Let’s face it, getting your company’s name in the press is not rocket science. Assuming you have the right tools, the right contacts, broad perspective and a good story line, almost anyone can do it.
The question is, how well can you do it? The adage, “all press is good press,” isn’t always true. Consider the coverage that GE has gotten recently about not paying corporate tax.
The two main reasons to outsource all or part of your public relations activities are time commitment and perspective.
Public relations done right is time intensive and requires persistence. This means taking time away from your core business to focus on PR. What typically happens is that PR tasks drop to the bottom of the to-do list when your core business demands your attention.
Even if you hire someone internally to handle PR, that person will split her time doing other tasks as well. By contrast, an outside agency is focused exclusively on deploying PR strategies and measuring the results.
A PR agency also provides perspective that an internal group doesn’t have. This is especially helpful when new ideas are presented to management.
An outside agency offers a number of other advantages:
- Limited costs. An internal hire comes with a salary, benefits package and a vacation schedule, and those costs can add up. Typically you retain an outside agency based on a monthly fee or a per project basis.
- Expertise. Hiring the right agency gives you access to experience and expertise both in your industry and in others. It’s difficult to get this insight from an internal PR practitioner.
- Consistent media contacts. Agency reps interact through email, phone and social media with reporters regularly while representing clients. This gives them an opportunity to find out what reporters are working on and to suggest story ideas.