How to ask for a pay rise in PR

Asking for a pay rise is a very tricky thing to do and not something that should be rushed in to or taken lightly. In no particular order here are some thoughts to consider when asking for a pay rise: 1. Think about how the business that you are working in is doing. If the company is struggling, if you face up to your boss demanding an extra 20% then you might get short sharp shrift. 2. If you see that the MD is driving a Rolls Royce and quaffing champagne every night, while you are working all hours god sends and on the minimum wage, then I reckon you are probably worth a bit more dollar! 3. Be honest with yourself. It may sound harsh but in the end you are part of a labour market and the reality is that a company will need to pay you what you are worth to them. So if you are a vital cog in the PR machine producing some cracking coverage then yes – you may be in a position to ask for more money.  But at the other end of the spectrum, if you are not really adding value in your job, then your company may simply say – “no we don’t think you are worth more”. 4. Do your homework: ask colleagues, recruitment consultants, friends in similar jobs how much they earn. If you haven’t already you can also try the PRmoment salary checker. This will give you a decent understanding of what you are worth. But remember, in different areas of the country, people with similar PR skills are paid quite differently, so make sure you are thorough in your research. 5. How do you ask? Well in my experience, you need to feel calm, non-emotional and non-rushed when talking about this type of issue. So if you think you might be worth more than you are being paid, my advice is to think about it, do your homework and then consider it all for a couple of weeks. This will give you time to reflect and make sure you are correct in your thinking. 6. In terms of whom to approach, companies have their own policies on this but I have always broached the issue, at least in the first instance, with my immediate boss. I’d try and do this in an informal, relaxed way to begin with, just to give them the heads up that this issue is on your radar. A few questions like “when is my next pay review” or “is there anything more I can be doing to move up to the next level” should do the trick. 7. Always consider that there is a decent chance that your employer will so “no.” So you need to make sure that you ask in a such a way that they can respond without isolating you and that you can say “Oh OK, I’ll do x, y and z and hopefully we can revisit this issue in next year (or whenever). 8. There is a school of thought that you might not need to worry about all this. Most good companies do a regular check to make sure that they are paying their staff a competitive salary. And they have a management infrastructure and HR dept in place to make sure that hard worker/high achievers are rewarded. Finally, consider that in most companies things like pay reviews tend to take a bit of time and remember that pay is an emotive issue, so be careful and bear in mind that a job is, in most instances, better than no job!