The professional realm of PR can be split into two separate categories. One being “in-house” which means, services that are provided through an onsite organization, and the other is working for an 3rd party agency that is hired out. Preparing campaigns, managing clients and pitching ideas at meetings is all part of the public relations experience and your PR experience does not just happen overnight. This can take years of learning in the PR field on what to and not to do.
Both of these fields require extensive research, competitive attitudes, familiarity of the SWOT analysis and knowing how to write. When working for an agency, you are often balancing more than one account at time. This within itself can become exhausting and overwhelming. Keeping all your stories straight from each individual client can be extremely tiresome. In-house organizations can be a lot more convenient and can allow a sense of ease when working with your clients directly. The work-load may be different but it is still the same type of work. By working in-house you have access to your clients other departments. Being able to gather onsite information can help immensely.
Being onsite has its huge advantages too. You can immediately respond to any news sources because it is received in real time. You also have the ability to consult with your team mates, and how to handle a current situation before you proceed further. This is very helpful when performing client updates, writing news releases, social and media alerts or anything else that correlates to PR.
Making quick decisions in-house or when working for an agency will require to be swift, accurate and you will likely need multiple members in your team. This should make things easier to process and execute. Working in-house can also help to verify information before any news releases are sent out to the press. When working for an agency, you may be not have to worry about having your boss sign off before any news releases are sent out, although, this can also be damaging if it is not proofed beforehand.
Crisis situations are never good. Having to deal with a crisis on either side can be extremely intimidating and overwhelming. Working for an agency this can be more difficult than in-house, because you may not have the communication channels that you need open to you. In-house firms allow you to communication between your team members and divvy out the tasks that need to get done between your team members. When a disaster strikes, it is always better to be onsite than it is coming from an agency. This type of positioning is very important.
Both sides of agencies can have their benefits and it really depends on how you like to work. Some people would rather not be consistently bothered when working for an onsite company. On the other hand, some employees relish in the type of work. Either way, be prepared to handle the job professionally, and accordingly. This goes for either an agency or as an in-house organization.