I was researching some information for my groups client when I stumbled across an interesting article entitled “Who need PR Agencies, Exactly?” In it the author talks about how she was shocked when she came across a software company that do not hire any outside PR agency for PR work. Instead the company uses their marketing team to write up press releases, create feature pitches and to accumulate relationships with local journalists. To the authors surprise the system seemed to work very well. After all, who knows more about a company than those that actually work within it?
The author posed a very interesting question, ” what do these companies (with internal PR) miss out on by not working with PR agencies?”
After thinking about this question for awhile I began to wonder if PR agencies are just a thing of the past. Companies can use their marketing department to conduct a lot of the work that an agency would do, but wouldn’t that mean that they would have to take time away from marketing duties to write a press release or create a pitch? The more and more I thought about it, the more reasons I thought of how not hiring a PR company could negatively effect a company. Here is what I came up with:
- PR professionals are educated and trained to deal with PR tasks everyday. The author even states that she is not an expert in what PR agenecies do. As a PR student I have been recieving an education in this career and I would like to believe that it could not be so easily taught to just anyone in a few months.
- Time commitment! PR agencies are hired to protect the image and to deal with the everyday tasks of campaigning and media. They have the time to thouroughly evaluate and commit to a campaign. Marketing departments would be taking away from their usual duties and may not have enough time to create something that would be as carefully and creativly thought out as an agency.
- Agencies already have relationships with local key press and media outlets and therefore can return results to a company quickly.
- As one commenter said it still is going to cost the company money. If companies are eliminating PR agencies because they think it is going to be cheaper they are wrong. Training those in PR is still going to have a price tag attached to it.
- Outside perspective! If you keep everything within a company you will never see the bigger picture. I think that a PR agency brings no biases and are aware of perspectives and ideas that companies may not be aware of. They bring awareness and originality to a company that may be stuck within the boundaries of their comapny.
I can see the benefits of eliminating the “middle man”, but they seem to be overshadowed by the benefits of hiring the middle man.