The Russian Communications Consultancies Association (АКОS) held a round table entitled “What’s the price for PR? Services billing principles in Russia” at the Baltic PR Weekend. At the round table new recommendations regarding PR specialists’ hourly rates were presented and an active discussion of the tariff system for PR services recommended by AKOS took place. Representatives of Russian PR agencies and representatives of their customers participated in the discussion.
The President of Pro-Vision Group, Vladimir Vinogradov moderated the round table. Event speakers included General Director of Ketchum Maslov, Mikhail Maslov, General Director of Fleishman-Hillard Vanguard, Elena Fadeeva, Head of external communications of Leroy Merlin Vostok, Galina Panina and PR Director of the North-West Branch of MegaFon, Alexander Zipkin. In attendance were also experts from such companies as Profine RUS CJSC, S7, UTair and others.
During a productive discussion on the billing system the views of the participants differed, but the majority of the audience agreed that pricing standardization in the industry is necessary and beneficial for all market players. The single principle of compiling PR-budgets will lead to a more transparent market for everyone involved. In addition, a common PR services tariff system will provide a higher level of competition when it comes to generating ideas, technologies and efficient management, but not cost.
Experts from client companies also noted the need for further work on implementing the international system in Russia. “A system based on hourly rates can be introduced to our market – says Lev Koshlyakov, Deputy General Director, Director of Corporate Communications of UTair. – But PR specialists from agencies need to educate customers about it before implementation. ”
“In Russia the connection between the PR-budget and the actual cost of PR-offer is often very vague, not only for the client, but also for the authors of the proposal. The pricing system in a number of agencies are still far from perfect, but the work is moving in the right direction “, – adds Galina Panina.
“The issue of pricing in the PR field has always been and remains relevant. Hourly date billing is an international practice, which is used not only in the field of PR, but also in management consulting, among financial experts and auditors. This system is widely used internationally and has a reputation of currently being the most effective. It’s up to Russian PR experts now to complete the process of standardizing tariffs on the basis of this methodology, which, finally, would benefit all market participants, “- said Elena Fadeeva.
“The discussion was very productive and I especially want to mention a large number of decision makers from different companies. The opinions of both sides, from industry specialists and our clients, were valuable for us. I am confident that through such constructive dialogue we can turn our achievements to creating a standard which will be used by all players in the market “, – said Mikhail Maslov.
“Work on the implementation of an international rating system of PR-services should and will continue, – concludes Vladimir Vinogradov, President of Pro-Vision Group. – Due to the Russia’s entry into the WTO it is especially important for Russian companies to meet world standards and past discussion has shown great interest from all parties in transitioning to the new system. ”
The Russian Communications Consultancies Association (АКОS) was founded in 1999 as a fundamentally new type of union for the Russian public relations market and has united the most respected and reliable independent players in Russian PR. At the moment AKOS consolidates 31 first-rate Russian PR-consultancies, whose common market share exceeds 60 %.
AKOS is the Russian division of The International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO). Founded in 1988, ICCO comprises national trade associations in twenty-eight countries. Collectively, these associations represent over 1,400 PR firms. Around the world ICCO membership is recognized as an indicator of the organization’s professionalism and the high quality of its services.