Agency versus in-house: why not have both?

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Traditionally, companies have chosen to either employ an in-house public relations practitioner, or outsource their public relations work to an agency. It’s a big decision to make – after all, getting your public relations strategy right can be the difference between great results and no results.

But maybe this choice needs to be reconsidered. Instead of choosing one or the other, more and more companies are realising that in-house professionals working in collaboration with an agency can deliver exceptional results and make the most of a communication department’s budget. If you’re wondering how working with a public relations agency could benefit your business, read on…

The University of Southern California recently asked in-house public relations professionals what their top three reasons for engaging agencies are and the results are in:

1. Creative thinking

In-house public relations professionals are working for the same client every single day. Sometimes, they need fresh eyes to brainstorm new and exciting story angles or creative campaigns. On top of that, agency professionals can brainstorm in a group, rather than all the pressure being on one person to come up with fantastic ideas – as is often the case in companies that only have one public relations person!

2. Strategic insights

Agencies have a strong focus on strategy and measurable objectives because they’re used to delivering ROI for clients. This gives them important insight into what works and what doesn’t, with successful agencies learning from every campaign and passing on the latest advice to their clients. Regardless of what you’re looking for from a PR agency, there’s a good chance that an agency professional will have previous experience working on a similar campaign and will know how to roll it out effectively.  

3. Specific practice areas

As agency professionals often specialise in certain industries or sectors, they have a deep understanding of current trends and issues within their area of practice. This means that they have relationships with the right people, can create relevant communication materials and know how to target specific audiences. When combined with an in-house professional’s in-depth knowledge of their product or service, this is the perfect recipe for success.  

The bottom line…

It’s time to discard the ‘us versus them’ mentality. By working together, in-house professionals and agency professionals can produce bigger and better campaigns with bigger and better results. When done well, it’s the perfect partnership!