In-house vs. Agency

For the last couple of years things have changed radically. With all the issues in the economy it is now harder to find a job. Obviously, most professionals and recent graduated students looking for a job do not get to be selective with where they apply or what positions they accept. Even if things are difficult nowadays, people still have to find something that is proper for them. For those intending to get a job in Public Relations the first thing is to choose between an agency and working in-house for a company.

Today I attended PRCA careers day, where I listened interesting and useful points of view of both in-house PR and agency practitioners. Of course that they talked from their own personal experience and that things can happen differently for any one of us. I always say that it’s more useful for a graduated student to start working for an agency, that this is the best way to make your first important steps in this field.

Agencies offer a better diversity in the means of projects and clients. You will have the opportunity to work with more than one client at a time and also encounter different types of clients daily.

Speed is a key factor in agencies. Employees are forever switching between projects and clients. You will have to be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously and also keep your focus and mind organized so you won’t lose the main goal. Time management is at the essence here.

For the inexperienced in PR, agencies are a true gold mine in terms of learning opportunities.  Agencies will help you discover different public relations techniques, campaign elements and so on.

Clients come and go at a very rapid pace in agencies. This means that whenever you feel that you don’t have that much diversity on your side, a new client may arrive and offer a change in your specialisation, extending your array of knowledge.

If focusing on complete campaigns and overall strategies is what you want, then working in-house in a communications department is the place for you. Even though recommendations on a strategy may come from agencies, professionals who work in-house usually make the final decision when it comes to choosing a strategic direction.

Compared to agencies where diversity is the key, working in-house offers only one client. A wise choice is to choose a client which suits you, which arouses your personal interest and makes you enjoy your work. There will only be one chance, so make sure you have a passion for what the client offers.

In-house projects allow you to go into great detail with each campaign, managing it from start to finish, whereas in agencies you only touch certain aspects.

Unfortunately for the ones who like to change things a lot, working in-house is very repetitive. If you enjoy switching between tasks, then try working in agencies.



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