The Middle East PR association launches fees guide
The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) today published its first Agency Fees and Charges Guide in an effort to encourage transparent dealings between public relations agencies and their clients in the region.
MEPRA has produced the guide in response to the growing demand for knowledge regarding PR agency practices from both PR practitioners and buyers of PR services. The guide aims to give agency clients a clear idea on different agency billing practices and prevailing industry rates for public relations services. The guide will also ensure that basic information on agency billing practices is freely available and so reduce any market speculation or confusion.
“Public relations has become a fast growing industry in the Middle East, although there is still a lack of basic knowledge and information regarding PR practices,” said Sadri Barrage, chairman of MEPRA and managing director of Headline PR. “Since MEPRA was formed in 2002, it has encouraged and promoted the region’s public relations industry by helping to raise professional standards in consultancy practice. We hope that this simple guide to agency billing practices helps to demystify PR agency rates for clients and provides some guidelines for new and growing PR agencies in the region. MEPRA urges all PR agencies to adopt clear and transparent billing practices for the benefit of themselves, their clients and the public relations industry at large.”
Simon Quarendon, Secretary General of the UK-based International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) congratulated MEPRA on its
new guide. "The ICCO applauds the unequivocal stance that MEPRA is taking to encourage greater transparency between agencies and clients. All lasting relationships, be they client/agency or personal, are based on mutual trust and openness and MEPRA's efforts in this initiative can only help strengthen those relationships."
MEPRA’s Agency Fees and Charges Guide has been made available to its member firms and will also be available to non-members via the association’s website: www.mepra.org. The association intends to develop and up-date the guide on an annual basis to take into account regional changes and improvements in industry best practices. However, MEPRA does not expect to see PR agencies adopting uniform hourly rates.
“MEPRA understands that different agencies have different offerings, diverse specialisations and distinct benefits to offer and so variations in rates are the market norm,” said Barrage. “The objective of this guide is not to force compliance among MEPRA member agencies and as a matter of fact these rates are based on current charges by agencies operating in the region. However, MEPRA does recommend broad ranges of PR fee levels and we hope that the Agency Fees and Charges Guide will serve to create better understanding of PR agency billing practices overall.”
One of MEPRA’s highest priorities is to promote education and understanding of both the public relations discipline and PR agency practices. The Agency Fees and Charges Guide is complementary to MEPRA’s ongoing education initiatives.
The association has an ongoing program of cooperation with various universities and college across the region. MEPRA members have conducted lectures at universities, conferences and seminars across the region in an effort to increase awareness and understanding of public relations as a profession.
MEPRA is an associate sponsor of the Middle East Public Relations Congress, which takes place in Dubai this year from 17-20 September.
MEPRA hopes that the Agency Fees and Charges Guide will prove useful to clients, PR agencies, PR agency staff and to other communications and marketing agencies that may work closely with PR agencies from time to time.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)