Should you take PR in-house during tough times?

I recently had lunch with a friend who was considering taking her PR operations in house to trim costs during the economic downturn. Since we are friends, she turned to me for advice about whether shouldering the PR burden within her resource-stretched department was a good move.

I told her that while she might save money that she would normally spend on agency fees, she probably hadn’t thought about the impact this move would have on her staff:  could they absorb 10 to 20 extra work hours each week that would be devoted to PR?

I also encouraged her to think about momentum.  Her group would be starting from scratch to build media relationships that her agency has cultivated over years.

Finally, she needed to be aware that there would be cost involved.  Agencies invest thousands of dollars annually on technology and services.  These costs usually are shared among all clients, making the cost affordable.  Having to incur these costs alone would be difficult.

It’s tempting to cut back during tough times.  Just make sure you’re not hurting your company at the same time.

–Michelle Damico

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