When looking at your PR services, how you share your story and what your customers know about you, very often you will find that there is a desperate need to step up your activity.

But what does that look like – PR agency or in-house team? First, you need to fully understand everything there is to know about public relations and how it can help your business. Forbes explains: “PR can be used to protect, enhance or build reputations through the media, social media, or self-produced communications.”

While there are clear advantages to both hiring in-house or seeking the help of an agency, understanding what is right for you and your business is key to helping you make the right choice.

The whole package
Agencies are formed of dedicated PR professionals with a range of complementary skillsets. You’d be hard pushed to find an individual who had in-depth marketing experience, an encyclopaedic knowledge of social media, a flair for photography, amazing animation skills and a way with the written word to fill every gap in your marketing plan.

Usually with just one account manager, you have access to decades of experience and innovation that would be impossible for one individual to possess.

In-depth knowledge
Let’s face it, PR services a rather niche area, and if you’re not living and breathing them every day, it can be a bit of an uphill battle. It’s the role of a PR agency to ensure they are up-to-date with all the industry news and latest developments.

While an in-house team member is able to spend a huge amount of time really researching, comparing and bartering for opportunities specifically in your industry, with a mix of clients agencies have a more rounded business awareness; working across a range of industries giving an ability to see the way the landscape as a whole is operating.

Staying on track
As much as you try to avoid it, if you’re a small team, it can be a case of all hands on deck should the unexpected happen. Absence in the sales department? New website need creating? There’s always something someone else could be doing – even if that person’s job is solely marketing.

Agencies can offer focused attention purely on you and your marketing – they will not be distracted by whatever else is going on in your business, unless it could be a great opportunity of course!

Always on their toes
Like it or not, employees can get comfortable, and that leads to complacency. Agencies know that they are only as good as their last project, so it’s vital it’s is right not just first time, but every time. The world is constantly changing, and it’s true that we must adapt or get left behind. For example, 80 per cent of PR professionals and marketers believe the future is digital storytelling. 10 or even five years ago, it was a different matter.

But you don’t just want a ‘yes man’. Agencies have the power to be much more objective; being separate from the hierarchy of your business means you can talk to them frankly, with no risk of it being discussed round the water cooler the next day.

Safety in numbers
So, you’re just about to launch your career defining product, and your PR person has gone off sick. Or you’re facing a major crisis, and they’re off on their two-week annual break. With no phone signal.

At an agency, there’s always someone to take the reins. Working in teams, means every cog can work round sickness and holidays, while continuing to give your brand machine in tip top shape and providing the first class service you’re used to.

Working as a team also helps get creative juices flowing. There’s nothing worse than a creative with ‘writers’ block’ panicking ten minutes before a meeting – exactly what can happen to a marketing exec who spends their days in an office on their own all day.

As they say – more heads are better than one!

The bigger picture
With experience across a range of sectors, agencies know what works – and what doesn’t – bringing a tried-and-tested approach to your brand and wider strategy, something that can often get lost in the reactive world of in-house PR. It’s vital to keep an eye on where you’re going, not just where you have been, and we always keep your wider communications strategy in mind.

We hope that you’ve found this blog helpful, and that it shines some light on what’s best for your own business. If you have decided that outsourcing a PR agency is the best decision for your firm, check out Harvey & Hugo. Based in Darlington, they’ve been helping businesses in a variety of sectors and across the country since 2009.