A rant. I apologize in advance.
I hate the word retainer. I think the word is used as an excuse when people are scared to spend on consistent communications activity – especially with PR and social media activity.
The word “retainer” should only be used when you pay someone to be “on call” for you at a moment’s notice. They may not do a darn thing in any given month, but when you call, they respond fast. Like in the legal profession. It makes sense to have your law firm “on retainer.” I think.
In PR and social media, as an example, a best practice is to pay a monthly fee for activity – not a “retainer.” The only way you are successful in the long term with PR and social media is when you are consistent over time. When you decide what “over time” means – three months, six months, 12 months…etc. – you then divide the total fee by number of months and you have a monthly fee. Not a retainer – but a monthly fee for consistent communications activity. Which, over time, will pay for itself.
So let’s stop using the word retainer. It’s a dirty word that stops progress.
Whew! I feel better now. Thanks.