Some organizations have in-house PR personnel; others outsource the work and oversee the program; and some do both. Why the varying approaches? In many cases, if the organization feels it has sufficient in-house experience, expertise and time, it will go it alone. Often, there is simply too much to do, and outsourcing some or all of the PR responsibilities to experts helps increase output and the expand capabilities of the in-house team.
If you decide you want to hire a PR team to assist your organization, management will rightly want to know the role and cost of an outside agency. Below are six reasons to share with management: 1. The agency adds an outside, objective perspective to an issue or program. Internal PR, beholden to management, may not push back as readily on a bad idea. A good PR firm will not hold back, using their experience and judgment to provide honest counsel. 2. The firm can add experience and depth. In some cases, we have been working with organizations longer than many on the internal marketing team, so we can provide historical perspective and industry knowledge. 3. Outside PR counsel can be invaluable in a crisis, where resources are stretched and quick, sound decisions must be made. You don’t want to be getting an agency up to speed when problems arise. 4. The agency can help strengthen industry connections and community relations. 5. The agency can conduct research, help coordinate resources, or manage other time-consuming activities. 6. You get more than one person with a firm. We always say an internal person will cost you salary plus benefits. Say a person makes $45,000 plus 30% in overhead and benefits. So, for $60,000, you have one internal low- or mid-level resource – a person with one set of experiences, generally learned inside your operation. That $60,000 could be applied to an agency, where you get a team of professionals who can apply practices and perspectives learned in many fields.
What other reasons are there to hire outside help? Why not?