Most PR agencies in India include Media Monitoring as a part of their PR activities. The cost of the PR exercise quoted includes the cost of the media monitoring and is not charged as a separate service. However while media monitoring is done in-house, most PR agencies also outsource the Monitoring services to specialised Service Providers. This is done in order to try and capture the maximum coverage that appears across geographies. This is a standard practice and is not an issue.
The issue at stake is that with most clients wanting free PR service or wanting them at a cost which is like free :), how can agencies survive. This is even more true if you want to engage competent Monitoring agencies. With Media Monitoring which used to be 10-15% of the cost, spiraling to 20-25% of the normal retainers charged by most agencies, isn't it time that we started billing our clients separately for the media monitoring?
Internationally it is a norm to charge extra for monitoring, it is high time that we adopted international norms, since most clients expect us to deliver to global standards.