PR agency Vs In-house PR team

What’s best for your business, outsourcing to a PR agency or using an in-house PR team?


If your business needs a PR function to help raise the profile of your products/services to your customers, one of the key decisions you need to make is whether or not to employ an in-house team, or outsource the work to a PR agency.

A number of businesses are fortunate enough to be of the size where they can fund both an in-house team and appoint a PR agency. But many SMEs don’t have this luxury so there’s an important decision to be made about where they put the investment.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options and, unsurprisingly, Star PR would make the case in favour of outsourcing to an agency.

The main advantages of using an agency is the experience and knowledge you would be getting for a relatively low cost compared to employing someone full-time. For example, if you had an annual budget of £24,000 to employ a full-time PR practitioner for an in-house role, you’d be getting a relatively junior member of staff, maybe someone with around two to three years of experience.

PR agencies sell their time, so if you spent the same budget with an agency on a £2,000 per month retainer, you would be getting around 25-30 hours of agency time each month, depending on the agency’s day rate as these vary.

But with an agency, you’re not just getting the services of one person as you would if you hired someone in-house. You’d get a number of people that you couldn’t afford to hire individually, including the involvement of a senior consultant, like an account director, who would be responsible for things like strategy development. That director would be supported by an account manager, who would implement the strategy and be your day-to-day point of contact.

So, for the same amount of money, the agency would be able to deliver a much higher quality of PR service than an in-house appointment.

And because an agency means getting access to a number of people, you’d benefit from a diverse range of skills as and when required, such as social media, media relations, event organisation and management, email marketing and so on.

There are obvious advantages to an in-house role and the main one is that the person you hire would be on-site in your office five days a week and not restricted to a specified allocation of monthly hours. Additionally, this in-house appointment would be able to live and breathe your company, brand and service as they would be fully immersed in the company’s ethos, while agencies work with multiple clients, not just your business.

Ultimately, the option you choose will depend on a number of factors, such as business priorities, objectives, targets and financial costs, but what is certain is PR works, and you should try and take advantage of it to help your business grow.