For any business which has a public-facing side it is important to be aware of how the public perceives the business and the products and services being offered. The concept of public relations focuses on how a company interacts with the general public and how the company is viewed by the same audience. Many companies don’t take into consideration public relations until they are facing issues with how they are perceived by the public.
For businesses with a need of public relation assistance one of the difficult questions involves whether to hire someone to handle PR issues internally or to contract out public relations to a PR firm. While some businesses opt to handle their public relations internally, many find a great benefit in outsourcing their public relations to a dedicated PR firm. There are a number of large differences in costs and benefits associated with outsourcing compared to building an in-house team.
One of the most common reasons businesses outsource is to save money. Many companies opt to hire a public relations firm rather than build an internal team tasked with handling their public communications. While it is entirely possible to build a public relations team from scratch, the time and financial investment required often weighs greater than investing in the hiring of an already established PR firm.
Another advantage to outsourcing public relations is the amount of experience a PR firm has over the amount of experience newly hired and newly developed PR teams will have. When hiring a public relations firm, businesses can leverage their experience and competitive advantages over that of an internal team. Regardless of how much experience individuals have in public relations it can be hard to develop a level of synergy with others that is generally found within a PR company.
Public relations companies invest time and resources in ensuring their internal team communicates effectively to achieve their goals. As a result the only time investment involved in hiring a PR firm is the amount of time it takes for the firm to understand the priorities of their client and for both parties to become comfortable in communications. This becomes much less of both a time and financial investment compared to hiring PR professionals to develop a PR department.
PR companies offer their clients the additional advantage of having a pool of resources available when needed. Public relations firms generally have individuals involved which are highly specialized towards a particular facet of public relations. In addition more successful PR firms will have more individuals involved to ensure higher quality work and a finer attention to detail. Furthermore a PR firm is more likely to invest in specialized software packages which allow for the automation of repetitive tasks or finer reports on the public perception of their clients.
Companies which build an in-house PR team will have a higher financial requirement associated with acquiring software which aims to give PR professionals a real-time look at news and coverage associated with a company’s brand. Many PR agencies also invest time and resources into building their own platforms or creating new tools and strategies which can become more effective than the industry standard at the time.
At the end of the day building an in-house team of public relations professionals can become time consuming and generally requires the knowledge of someone which has worked in the business to understand what to look for in a PR hire. Public relations agencies are more likely to have access to the resources and professionals required to create a comprehensive plan of action for your brand and public perception.