When Should a Company Do In-House PR?
To shed light on the strategic timing of adopting in-house PR, we’ve gathered insights from seven top executives and PR professionals. From having in-house PR from the start to growing communication needs, this article provides a comprehensive guide to help businesses make informed decisions about their PR strategies.
- Having In-House PR From the Start Is Essential
- Considering Budget and Growth Beforehand
- Outlining and Looking Into the Various Factors
- Evaluating the Company Size, Budget, and Goals
- Achieving a Need for Consistent PR Efforts
- Requiring Direct Control Over PR Efforts
- Growing Communication Needs
Having In-House PR From the Start Is Essential
A brand with a vision should have in-house PR from the start. The more significant issue is that most companies need to be aware of PR and its importance. There is a big misconception among businesses as most think that PR is for large companies and that it is expensive.
This is far from the truth, as any brand or company that plans to build, grow, and expand must engage in brand awareness initiatives and activities, whether on a small or large scale.
Depending on a company’s stage, for a small start-up, in-house PR could be a junior assistant who communicates with the local media, a communications coordinator who can help build the public profile of a C-suite by sharing a company’s story on a local level, or a three-person team that executes strategic PR strategy for a company.
In terms of a company being at a particular stage, it should develop solid processes, systems, and structure first, then incorporate in-house or agency PR into its long-term growth strategy.
Considering Budget and Growth Beforehand
In-house PR can be the right strategy for a company based on budget and growth considerations. Start-ups and scale-ups often operate with limited budgets, making it challenging to afford the high prices associated with hiring top PR talent from agencies.
By building an in-house PR team, companies can make a strategic investment in the long run.
While there isn’t a specific stage that mandates in-house PR, it becomes more feasible as the company grows and requires consistent and direct control over PR efforts.
By nurturing and developing PR specialists with specific experience and press contacts, companies can effectively lead their PR efforts and align them with their market goals.
Outlining and Looking Into the Various Factors
The in-house PR can be the right strategy for a company in various scenarios, depending on its growth stages and other factors. The following list outlines where PR is the right strategy for a company:
Consistent Media Exposure: Regular media interaction provides the company with on-time responses and better media relationships.
Industry Expertise: If the company has specialized knowledge in any sector, like health, technology, sports, finance, etc., it can effectively reach the target audience via unique and complex information.
Availability of Resources: If the company has an adequate budget and required resources to support an in-house PR team, it can act as a significant advantage.
Crisis Management: If the company officials are concerned about crisis management, the PR team can expect potential crises or operate in sensitive industries.
Evaluating the Company Size, Budget, and Goals
There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether in-house PR is the right strategy for a company. These include:
The size of the company: In-house PR is typically more cost-effective for smaller companies, as they can avoid the high fees associated with hiring a PR agency. However, larger companies may also benefit from having an in-house PR team, as they can have more control over their messaging and branding.
The company’s budget: In-house PR can be a more cost-effective option than hiring a PR agency, but it still requires a significant investment. Companies with limited budgets may want to consider hiring a PR agency on a retainer basis or using a freelance PR consultant.
The company’s goals: If a company is looking to increase brand awareness or generate media coverage, in-house PR can be a great way to achieve those goals. However, if a company is facing a crisis or needs to manage a negative reputation, it may need to hire a PR agency with specialized experience.
Achieving a Need for Consistent PR Efforts
When a business has reached a particular degree of growth and stability, and has a consistent need for public relations efforts, in-house PR may be the best course of action. This stage is typically characterized by having a well-defined brand identity, a target audience that has been identified, and ongoing interaction and communication with stakeholders.
In-house PR may be a better option for businesses that frequently need to respond quickly to PR concerns because it enables a more direct and quick approach to reputation management.
By this time, the business should have enough cash on hand to recruit and support a dedicated PR team or professional, resulting in a more unified and integrated PR strategy that supports the company’s objectives and values.
Requiring Direct Control Over PR Efforts
In-house PR can be the right strategy for a company when it requires direct control over its public relations efforts, consistent messaging, and immediate response to PR challenges.
Companies with frequent media interactions, complex communication needs, or those in highly regulated industries may find it helpful to have an internal PR team. Also, established companies with a steady stream of PR activities and a substantial budget for hiring and training PR professionals might benefit from in-house PR.
However, the decision to pursue in-house PR should be based on factors like the company’s size, resources, long-term PR requirements, and the ability to attract and keep skilled PR personnel. Smaller and early-stage companies may initially rely on external PR agencies until their PR needs and capabilities expand.
Growing Communication Needs
Companies should consider in-house PR when their communication needs become more intricate and regular. A deeper understanding of the company’s ethos allows an in-house team to create personalized PR strategies.
As businesses grow, managing a consistent flow of news is best handled internally. Financially, although outsourcing seems cheaper initially, as PR demands intensify, in-house solutions might be more economical.
A hybrid approach, blending in-house expertise with external resources, often proves optimal. Importantly, this shift to in-house doesn’t cause complete severance from external agencies; their industry insights and media connections remain valuable, supplementing in-house efforts effectively.
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