Using a PR agency can offer several advantages over handling PR in-house. Whilst there is a desire to keep PR in-house because of a belief that only you know your business inside and out, there are overwhelming positives to utilising an agency. Using the resources of a PR agency who know the ins and outs of the industry will only be beneficial in the long run, as you are giving your company one less thing to worry about, allowing other aspects of the business to be prioritised.
PR professionals will have the contacts necessary, the knowledge, and the tools to get coverage by news outlets, to make your social media numbers climb, and to really get your name out there.
Here are some reasons why a company might choose to work with a PR agency:
Expertise and Experience:
PR agencies typically have a team of experienced professionals with expertise in various aspects of public relations, including media relations, crisis management, event planning, content creation, and more. Their collective experience and specialized skills can lead to more effective PR campaigns and strategies.
A 2018 survey of businesses by HubSpot shows that 40 percent of respondents feel their top marketing challenge is “proving ROI of marketing activities”. Therefore, it can be cost effective to go with a PR agency who have specialist knowledge, because the business is not having to invest in teaching themselves how to properly produce detailed reports on PR activities. Going with a reliable agency can be incredibly cost effective in the long haul, because whilst it can be tempting to cut costs at the time, salaries, benefits, training, office space, equipment and time on supervision can add up.
Contrary to common belief, PR agencies can be cost-effective, especially for smaller businesses that don’t require a full-time, in-house PR team. Agencies can offer a range of services and packages that suit different budgets.
Established PR agencies have developed relationships with journalists, editors, and media outlets over time. These connections can be invaluable in securing media coverage and placements for the company, as agencies know how to pitch stories effectively and have a better understanding of what the media is looking for. This cuts out a lot of time, as you are not having to spend your time finding contacts.
“Relationship” is the key word, since there is often a very thin difference between getting media coverage and being overlooked. The contacts obtained by a PR agency make them a highly desirable commodity for progressing your business to the next level.
Objectivity and Fresh Perspective:
An external PR agency can provide a fresh and objective perspective on the company’s messaging and communications. They can identify unique angles and opportunities that internal teams might miss due to their closeness to the subject matter.
PR agencies often have access to industry-specific tools, media databases, and analytics platforms that may be costly for a company to invest in independently.
On the other hand, it can be argued that you know your business better than anyone else, and therefore there might be an incentive to stick to doing your own PR. It is all about weighing up the pros and cons, you are the experts in your business, but the PR agencies are the professionals in properly advertising your company.
Time and Resource Efficiency:
Managing PR in-house can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. An agency can take on the burden of executing PR campaigns, allowing the internal team to focus on other core business activities.
As aforementioned, it can save you money in the long run by investing at the beginning.
PR agencies specialise in crisis communication and can be instrumental in handling negative situations or reputational challenges. They have experience dealing with various crisis scenarios and can help protect the company’s image during difficult times.
Scalability and Flexibility:
PR agencies can adapt to the company’s needs and scale their efforts up or down as required. This flexibility is particularly useful for B2B companies with fluctuating PR demands or during specific campaign periods.
Regional and International Reach:
If a company operates in multiple regions or targets an international audience, a PR agency with a global network can help tailor communications and strategies to different markets effectively, because they will have relevant experience with doing so.
So, what should you do?
It’s essential to note that while PR agencies offer significant advantages, the decision between using an agency or an in-house PR team depends on a company’s specific needs, resources, and objectives. Some companies may find that a combination of both approaches works best for them, with an in-house team handling day-to-day PR activities and an agency providing support for strategic campaigns or specialised projects.
It is all about finding the best for your business. Every person is as unique and individual as every business.