- Have you been wondering whether to hire an in-house PR team or outsource to an agency? It's a question many small businesses ask.
- In-house PR can be cheaper, but then again, hiring an agency full of PR experts may give you the most bang for your buck in the long run.
- Find out the pros and cons of in-house vs outsourced PR to help you decide which is a better option for your business
Public relations (PR) is the backbone of any company. It's one of the most valuable tools in raising brand awareness or launching a new product or service.
That said, PR is an ever-growing industry. As the industry continues to grow, so does the question of in-house PR versus outsourcing – it can be a difficult and costly one to weigh up.
The development of in-house PR began with small businesses that couldn't afford to hire a PR agency. There are many benefits of in-house PR such as reduced costs or the fact that a company knows itself better than anyone else.
This isn't to say there are no benefits to outsourcing. Having an agency of professionals can get you the most bang for your buck and bring expertise and knowledge from the PR industry.
Both can bring expansion opportunities if done right. Whether you are a small or big business, PR will make and break you. It's crucial to explore your options before diving right in.
What Are the Benefits of In-House PR?
The top benefits of in-house PR are:
- You know your business best
- You are your only client
- You get what you give
1. You Know Your Business Best
This one is pretty obvious. No one knows a company better than the people who work there. An outside agency can try to understand the trade, but they won't know the everyday culture and how it works.
An overlooked benefit of in-house PR means not having to train a PR expert in the industry. A lot of freelancers and writers venture into PR but are unfamiliar with their clients' industry. Outsourcing a PR professional is an unnecessary workload when you already have an in-house team that knows the business's ins and outs better than anyone.
2. You Are Your Only Client
A PR agency has multiple clients, meaning you are not their sole focus. This can add a lot of restriction to the content being produced.
When you stay in-house, there are no limitations. Being your only client has its perks. As mentioned before, a company knows itself best. This means an in-house PR team is made up of experts in the field that can develop creative campaigns.
Not only can in-house PR teams attract more businesses in their specific niche, but they can focus entirely on your company's needs. This level of focus on PR aids in further building the brand and attracting knowledgeable clients.
3. You Get What You Give
A PR agency can only work with what is being given to them. This means they can only be as good as the information you provide them. If you are reluctant to share information about your business, choosing to go in-house is an excellent way to build trust. This way, all crisis management and workings of the company remain within the business itself.
If you do choose not to go in-house, there is the complication of response time. A PR agency has multiple clients and when a crisis strikes, there is the looming possibility of not getting a response immediately. Agencies usually meet with a company after a situation has occurred to discuss and work out the issue.
This delay is avoided with an in-house PR team that can respond right away if needed. Not only does this save time, but it eliminates the idea of having to explain an issue to an outside source and not giving precise and detailed information.
What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing PR?
Outsourcing may be a better option for some businesses. Here are the top benefits:
- Gain a team of professionals
- Access to industry knowledge
- More bang for your buck
1. Gain a Team of Professionals
If you outsource a PR agency, you are gaining a full team of professionals. This is not to say that the people in your own company won't cut it, but they might not be experts in public relations. By hiring an agency, you combine different industries and gain knowledge on both ends.
A business will benefit from an agency's expertise, especially if they would rather not spend all their time and resources on training staff and coming up with communications and campaign ideas. Using PR professionals' expertise will mean a ready-to-go list of contacts and fresh perspectives.
2. Access to Industry Knowledge
As mentioned before, industry knowledge is essential. PR agencies have a heap of industry knowledge that they're waiting to share. An agency, especially one with a specialism, uses its passion for the field and creativity by applying it to client projects.
There are specific teams for everything within a PR agency including content ideas, media events and PR stunts. This doesn't mean the knowledge is secluded to each team, but rather everyone in the agency. Everyone collaborates and shares information to issue the best PR for your company.
3. More Bang for Your Buck
You might assume that going in-house might save you more money because there's no agency retainer to pay. That's true, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not beneficial.
When you consider how you'll get the most bang for your buck, it's important to remember that outsourcing an agency provides you with an entire PR team that can bring in revenue faster. The amount of time you might spend on training an in-house team could be the time that a professional PR team can use to come up with campaigns.
After all, time is money, and working smarter means giving your business the focus it needs. This can be done by hiring a team that handles everything your in-house teams can't. Not only does this remove a workload and add room for growth, but it checks off the things you might've been pushing aside – like a crisis communication plan or content creation.
Expansion Opportunities: A Two Way Street
Whether you choose to go in-house or out-source, both methods have expansion opportunities. A company that chooses in-house PR can invest its money into training a team. This team can perfect a technique and come with new ones over the years, and one day, open up to taking on clients themselves.
What if the dedication is there within an in-house team? In that case, anything is possible – primarily since only a company can communicate its vision across a diverse audience from a multitude of cultures.
An outsourced PR agency is perfect if you want professional talent to help build your brand. PR agencies come with journalist contacts already in hand to help find new customers and push your brand beyond creative barriers. Finding an agency connected across the globe is a plus since they can promote you to international channels.
There is a heap of expansion opportunities whether you go down the in-house or outsourced avenue. If PR is done right, whether it be from an expert agency or an in-house team, it can create an impact far and wide.
The PR industry will continue to grow as it's the glue that keeps companies together. If proper techniques are used and implemented in line with current trends, things will head in the right direction.
Something that worked for a competitor might not work for you. The choice depends on your personal needs and available resources. Weigh up the options based on how they will truly benefit your company.
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