Is a PR Agency Trying to Get You Fired?

Lately, we’ve noticed that a few PR agencies have been trying this pitch to CEOs and CFOs:

“Why do you need in-house PR capabilities? We can do a better job for less money. Fire your director of communications and her team and we can save you a bundle. Reduce your fixed costs. Cut your head count. Shareholders will love it. We’ll even embed one of our team at your office, so you’ll have the same access.”

WHOA! Bad idea.

First off, you don’t have in-house marketing, advertising, PR or social capacity because it’s cheaper … but because it’s better.

More effective. More accessible.

Those in-house employees have much deeper knowledge of your company than any outside agency will ever have.

The in-house team shares your organization’s goals.

They know the preferences, nuances, culture and hidden pitfalls in your organization.

They have internal relationships that can cut red tape, get budgets approved, or smooth ruffled feathers.

And if you could put a dollar value on all that, the in-house team is much more cost-effective than outsourcing all your PR or marketing work to an outside agency.

We don’t see the in-house staff versus outside agency as an either/or situation.

It seems to us that it works best when you have a hybrid of in-house and outside agency.

The in-house expertise brings all the advantages mentioned above, with the additional benefits delivered by the right outside agency.

The outside agency brings a distinct perspective.

Innovative ideas and approaches. Broader experiences. Often deeper outside relationships.

Depth of knowledge about the industry that matches your staff’s depth of company knowledge.

Experiences from other companies and sectors … on what works and what doesn’t work.

Outside objectivity.

And a willingness to challenge your assumptions, when needed.

As an agency owner, I don’t want you to outsource your entire PR effort to our firm. While it would fatten our bottom line for a while, it won’t work well for your company long-term.

As a business partner, I‘d recommend we work along with your in-house experts … as an extension of your team.

All of us working together, adding our own skills or experience, to get you the best ROI.

Isn’t that’s what it’s all about?

Author: Jim Bianchi

Jim is president at Bianchi PR with 40+ years of B2B PR experience in corporate and agency settings across multiple industries.

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