The Public Relations Consultants Assocation Ireland is asking clients to
pay for creative pitches in a new set of guidelines issued this month.
According to the new rules, the PRCA Ireland’s 32 members - representing
some 90 per cent of the consultancy business - will provide a general
credentials presentation free but will charge for the submission of
creative proposals unless they get the business. In addition the
association recommends that the number of firms asked to make a creative
pitch be restricted to three.
PRCA chairman Noel Gilmore said the intention was to educate clients
rather than be confrontational. ‘There are quite a few people now
responsible for PR, whether in companies or in government departments
who are not familiar with PR,’ he said.
The move was prompted by the results of a survey of PRCA members which
found that 90 per cent believed that the study of agency credentials,
track record and areas of experience was sufficient for a client to make
In the majority of pitches last year, however, they were asked to come
up with full creative proposals. According to Gilmore there was ‘no
attempt made to establish track record, or particular expertise’.
‘It’s a substantial commitment in research and time and we feel
potential clients should demonstrate their commitment by paying for it,’
He estimated the average fee for a creative proposal would be between
Irpounds 750 and Irpounds 1,000 ‘depending on the amount of research
PRCA members are being asked to incorporate the guidelines in their
presentation documents. The association will also approach clients
itself when it hears about ‘substantial pitches’.
Asked if PRCA members who provided creative work without charging for it
would face disciplinary action, Gilmore said: ‘It is not our intention
to police or impose this on individual PR firms but we believe they will
see the merits in it for themselves’.