A PR agency or in-house staff?
Why choose a PR agency or freelancer over hiring an in-house team? The question may cross the mind of many a company owner or director before they embark on a PR campaign - be it a one-off project or an on-going month-to-month strategy.
If you see the benefits a PR strategy could bring to your business, you have a choice to make:
Start a recruitment campaign to find the best individual(s) possible within budget to develop and run the strategy in-house, or;
Start a tendering process to find an agency or freelancer to develop and run the strategy externally.
There are pros and cons to both options but number 1 is largely the realm of larger organisations, as the costs associated with hiring staff can be prohibitive. The cost is not only financial, however, as you also have to consider the time implications it will take to find, hire, induct and manage new staff members. Plus covering annual holidays, sick leave, maternity and paternity, training, as well as starting the whole cycle again if they choose to leave. Insurance, benefits and taxes, on top of wages, can also add to the burden.
The main hurdle, however, is finding the right person. Recruiting full-time top-tier PR talents will be hard, not only because they’re not easy to find, but also because you need to be offering very competitive salaries and benefits. As with all jobs, the results will correspond with your team's skills and experience, so hiring a graduate straight out of PR school, while seeming like a cheaper option, will only get you so far. Similarly, asking your in-house marketing team or just a staff member you believe is good at writing, to have a go at getting publicity for your business could end in disaster.
There is no substitute for an experienced, qualified and highly skilled professional when it comes to any job - not just PR. You wouldn't ask your hairdresser to have a go at building your house extension, would you? Or ask your builder to try chopping your barnet, for that matter!
Agencies and freelancers provide a cost-effective and straightforward opportunity to work with highly qualified and highly experienced professionals. Their day rate will likely exceed that of a full-time employee, if you're just considering wages, but you avoid hidden costs elsewhere. For a budget of £20,000 a year, just as an example, you could potentially hire someone straight out of university with little to no experience or you could have access to a PR director with decades of industry knowledge and experience for several days a month.
The choice is obviously down to each individual business owner or director who has made the decision to implement PR into their overall business strategy. To hire staff or an agency?
If you're considering a PR strategy for your business and would like a no obligations discussion, please feel free to contact Schofield Communications.