c. Maintenance & Services of Media Equipments                        =




a. Newspaper Adverts/supplements     Rate X Pages X 12month             =

b. Electronic Media Commercial         Rate x Slot X12months      =  

            Subtotal                                                                               =  


Information Technology (IT)

a. Web Site Development                                                          =

b.  Email Installation/Internet Connection                                     =

c.  Web Hosting                                                                                     =

d.  Domain Name Registration                                                    =

e.  Internet Usage Training                                                         =

f.  Technical Support/ Maintenance                                             = 

               Subtotal                                                                      =


Human Resources Management

a  Advance Training in Financial Public Relations &

            Modern Media Techniques                                          =                                     =         

b.  Professional Seminars, Conferences &

            Workshops in media management                                =                                     =         

c.       Annual Dues & Membership of

            Professional bodies, i.e., NIPR, NUJ, IPR etc.                =                     

            Subtotal                                                                        =         


Miscellaneous/ Incidental Expenses 10%  of the Total                 =


            GRAND TOTAL                                                         =

 You may reach the author at or visit another related website: