A New World for Public Relations: Are Retainers On the Way Out?

A New World for Public Relations: Are Retainers On the Way Out?

To retain or not to retain? That is the question many businesses face when considering a PR Agency in Dubai. There are different instances where a retainer or project is more suitable, depending on a business’s news cycle, budget, and goals.

Here we delve into the positives of both, allowing you to decide whether a retainer or project is right for your business.


  • The biggest positive when looking at a retainer is the relationship between client and agency. Like all relationships, strong understanding and passion take time to form. A retainer allows a PR agency to understand what works best for their clients without the constraints of a fixed time limit that can be faced with project work. At Seven Media, we pride ourselves and being able to work collaboratively with a whole host of clients, becoming an extension of their team.
  • Retaining an agency allows businesses to have unparalleled access to journalists and influencers, that the agency themselves have built up over many years and that they wouldn’t necessarily have the ability or contact details to reach out to. With this also comes the added bonus that the agency is constantly receiving media and influencer requests, generating immediate and future opportunities for their clients.
  • Seven Media offers clients a 24/7 press office which ensures availability at short notice so you can pick up the phone, what’s an app, or email without worrying about additional charges.
  • If your brand has a steady flow of news, campaigns, and press request, a retainer is definitely the most cost-effective business decision for the long term especially when the agency has the ability to consider sudden priorities without needing to stop and evaluate expenses.
  • A retainer gives a PR Agency, like Seven Media, the chance to create stories and sneak out proactive opportunities during slower news periods.
  • When embarking on a retainer with a PR Agency, many additional costs are factored into the scope of work that ordinarily that aren’t considered by a business. This includes but is not limited to, translations, media monitoring and general admin costs.


  • A project allows a business to contract their PR Agency on a specific campaign of activity where they can add the most amount of value to ensure it is a resounding success.
  • It is important however to remember when considering hiring an agency on a project, it needs to be as substantial amount of work to do in a set time period. I you was to approach an agency for every press release or influencer contract, you could ultimately end up paying more than a retainer itself!
  • A business has to ensure they use the same agency across their projects for consistency and to avoid confusion with media and influencers.
  • You are paying for a finite amount of work at a finite amount meaning many of the day-to-day PR activities may fall outside your scope of work.
  • Some of the best and most suitable press coverage opportunities for a business, don’t fit into short time spaces. For example, a management consultancy benefits from sudden industry news, updates, and changes. These often arise last minute and require a quick turnaround for a spokesperson’s comment. Furthermore, a media or influencer review of a restaurant can occur at any time, even long after a project is complete. In both instances, a client will lose out on the opportunities if there is no ongoing relationship with a reputable agency.

To conclude, when comparing both, there is a range of advantages depending on the outcome a business is looking for. A project-based approach has its own merits with a rigidly structured scope but loses the strategy and tactical execution element that most businesses require. Therefore, to ensure the best possible value for money from a PR company based in Dubai, a retainer, and the strong agency relationship it comes with,  is the obvious choice.



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