With many of us in this class graduating within the year, I’m guessing that a great many hours have been spent pondering what we will do with our lives after school. I think one of the first things we set out to decide is if we will work for an agency or in-house for an organization. It has proven a difficult task to get unbiased answers from public relations professionals on this topic, however, PRSA has an interesting blog up, which does not delve too deeply into the issue, but does give a nice overview of the two options.
Although my experience has been through relatively short internships, I have worked in both agency and in-house settings. The two are vastly different environments, and I think that most people immediately know which one they fit into better.
Setting personal preference aside then, is there a difference in the quality of product put out by public relations agencies and in-house public relations people? There are some great arguments on a PR-Squared blog for the benefits of agencies and among them are their large resources and media contacts. Those who work in-house make their case as well, one blog I found put it plainly, with the general point being that they are able to be on the pulse of activity in the organization.
Are these two sectors different but equal, or is there one that is superior? I feel that mainstream thought is that agencies are better, because they are more glamorous, but what real evidence is there? I feel that I have been continuously leaning toward the side of in-house work, based on it’s unmatched ability to know the organization’s needs, its people, and its structure. In my experience an agency must spend hours and hours to get a relatively shallow understanding of an organization every time they get a new client. Which side will you choose?