Freelance vs. Agency PR
26th September 2018
So, you’ve made the decision to invest in PR for your business, but you’re torn between whether to hire a freelancer or an agency. While we could sit here and tell you the agency route comes up trumps every time, the truth is both have their pros and cons depending on what you’re wanting to achieve. To help make your choice easier we’ve put together a list of reasons why you might choose one over the other.
1. The power of a team
Depending on the size of your business and the scale of PR campaign you’re after, an agency will dedicate a team ranging in expertise and seniority to get the job done. This means more brains, more ideas and the benefit of peer review which means no content reaches you without undergoing a process of editing and refinement first. PR has evolved into so much more than media relations, it now encompasses everything from strategy, through to writing content for print, online and social media. A team will typically be made up of people with individual expertise and strengths in these areas meaning you’re getting much more than a press office. It also means there’s always someone there to answer your calls, emails and incoming media enquiries, even if one team member is on annual leave or called away for an emergency. While freelancers will always do their best to be at your beck and call, there’s only so much one person can do!
2. The price tag
There’s a common misconception that agencies will tie you in to an expensive retainer fee that rolls over each month, regardless of the results achieved or the level of activity over that period. While monthly retainers are a great option if you are looking to sustain a level of PR activity, create momentum and awareness for your brand and achieve longer term results, there are other options available. Most agencies, like us, will give you the option to work more flexibly, for example allocating a set project budget, where the cost of a campaign is agreed up front and once the campaign is complete, activity ceases. This is a better option if you want to create noise around a specific event, product launch, milestone or announcement that has a limited timeframe. Freelancers are likely to offer you a cheaper rate and are an option if you’re looking for a lower volume of activity, but they can be limited in their ability to deliver larger scale campaigns.
3. Access to resources
Agencies have the benefit of scale which means they can invest in a greater depth of support services, such as extensive media databases, latest software and analytics. By having access to this technology, it allows agencies to perform tasks such as sell ins and reporting in a more in-depth and strategic manner.
4. It’s all about relationships
Many freelancers have worked in an agency at some point in their careers and have built up valuable relationships with editors and journalists along the way. But again, their contacts book only extends as far their individual experience and sector specialisms. The benefit of a team, means lots of contacts and relationships, increasing the likelihood of gaining good coverage for your business and campaign. Nowadays, newsrooms are battling with a high staff turnover meaning journalists often chop and change rounds and publications. Agencies are better able to keep on top of these changes given the number of times they’re contacting media for their various clients. And while having good media relationships is one thing, influencer relationships are equally as important in today’s PR industry with the rise of social media and digital marketing. Agencies are likely to have up to date databases of popular and reliable influencers who can endorse your brand.
If you’d like any more information on how we can deliver a PR campaign to match your needs and budget, get in touch with us today.