Public Relations : ¿inhouse or outsource?

August 8, 2007 at 3:13 am 3 comments

People working in Public Relations and Strategic Communications, have to work close with media around the world. I, as part of the media, have to work close with them and usually this is something that might sound simple, but unfortunately not always is. The current business model of most companies is using local outsourced agencies for their communications in each region around the world, although this is not always the best way to do it. PR Agencies usually have really young journalist with weak or no experience on their area, and what it´s worst that usually don´t have enough knowledge on products or they way online media works.

¿How important is a PR department? I´ll tell you with an experience we had last week. A PR Agency invited me to a new launch, I told them I was too busy to go, but if they could lend me the product I could manage to go. They told me they had several samples, and I told them I wanted the first one. They accepted, unfortunately three days later I knew by other people that the samples where already lent and I didn´t receive one. So I had two options, one was sending a really harsh email to the company for which this agency worked for, the problem was I knew what would happen in that case, they girl in charge of the samples who made the mistake would had big problems in her job. The second option was just sending a harsh personal email to the girl in charge. I chose the latter, why? Because it´s probably her first job, because it seems that the mistake – although she was responsible about it – was not completely hers, and because sending an email to the company wouldn´t fix things up at all. What we did was getting a sample from another place and writing an objective article about the product. The product was impressive so the article turned fine for them.

Now that´s just me, other people would have taken the first choice, and I respect it. Other amateur people would have flamed the product in their review. Or worst, some of them would have stopped working with their company, closing a window to potential customers. The mistake was very stupid, the result probably not, if the company had inhouse professional people, with enough experience to handle media, this wouldn´t have happened. I´m sure the company pays a lot of dough to the agency to do their work, but I´m even more sure that the agency doesn´t spend enough to do a proper job. Your customers are important, media gets to you clients, PR guys get to media, if you screw with the media, you are screwing with your customers, and not one, not a hundred, in my case thousands that reads us everyday.

If I was the CEO of a technology related company I would buy a media contact list, skip the firewall and have an inhouse PR Agency, I think that would be bucks well spent.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Moksh Juneja  |  August 11, 2007 at 9:57 am

    I love the brilliant idea of buying the media list and having a inhouse PR agency.

    I think it should be developing the media list rather than buying it and the end of the day, it is more to do with the relations with the media and how updated the individual is about them.

    It is not just about the media list, it should include a profiles, interests as well, then it is worth buying.

    http://mokshjuneja.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • 2. franciscodiez  |  August 11, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Sure, maybe better than buying a media list, is building your media list and having people follow that websites/newspapers/magazines/tv shows, so you can be sure they are doing a respectful work and having enough traffic.

    Reply
  • 3. Cristian  |  August 14, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Another option is recommend a good PR firm to the business that is doing wrong (both will appreciate, the business and the good PR agency).

    By the way, I don’t use a list, but I do my homework understanding that the one who pay my bills isn’t my only costumer and I need to keep all my costumers very happy, doing my best effor and taking advantage of my relationship with media and companies (that’s why its call public relations I think)…

    Reply

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