Agency PR vs Freelance PR: The Big Debate

Choosing to invest in a good PR team for your brand is an important step to getting it ‘out there’ and in turn, making it a success. With little or no PR spend, it is unlikely that a brand will have consistent messaging, reputation or gain enough traction in the industry to be noticed.

So, you’ve made the first step, but with what seems like thousands of PR options out there, the question of who remains. From in house PR and freelance to agency PR, the options seem endless. In reality, both have their merits but the most important things to keep in mind when choosing the right path for your brand are your objectives and exactly what tools you need to achieve them. We have outlined a selection of important considerations to deliberate when appointing a PR team or individual for your business:

  • Experience and Niche
    It is important when appointing a PR to look at their respective experience and industries that they work in. Perhaps they have a niche? This is always a good first step as it is likely that they will not only have a strong little black book of contacts, but the RIGHT contacts for your business.  In a specific niche you will find that the agency not only knows your industry inside out but are deeply passionate about it.

    Ask for case studies and examples of work and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good agency of PR professional will work with you to make sure that their proposal fits your timeline, objectives and budget.

  • Accountability & Results
    On receiving the PR Proposals from your potential PR agencies you will most likely be introduced to the team who will be looking after your account. Often an Account Director, Account Manager and Account Executive will be working with you to develop and execute your PR strategy, with support from the wider team. The Account Director will be your main point of contact who will provide you with activities, updates, monthly reports and more importantly, results. Set KPIs are agreed with you before a campaign and it is the agencies responsibility and service to you to reach them.
  • Cost
    While price shouldn’t be your top consideration when appointing a PR for your business, value for money is still important in this investment. It is no secret that PR fees can vary greatly from freelance to agency. Although freelance PRs tend to be less expensive it is key to remember that when investing in an agency you are investing in a team with a varied and strong skill set. In the decision process, it is imperative that your respective PR representative has an open and honest conversation with you on exactly what PR they can achieve for your budget.
  • The Entire PR Package
    For a one-off project or short term campaign, many businesses decide to work with a freelancer which can have many benefits. However, when it comes to an entire PR strategy, it is often better managed by an agency or team. For example, if your businesses grows and the PR strategy needs to ramp up the gears, it will be too much for one person. This means that you may need to increase your freelancer pool and therefore leave you managing multiple PR individuals, different agendas and varying schedules. A PR team (agency or in house) can manage your entire strategy of PR activities, helping to build your brand quickly, successfully and in the most cost effective way.

Whatever PR path you decide to lead your brand down, keep in mind your overall objectives and be honest about them. Look for passion, knowledge and a proven track record while making sure that it is a personality fit – you are going to work closely with this team and often outside agencies become very much an in house team!