Oh, the press release. The nemesis of freelance writers, this content type has brought pros of the pen down many a notch.
It should be so simple. After all, there are thousands of templates for press releases—thousands to choose from and get confused by.
Unlike other types of content, press releases have a structure that depends on the client, making it a guessing game that causes writers to wriggle.
However, if you are one of the few who’ve become besties with press releasies, it’s time to market that skill you’ve developed.
Next question. What should you set as your press release writer rates?
The Writer’s Market Prices
Let’s start with the top of the line pricing that comes from Writer’s Digest via the 2015 Writer’s Market book. For a press/news release for advertising and public relation purposes, your rates as a professional writer should be:
- Per hour: high $182, low $30, average $80
- Per project: high $1,500, low $125, average $700
- Other: high $2/word or $750/page; low 50₵/word or $150/page; average $1.20/word or $348/page
Clearly there are some low ballers out there who are charging $20 per hour or $35 per project. Do not let yourself fall into that trap. But how can you compete with freelance writers who are disturbing the market with bottom-of-the-barrel prices?
Make Your Pricing Official
When you set up a pricing guide, refer to the bible of freelancers, “Writer’s Market”, of that year or maybe the year before. Avoid looking at a decade-old “Writer’s Market” for obvious reasons.
Note on your website or price listing document that your prices are at the industry standard for your level of expertise and experience.
Here’s why maintaining standards matters.
When you do this, you show a level of professionalism straight out of the shoot that is missing from those shooting themselves in the foot by giving their PR work away for pennies. You let your clients know that you are an industry professional.
While freelance writers don’t have the eco-friendly frames and conservation-quality mat boards displaying their degrees like other professionals, they do have a standard of quality to uphold. For this, you must also maintain the standard of pay that comes along with the skill of writing.
Plus, why would you want to get paid far less than you rightfully should for the same amount of work as your competitors?
Upholding Your End of the Deal
There are times when you should not charge the industry standard.
If you are new to the press release niche—or you lack experience writing press releases—you should not charge anything above the low-ball amount.
At the same time, it is your responsibility to be forthright with your abilities. New to the press release world? Tell your clients that.
This way, as your experience increases through PR work, you can adjust your prices accordingly. When that joyous time comes, you will be in the right position to explain that price increase, which is justified by your improved skills.
Miranda B. takes press releases by their dirty paws and spit-shines them into share-and-share-alike content. She’s experienced and enjoys doing this type of work.