Outsourced PR vs in-house PR? That is the question
It might not be quite the same as Shakespeare’s famous quote, but the question of outsourced PR vs in-house is still a question on the lips of many CEOs and Marketing Directors. Including benefitting from industry knowledge and expertise, building a network of partners, having crisis management support at your fingertips and readying your business for expansion, here are five key benefits of outsourcing PR.
1. Benefit from expertise
Let’s start with the big one. As with any outsourced activity, outsourcing PR to an agency as part of your marketing strategy will enable you to benefit from significant expertise. Rather than spend a lot of time and resource (which let’s face it, you might not have) training up staff in-house, utilising the expertise of a PR agency will accelerate your journey to the PR results – which is what you really want to see. PR agencies have the journalist contacts ready to use, they have the industry perspective needed to give ideas not just for the PR campaign, but the wider marketing strategy, and they can advise on where your efforts really should be focused.
Whether it’s jumping on a news story that that broke 5 minutes ago, or using knowledge from another sector for a cutting-edge thought leadership idea, PR agencies have the knowledge and time on their side to get the job done, and to get the job done right. We all know that PR is far more than news – especially in the B2B PR world – so sending a press release out once a quarter won’t cut it anymore. With an in-house PR Coordinator or Manager, the temptation will always be to spread resource and work across teams on ‘more important’ tasks that might crop up (the design deadline that needs to be met or the new webpage that needs to be built), but outsourced PR agencies give the dedication and commitment that a PR strategy really needs.
2. Agencies bring industry knowledge
On top of PR expertise, PR agencies also have a wealth of industry knowledge just waiting to be used, especially if the agency has a specialism. Each team within an agency will have a whole host of sector-specific knowledge which is perfect for thinking of new content ideas, taking a campaign plan to the next level or building a plan for your next media event or big PR stunt (yes, we still think these are can be very effective). And the knowledge doesn’t stop within each specific team, as people who work in PR agencies are really good at talking. So yes, that means that ideas are shared, debated and challenged – which is what makes the finished result so robust. You may never have thought that your retail technology business could benefit from healthcare or FinTech knowledge – but it probably can.
3. A network of partners
If your team is small or already pretty stretched, spending time finding a design mastermind, an events organiser, website specialist or research house will quickly fall to the bottom of the list. But in reality – these are all important tasks; tasks that your marketing campaign probably relies upon in order to tie all aspects together. Working with a PR agency that already has these contacts will not only save you time, but if you have established an open, collaborative and honest relationship with your PR agency, you can trust their judgement that they are recommending a good partner. With this approach, you get even more external expertise and keep your marketing campaign on track. It’s a win-win situation.
4. Crisis management
Ok – I know you don’t want to talk about it. But the reality is that a crisis – in any form – could happen to any business, at any time. You may feel that your business is equipped to handle a crisis, which is great. But having an agency onside that is not only under NDA, but that has experience of handling a crisis effectively, will not only bring peace of mind but ensure that you respond and deal with the situation in the right, media-friendly way.
Your PR agency will advise on what steps to take, when, and what to say or not say. Media training can also be given in advance, to help not just with a crisis but with handling PR interviews and opportunities well to keep the journalists coming back for more.
5. Expansion opportunities
Whether you’ve set your sights on the US, APAC or Europe, expanding your business is exciting, but can also be pretty daunting. When your new office is set up and you’re busy hiring the best talent, an outsourced PR agency is a perfect companion to build your credibility in the new region, which in turn helps with finding new customers and staff and meeting those all-important growth goals.
An outsourced PR agency with connections across the globe will save you time looking for a US PR specialist or a new agency entirely. As with working with partners, a PR agency that can quickly connect you to other agencies across the globe, or push your message out to international channels themselves, will put you in a winning position to make your expansion a success.