5 Reasons Why a Business Benefits from an In-House PR Specialist
Alexander Storozhuk, a founder of the PRNEWS.IO online platform
We are in constant communication with various companies. They differ in scale,
market, location, number of employees, and assertiveness. But there always comes a
time when an owner or top manager wonders: Why does he need the full-time PR
specialist? Maybe they should rely on an agency?
This is most often the case when a business is young and fast-growing or the number of risk
factors increases dramatically. You are lucky if your company is large and you can
“compress” the staff. But things are worse in small organizations. In these companies, one
person is responsible for the PR business, so sometimes the management decides to give
up the full-time employee until things go better.
Some people shift PR duties to a marketer or – God forbid that! – an assistant manager.
Some people, on the partners’ or colleagues’ recommendation, use the services of an
outsourcing company. In the first case, there is no chance of success, and in the second
one, the company bears great risks and may get questionable results. I will explain why.
First: Fire in the eyes. During the years of my company’s work and communication with
customers, I have seen for myself that only those projects that were grown by experienced
and caring specialists become successful. Expertise and experience are required by default,
but it is the fire in the eyes and the healthy (only healthy!) willingness to “cheer” for one’s
project that will result in success.
Such a PR specialist is willing to take responsibility, will make prompt and just decisions. He
will build effective communication with the top management of his company and will act as a
third party between contractors and the management. An in-house specialist is always more
interested in the project outcome than an outsourcing employee since the professional
image, career prospects, and bonuses from the company are at stake.
Second: To each his own. The task assigned to a PR agency will not accomplish itself. It
needs to be supervised, employees need to negotiate it at different stages, take decisions
on behalf of the company, etc.
It is unlikely that the company executive will take on this role. Most often, it is delegated to
an employee who understands nothing in PR and for whom this business will be just one of
his many tasks. Since the PR specificity is hardly clear to the company manager, he will
agree with all offers of the agency. The result of this work will most likely be below average.
Third: The trick of the trade and the corporate secret. An in-house PR specialist is well
aware of his market, industry, and the company’s audience. If he has long been engaged in
this business, he knows a lot of “warm” contacts with the central and branch media, all
peculiarities of interaction with them, the features of editorial work, journalists’ requirements,
their nature and habits.
This experience applies to all the activities of the PR specialist in the company: he knows the
periods of market activity, is well in with the professional community, understands what he
can say and when he should keep silent.
Speaking of “keeping silent”. A full-time PR specialist is loyal to his company. And therefore,
knowing valuable strategic information and “fine points”, he unlikely will talk about them to
journalists, competitors, or a colleague during a Friday dinner.
For security’s sake, you will never tell the agency managers all the details of your business –
and that is right. And they, in turn, not knowing them, are unlikely to implement PR tasks by
Fourth: Focus on the company. The full-time PR specialist’s time and effort are focused
only on how to implement the tasks of his company. Unlike an agency manager or
freelancer, who simultaneously manage multiple customer projects.
Therefore, an in-house PR specialist will implement the projects quickly, efficiently, using
various tools (including those that the outsourcing party may not know about) and unusual
approaches. If an unforeseen event takes place, it is he who will respond and take the right
measures more quickly when time is particularly valuable.
Fifth: Expenses transparency. This is one of the most significant drawbacks of the
company’s interaction with a PR agency. Agency services are always several times more
expensive than in-house PR specialists’ services. That’s number one.
It is very difficult for a company representative to understand beautifully wrapped progress
reports, special terms, hyperlinks, and infographics without proper experience. That’s
Only a full-time PR specialist can assess the effectiveness of information inputs, the quality
(not the quantity!) of publications posted in the media, and the information monitoring
results. He helps his company not to waste funds, optimizes and justifies expenses, his
budget is as transparent as possible.
What Shall We Do?
As you can see, if a company tries to save on a full-time PR specialist, its reputation is at risk
and the vulnerability level increases. In my opinion, the gold standard for PR development in
the company should be as follows: there is an in-house PR specialist who enhances his
capabilities by an agency or freelancers.
He will keep abreast of the company’s information, monitor mentions in the media and
reputation background, implement current projects. He will not go off to go skiing all of a
sudden, leaving the project till another time, and he will be in touch at least for the whole
If there is a need for a large-scale event, the company specialist can contact a specialized
agency for help. If you are not going to hold large events, you can turn to freelancers such
as writers, designers, translators as the moment arises.
It is the formula of the in-house PR specialist + agency + freelancer that is becoming a
steady and reasonable trend for small and medium-sized companies. So it is worth
considering it and trying it out.