OK, so the headline is a little misleading perhaps. Rather than ‘Do you need a Manchester PR agency?’, it could simply ask ‘Do you need a PR agency?’ Regions aside, though, are you clear on how to decide if the answer is ‘Yes’ or ‘No’?
It’s a question brands have been asking for a long time. Public relations is one of the more mysterious sides of media work, its aims and goals being tangible but the act of achieving those aims and goals is often discreet.
Nevertheless, as we explained in a recent post, more and more executives are becoming convinced as to the value and importance of PR. But does this mean their company needs a PR agency?
Forbes published an article earlier this year containing a list of questions suggested by members of the Forbes Agency Council. These questions are apparently what every brand should be asking before deciding whether to enlist the help of a PR agency, rather than taking responsibility for themselves.
At the risk of regurgitating, some of the most important questions are:
Do current members of staff have skillsets and resources suited to PR?
Can you afford, and are you willing, to invest in ongoing staff development?
Could you afford to hire specialist talent on a full-time basis?
Can an in-house hire remain authentic and consistent?
Where is your staff’s time and talent best spent?
We have previously blogged on the main differences between using a PR agency and in-house team, so if you read that post you should already understand the choice comes down time, resources and experience. The questions above reiterate this.
Just as no intern should be left in charge of a brand’s social media channels— once amongst the most widespread mistakes made by less digitally-minded companies— there can be no legitimising cutting corners when it comes to comms roles like PR and marketing. You’re better off investing nothing than do approaching these tasks in a rushed, ill-thought and poorly executed manner.
But this poses another quandary. Is a PR agency more suited to working with a small brand, or major company? The evidence seems pretty inconclusive— if a large firm has spending power it also has hiring power and the capacity to establish its own in-house public relations team; so why are more and more major companies looking to contract an external PR agency?
Overall it really comes down to comfortability, which ties into another question from the Forbes list…
Whom do you trust?
Whether looking to outsource or expand staff numbers, it really comes down to who fills you with more faith and confidence, an agency or a member of full-time staff. And the only way to be sure of that is by putting the feelers out to see what the potential candidates for each are like.