Corporate PR vs. Pr Firms

The opinions of whether corporate PR or PR firms are superior for a company are strong and loud coming from both sides. According to a time magazine cover claiming, “PR is dead” it’s easy to claim that corporate PR is dead because… “Almost all of the activities that fell under formerly large corporate PR departments have gravitated to PR firms and especially the press relations part”(O’Dwayer, 2013).  Where on the contrary those who are in favor of “In house PR” or PR corporations claim that the benefits are cost savings and many of the tasks that PR firms accomplish can easily be done “In house”.  This claim is refuted by leggio stating that “anyone who thinks a PR manager can do the work of a PR agency is either cheap, has never had a good PR firm, doesn’t really care, or some combination of all of the above” (Leggio, 2013). Its clear to see that there are strong opinions on both spectrums of this debate.

In order to settle this debate it is important to look at the advantages as well as the disadvantages to see whether Pr firms or Corporate PR are a better choice.  PR firms seem to be thriving immensely. “Fifteen of the 25 biggest PR firms, had double-digit gains in 2012 led by Edelman which grew 12.4% to $655 million” (O’Dwyer, 2013). Public Relations firms are a good choice for companies who are not equipped with the tools to accomplish what they need “in house”. Although, many companies that are just starting up with little to no budget may find it difficult to find the money to spend on a PR firm but depending on the company’s goals the budget may need to be stretched to include a PR firm. A benefit of hiring a PR agency is they come with pre build media relationships. This takes a lot of time and effort and is not an easy task. This also means that it will be easier and quicker to get the press that is desired.

A benefit of “in-house” PR is that “you” know your company the best whereas a PR firm would have to learn the company and therefore they would probably never really know the company as well. An additional advantage of in house PR is “No one cares as much as you do. When someone works for your company, they tend to take ownership of their work. In other words, they buy into what you are doing and it strikes an emotional chord with them. They care. Can you say the same for that agency guy? Maybe not”(Mickie).

Overall, the debate over corporate PR and PR firms comes down to the fact that it hardly matters who does the PR as long as it is done well. Some companies may benefit more from PR firms whereas some companies can satisfy their needs through in-house or corporate PR. The choice between corporate PR and PR firms depends on a few main factors. The factors consist of the goals of the company, the experience of the staff and the budget. In my opinion either option can be a good choice for a company when chosen with thought and the companies specific desires in mind.


Kennedy, Mickie. Should you hire a PR agency or Build an In house team? Retrieved from

O’Dwyer, Jack ( July 8, 2013). Corporate PR is Dead. Retrieved from

Conner, Cheryl ( June 3, 2013). What do Pr agencies do? Can you do it too?.Retrieved from

Leggio, Jennifer (May 13, 2013) In the PR agency Vs. In-house PR


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