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Should you hire an employee or go with a PR firm?

By Lisa Goldsberry

24380287_sCrunch the numbers and figure out what’s best for your company

When it comes to PR work, you have a big decision to make. You could hire one or two PR professionals to work in-house or utilize the services of a PR firm.

The choice you make could have a huge impact on your company’s visibility and profitability for years to come. Once you’ve done your homework and crunched the numbers, you may find that a PR firm will serve you better in the long run.

What you’re really getting from a full-time, in-house employee


When you hire a full-time employee, it costs. It costs a lot. You are paying for:

  • vacation/sick time

  • benefits

  • taxes

  • insurance

  • training

  • recruiting

  • unproductive time (bathroom breaks, office gossip, water cooler talk, personal calls, text and social media use)

With an employee, you typically get someone who knows a little about PR. However, as we all know, PR work requires a wide-ranging skill set. For example, crisis communication, media relations, reputation management and community engagement all fall under the PR umbrella. You may also expect your PR representative to handle social media campaigns and special projects such as videos and special events.

You can also experience transition issues. For instance, if you hire an employee who doesn’t work out (fire, quit, etc.), you lose that person’s body of knowledge, contacts, efforts and relationships.

The benefits of a PR firm

When you hire a PR firm, you pay for their PR work and only their work. You don’t have to pay for vacation, training, or any unproductive time.

A PR firm delivers a team of sharp individual experts, not someone who knows a few things about PR. Therefore, you get a bench of PR experts. This means that there’s a wide variety of PR expertise to handle any situation.

You get the benefits of their many combined years of knowledge, providing countless creative ideas and solutions. These people are actively providing a variety of PR services and a community of professionals sharpening and challenging each other.

In addition, you don’t risk making a bad W-2 employee hire. PR firms can seamlessly adjust assigned staff to ensure that those working on your account are a good fit with your organization.

Perhaps just as importantly, there is no lag time if a professional leaves the PR firm. Since a firm has a team’s worth of expertise, it can easily make that transition. A good PR firm continues without missing a beat.

Think of it this way: Who would be the better accountant? Would it be the accountant in a department of one company (a company employee) or the accountant working with a team (an outsourced CPA firm)? What would happen if the company employee left? Your organization would be at a disadvantage, scrambling to find someone to manage that employee’s duties.

Choose wisely

Bill Gates once said, “Companies should focus on their core competencies and outsource everything else.” In other words, your company should concentrate on providing a great product with stellar customer service and hand off the rest to others with specific training in that field. This way, you can devote your time to growing your business.

Do the math; numbers don’t lie. Contact Axia Public Relations today or use our convenient pricing calculator to learn why it can be less expensive and better for your company to outsource.

Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.

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Topics: public relations

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