The age-old question for any brand – should we try and make some noise about this ourselves, or is it worthwhile outsourcing PR to an agency?

Clearly, I’m going to be biased here, but in all honesty – DIYing is okaaayyyy…. But if you really want it to be strategic and drive results that move the dial – outsource, outsource, outsource!!!

Why, you ask?  After 20 years in the industry and having seen the good, bad and the ugly, here are my key reasons:

  1. Do I have the capabilities in-house?

If you have looked at your team’s capability and some people have shown flair and promise in this area here and there, it can be tempting.  However, PR is a skill that takes years to master. You might luck out once or twice, contact some media and get a couple of nibbles. But what we hear mostly is “oh yeah, I sent some information to journalists and didn’t hear back…” That’s more likely, unfortunately.

To craft a pitch and deliver interesting story angles that media will want to share with their audience, and directly links to the product or service you’re trying to promote, takes some real experience.

So, do your brand a favour and turn to the professionals who do this on a day to day basis, have the right contacts and can achieve the right outcomes.

We have also worked with clients who do have professional PR teams in-house but use agencies to complement the creativity and scale that’s required to achieve cut through, especially if they need to focus on other major projects.

  1. Do I have the right strategy?

When you’re hiring an agency, you’re hiring a team.  This means you don’t need to rely on one person with a bit of flair to formulate a media strategy. Instead, you have a number of people coming up with the direction and tactics, that are also backed by a tried and tested track record.

This means that you are essentially taking the guess work out of it, and guaranteeing a good result, or one that can be pivoted from if it’s not going the right way… again, because of the collective experience of a full PR team, you can do that. This is something you are unlikely to achieve internally, and it’s also when most brands give up because they think it just doesn’t work for them.  So wrong.

  1. Will my results be as strong?

Honestly, probably not. A solid PR program takes time to execute and do well. Time that your in-house person is unlikely to have, because it isn’t their core role. Often, they are ambitious and get pulled in on the project, but their day to day activities and required outcomes aren’t parked during this time. This means that the PR plan is ultimately likely to suffer.

The outsourced team you hire will be completely focussed on you as a client.  It’s their world and it’s what they do day in, day out. At Agent99 PR, we also set KPIs at the beginning of each campaign based on the client’s goals. So, if you are setting KPIs and your outsourced team is reporting to you regularly, you can guarantee that the results will be there.

  1. But won’t it cost the world?

It will cost you more in missed opportunities!!

That old adage of “you get what you pay for” truly applies in this case.  If you compromise someone’s role in-house by getting them to “do a bit of PR”, you are jeopordiisng the quality of their day to day work and you are also costing your brand coverage opportunities… which in turn mean less awareness, and less uptake of your product or service in the long run. It really does have a ripple effect.

Having said that, don’t believe the hype.  There are excellent boutique PR agencies (such as Agent99.. wink, wink… ha), who will charge very reasonable fees with excellent KPIs attached to them. It’s absolutely worth exploring and trailing.

  1. Where do I start if I do want to outsource?

So, if you have made the decision to explore outsourcing, I would recommend doing a good search for three agencies that you feel are a good fit with your brand. Look at their case studies, relevant experience and fees. Then create a brief (if you’re not sure how, please have a look at our blog here), and ask them to respond.

When it comes down to it, it’s also about the cultural fit, their experience and if you can see yourself partnering with them to achieve success.

If in doubt, please feel free to call Sharon at Agent99 on 09 97779 0999, and I would be delighted to assist.

Good luck with your campaign!

Agent Sharon