I’m going through this process right now, trying to decide if our financial model makes sense for the future. I feel like billable hours is so archaic, but I also think we need to track time in order to be profitable. We are paid for our time so some sort of tracking mechanism is a necessary evil.

I’ve always been of the belief that you would never go into a restaurant, eat a meal, and at the end say to the chef, “That meal was fantastic – thank you so much! I’ll tell you what; if I don’t get heartburn tonight, I’ll send you a check in the morning.” So why do people always want to do that with our invoices, AFTER they’ve negotiated a program, the fees, and paid a couple of previous invoices?  Rather than be stubborn about it, though, I’m on the look-out for new ideas.

Therefore, I was interested to read “Coke Pushes Pay-for-Performance Model” in AdAge and “Changes Afoot in Professional Billing Rates” in The Australian Business.

The genesis of both articles is that clients want to know how advertising, PR, social media, marketing…all communication methods translate back to results. It’s the day old question, but now instead of shrugging our shoulders and saying, “But your brand awareness is off the charts!” we’re being held accountable for true bottom-line results.

So, you say, who determines the value? What do we do about the time it takes to ramp-up with a new client? Does this offend the PRSA Code of Ethics? Do you think we’ll try this and go back to the way things are now? Or will we do it only if forced by our clients?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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