In-House or Agency?

This article posted on Mashable got me thinking: Is it better to have your own in-house social media team or hire an outside agency for their services? The same points made in the article apply to public relations services as well.

Some key points to take from the article:

  • PR and social media handled in-house is more efficient use of time since agency work requires additional time to “run things by” its clients.
  • A major benefit of outsourcing PR and social media to an agency is having a dedicated team that constantly stays on the cutting edge with the latest and greatest in the industry.
  • Costs. The cost of in-house PR/social media work is paid in time whereas the cost of hiring an agency is paid in dollars.
  • Agencies have other clients where they can pull experiences – what works and what doesn’t – for your benefit.

Another option is the “hybrid approach” – having an in-house person to run the accounts and answer questions on social media sites and use an agency (or a consultant) for “high-level social media strategy.”

In-house or agency? It would definitely have to be a case by case basis. A small business may benefit from hiring an agency to provide PR support. The PR results from the agency work may outweigh the costs. A larger company may benefit from the hybrid approach. By allowing an agency or consultant to assist with the strategic planning of their PR and/or social media goals and utilizing an internal, in-house team to carry out the plan, the larger company can benefit from the best of both worlds (the expertise of an agency along with the convenience and efficiency of an in-house crew).

What are your thoughts? Do you think the author of the article hit the mark?

Photo courtesy of jonathan.broderick on Flickr.

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