Branding is incredibly important, no matter the sector, size or location of your company. All brands depend on reputation for their success. Your company should have a marketing and public relations budget — no doubt about it. But should you spend that money to hire an in-house specialist/team, or would it be more beneficial for your business to outsource an agency? Keep reading to see which option is the best fit for your organization.
What Is A PR And Marketing Agency?
Before we dive into the pros and cons of hiring a marketing and public relations agency, it is important to understand what an agency is and all they have to offer.
Just as it sounds, an agency is an outside team hired to either complete a specific marketing or PR project for your business or to work with your company longer term. In-house marketing is when an individual or a team is hired internally to do marketing or public relations for your business.
When you are looking to hire a marketing and PR company, you can choose between small-, medium- or large-sized agencies. No matter the size, the agency will have different services they offer. Normally, you will have an initial meeting to see how the agency can best meet your needs, and you will sign a contract with them for a certain amount of time and for specific services. Services can range from blogging monthly, to social media management, to SEO help and more. At Three Girls Media, we don’t believe in a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to marketing or public relations, so we fully customize our services for each client. For a list of services that Three Girls Media offers, visit this link.
While some agencies focus on solely marketing or public relations, there are a number that offer a mix of both — like we do at Three Girls Media.
As Hubspot writes, “The main goal of PR is to boost the reputation of your brand. On the other hand, the main goal of marketing is to drive sales.” What you choose to focus on will depend on what would be most helpful for your organization.
Some agencies may also specialize in one sector, like hospitality or sports, while some may cover many sectors like we do at Three Girls Media. Either way, it is important to do research and pick an agency skilled in the services you are interested in.
Now that we understand the difference between in-house marketing and public relations and an outside agency, what are the pros and cons of each?
Benefits To Hiring A Marketing/ PR Agency
1.) Broader Skill Set
One of the main reasons a company may decide to hire an agency is that they get a larger team with a broader skill set and more expertise than they would be able to afford to bring in-house, especially if they are a small business. Chances are, most small businesses would not be able to bring on a full-time in-house writer, social media expert and website designer, but hiring an agency will get you all those skills and more. The more people you work with, the more amazing ideas will be developed for your brand as well. When you decide to hire an agency to do your marketing and PR, you are able to choose from the most talented, most experienced professionals who live and breathe marketing and PR.
Additionally, by outsourcing your marketing and PR you are able to choose an agency that specializes in your sector or the communications areas you need help in, such as social media or blogging. The expertise you receive from working with an agency provides you with the best possible ROI.
2.) Less Commitment For Your Company
Hiring an agency to do marketing and public relations for your organization takes a lot of stress, time and commitment off your business. Instead of investing in the expensive and time-consuming tasks of finding, hiring, training and onboarding new employees, you are free to focus on more of what you love about your company and business.
In addition, you won’t have the expense of a full-time salary and benefits that an in-house marketing or PR person (or team) requires.
3.) Greater Resources & Network
If you decide to hire an agency, they will most likely have much greater access to resources than your business. This includes tools, systems and people. Agencies usually work with many people and businesses and have the ability to make connections and partnerships for you as well. They also likely have access and subscriptions to the latest cutting-edge and expensive technology and marketing tools. The time and money you can save is a great benefit of working with a marketing agency.
4.) Fresh Perspective
It can be so nice to have a fresh perspective when you hire a marketing or PR agency. Since they do not work at your company or in your field of work, they are able to be more objective about what will work best for your brand. They are also more likely to hear about the newest up-and-coming marketing and PR strategies, which can be very helpful. Their job is to be creative, strategic and always think of new ideas for your team. It can be very easy to get stuck in the same routines in your job, but since they are probably working on many different accounts at a time, they are able to stay creative.
5.) Complement Your Existing Marketing Department
It can actually be very effective to hire a marketing agency even if you do have an in-house marketing team or specialist. Your in-house team will have more time to focus on the projects they excel at, and outsourcing the rest to an agency can help all-around.
Cons To Hiring A Marketing Agency
1.) Let Go Of Control
If you hire a quality marketing and PR agency this shouldn’t be an issue, but sometimes hiring someone else can feel a bit like letting go of control, especially if you care a lot about your organization. It can be scary to put your company in the hands of others. At Three Girls Media, we make sure to keep our clients involved as much as they would like to be throughout the whole process.
2.) Lack Of Industry Experience
Chances are, many people at an agency have never worked in your field before. That is why doing your research can be really important when choosing a marketing or PR firm. Look at the work they have done previously and their specialties to see if they fit well with your business.
Benefits Of Keeping Marketing & PR In-House
1.) A Deep Understanding Of The Brand
When you decide to hire an in-house marketing team or specialist, they will be completely immersed and invested in your brand. Even though a marketing agency will learn everything they can about your company, they won’t be quite as connected as someone on your actual team.
2.) Fast Response Time
An agency will most likely try to get back to you within 24 hours, but having someone on your team whose whole focus is on your brand will probably result in faster communication response times.
Cons To In-House Marketing
1.) Same Perspective And Routine
As we mentioned earlier in the pros of hiring an agency, outsourcing these services brings a new point of view onto the team. If you choose to employ an in-house marketing and PR team, you will lose this fresh perspective.
2.) Limited Skill Sets
While whoever you hire will most likely be very skilled at what they do, the one person you hire most likely will not have the varied skill set an entire agency brings. Additionally, some individuals may specialize in only one aspect of PR or marketing.
As we mentioned above, hiring an agency can be incredibly cost-effective because you will not have to spend the time and money to hire, train, onboard, provide continuous education, a full-time salary, benefits etc. for a new hire. With an internal marketing team you also will have to pay for the newest marketing tools and systems if you want to stay up to date. Overall, there can be a lot more cost and time involved for hiring in-house versus going the agency route.
As you can see, there are pros to both outsourcing marketing and PR by hiring an agency, or choosing to stay internal with your communications team. It really depends on your company and what fits best for you at the time. Even if you do end up going with an in-house marketing specialist or team, as your business continues to grow it can be incredibly helpful to complement your in-house team with an agency partnership. Some of our clients also have an in-person team that we help and provide marketing and PR services for.
Still Trying To Decide If A Marketing Agency Is Best For Your Company? Contact Us At Three Girls Media
It takes a specific skill set to create quality content for your brand. If you are looking to hire an agency, or are still unsure if it would be best for your organization, we offer a complimentary 30-minute, no-obligation consultation with our CEO, Erika Taylor Montgomery, where you can learn more about what we can specifically do to help market your company. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your marketing and PR goals.
Special Offer:Sign up for a complimentary consultation during July and receive a Social Media Management Guide valued at $475! We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO, and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs - no strings attached. Call 408-218-2391 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!