Have questions? We'd love to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We'd love to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

by Christine Wetzler

Our consultants have hands-on experience growing their own businesses, so we understand exactly what you need and why it’s important.

This innate business acumen sets us apart from other traditional agency teams. Your team at Pietryla PR is senior-level and has years of experience getting stuff done.

There is no way you will ever work with a person who either can’t or isn’t prepared to make a strategic decision. Our billing and reporting practices are transparent and are the same for all of our clients.

Keep reading for specific answers to direct questions and download our one-pager to forward to someone or keep in your files.

Questions and results

How do you bill your time?

We account for our time in two ways:

Hourly if the project is ongoing and requires more than a few days of work we bill our time hourly. The rate is $175/hour USD (or its equivalent in the currency of your choice) and is the same for everyone on every task.

Each week, we provide project status and time reporting to match our targets with what we’ve agreed upon in advance with you. We also have an online system that provides real-time access to our time-spent as well as detailed activity reports.

Flat fee if it’s a small tactical job. An example of this would be writing a press release. We can often offer this kind of one-off service at an agreed-upon flat fee.

Rush fee writing or artwork projects (under 48 hours) may also incur a fee of $0.50 a word or a predefined premium charge.

There are never any surprises with our billing processes.

Curious what the going rate is? A 2021 Gould+Partners’ report, which focused on the hourly billing rates and staff utilization at agencies by size, region and specialty, found that the average PR agency billing rate is $240 per hour. This is up from $193 per hour in 2019. For the most senior executives, that hourly rate doubles.

Our rates are highly competitive since everyone you work with is a member of senior management.

What if I don't get the results I want?

When we begin working together, we will all know and agree upon what success looks like.

Upon meeting for the first time, we work with you to identify the media relations goals you need to achieve and the tools you have at your disposal to reach those goals.

A common mistake in hiring a PR firm is thinking that a good story is enough to get results — especially if you have a charismatic leader or a disruptive product. What’s missing from that assumption is the knowledge of how each action taken excites a reaction in accomplishing your business goals.

If you can’t articulate exactly what you need to achieve and why it’s important to move your business forward, we aren’t the firm for you.

While we are seasoned business professionals, you are the only person who can determine your business goals. We are nimble and able to adjust to changing strategy and manage complex projects, but our clients know what they want and how to measure it. Because of this, we’re rarely unsuccessful.

Here are a few resources we contributed to that can help people select the right communications partners:

Before You Hire Another PR Agency Write Down These 3 Basics

How Your Statement Of Work Should Change To Accommodate A Strategy Of Paid And Organic Media

How To Allocate A Marketing Budget For A New Startup: 14 Expert Tips

Do you have a client list?

Since 2002, we’ve worked with many clients. Some as long as 10 years and some as short as a few days. Here’s the most up-to-date list of our current and past clients.

Cask & Kettle Hot Cocktails
Continental Broadband
Economic Development Group, Ltd.
Expedient Data Centers
Footprint Packaging
Johnny Armstrong, author of Shadowshine
Medical Marijuana of Illinois
Miller Energy
National Coal Corp. (Nasdaq:NCOC)
Novalent Antimicrobial
OVAL Fire Products
Patten Place
PIC Corp
PFFC Magazine/YTC Media
rent24 Chicago
RSA America
Servidyne (Nasdaq:SERV)
Software Management, Inc.
Stop the Spread Solutions
TCS Education System
United Federal Credit Union
Whitehead Energy Solutions

How does the process work?

Every situation is unique, and we like to keep things as simple as we can without surrendering clarity. However, some fairly common steps include the following:

  • Initial discussion to understand your basic needs.
  • Follow-up discussion to clarify details and agree upon the scope and fees for the project.
  • Prepare a draft outline of the media relations plan for your review.
  • Obtain and incorporate your feedback.
  • Start to make things happen.
  • Provide ongoing support, including making minor updates to account for new opportunity.

Depending on how we structure the project, you should expect to spend about an hour (non-billable on our end) each week going over our activities and working with us to improve upon results.

What are your qualifications?

We’re all experienced entrepreneurs.

Christine has been in media relations since 1999, and has owned this company since 2002. She has served in many different roles for many different clients, meaning she’s seen it all.

Everyone selected to work with you is a senior leader. They have proven they can get the job done. Our flexibility means that we can add or elminate staff on your account as-needed.

We have also been named:

  • #172 of the 360 “Best Entrepreneurial Companies 2019” by Entrepreneur Magazine
  • One of the top 20 PR Firms in Chicago by Expertise.com three years in a row
  • One of the top US PR Firms on Clutch
  • One of the Ten Most Creative PR Agencies by Insights Success Magazine.

What industries do you specialize in?

We take pride in our ability to learn the fundamentals of virtually any industry or technology quickly. Some of the markets we have served include sustainability, plastics and packaging, Internet/e-commerce, telecommunications, distance education/e-learning, energy and professional services.

Having said that, we believe that the value we bring to the table is not industry expertise — which you already possess in abundance — but rather an understanding of what reporters like to see in a potential article opportunity.

If you have a good story, the strategy to amplify it is part of the art of media relations. The industry experience comes second.

For online resources about our firm and a feel for our complete client list, please visit the following third-party sites:

Clutch | Firms That Deliver

O’Dwyer’s PR Firms

Agency Spotter