arrow17 Comments
  1. MrGareth
    Jul 24 - 9:44 am

    I have worked both in-house and agency side in both Australia and the UK. Much of what you say about the various contrasts is true. I think one aspect of both thats always worth considering is that when operating within an agency, you are a “rain maker” – you bring in revenue. Working as a PR in-house it is fair to say that you are always a “cost” on the business, not directly bringing in revenue in the same way that Sales does. This brings its own pressures but also its own rewards.

    • Deborah Musolff
      Jul 24 - 9:56 am

      Yes, great point, Gareth. Great to hear feedback from someone who has worked in both.

    • Sheena Thomson
      Jul 24 - 4:05 pm

      My observations are similar to Gareth. I have worked in-house and agency in a variety of UK and international markets, some mature, others maturing.

      For in-house, I would only add that sometimes your expertise is not always seen as such when you advise a course of action or campaign requirement etc. Consequently, several times I have briefed agencies on what is required, they pitch and then the penny drops, as agencies are seen more as the experts. For me, that has been my main frustration working in-house.
      For working agency side, it is a lot more interesting and challenging and the variety definitely keeps you on your toes and your intellect and creativity alive. The frustrations can be slow approvals, and of course, being seen as a service rather that adding value to the business, as has been previously mentioned.

      • Deborah Musolff
        Jul 25 - 9:12 am

        Hi Sheena, it’s interesting that you say that your previous organisation saw agencies as the experts in your previous role. I’ve recruited client side roles where they would only look at in-house talent because they felt that agency talent didn’t do enough execution. I informed the client that there are many agencies that are so thorough that they act as an in-house entity for each client. Interesting to hear this side from an in-house person – but sorry to hear that that was the case for you! Sounds like you’ve found your perfect fit now, though! :-)

  2. Julie W
    Jul 25 - 12:40 am

    As someone who has worked in both, I certainly felt that my work/life balance was much better in house, although that does always depend on the business. I am currently in an agency role and considering a move back in house, these insights were very useful.

    • Deborah Musolff
      Jul 25 - 9:13 am

      Thanks, Julie, best of luck with the decision and feel free to contact me if you want to bounce ideas around.

  3. Hasan Azim
    Jul 26 - 2:45 pm

    PR is “dull” with “little incentive and “less appreciation”, this is the general phenomena when you do discussion with the young professionals. Actually PR is a blend of Creativity and Passion with commitment. Unlike the conventional media, where results start coming in shortest span of the campaign. Just having media relations does not qualify you as a PR professional , and unfortunately this is the major dilemma you l see when you meet the senior level of any PR agency ,they need to be creative thinkers along with the adaptable mindset to deliver the best possible. I Have been in this field for 16 years now and trust me every day it’s a new learning , the ideal strategy is to have an extended PR wing within the agency so strategy ,creativity and media relations can be used simultaneously to achieve the PR results .

    In short PR is a game of Patience, thou slow outcome but promising prospect and Digital PR is the future.


    • Deborah Musolff
      Oct 02 - 4:19 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hasan. Cheers!

  4. Deborah,

    It really comes down to who you work with: colleagues, the nature of the business and the environment

    That can be heaven or hell whether you are in-house or agency

    I do think though in some ways there is more security in agency life and you can stick in agency or move in-house with more ease than an in-house PR if that is all they have done


    • Deborah Musolff
      Oct 02 - 4:17 pm

      Thanks for your contribution, Rob! That’s very true!

  5. Melanie
    Oct 04 - 9:49 pm

    Over the course of my career I have only ever worked in in-house PR roles. I guess my perception of agency work is that it is lower paid, has longer hours, and is very, very competitive.

    I think, however, I would enjoy the variety of projects it would bring. It does get a bit tedious strategising and writing about the same organisation and services over and over!

    Thanks for a great article!

  6. [...] also some research via informal chats with communication professions or reading articles such as PR professionals: What works better for you? Agency or in-house? will aid your decision-making [...]

  7. Jenna
    Feb 07 - 3:36 am

    This was just posted on Ragan in the U.S. and I have to say I can absolutely relate to this. Thank you for writing something that really struck me. I work in an agency setting right now and am feeling all of the things you state as reasons people want to get out of an agency. I’m pulling out my hair trying to find a new position fast because I’m so worn out and frustrated in my current position. My boss claims Corporate (in-house) is terrible and has worse hours than an agency but I have heard very differing opinions from people I know in those settings.

    Thanks for this article, I absolutely can relate and enjoy reading something that makes me feel more optimistic about my future!

  8. [...] So why on earth are these people so hard to find?  The answer is simply that people are leaving PR agencies and opting for other opportunities. [...]

  9. Very interesting topic! I wonder if things will change this year in Sydney because in Uk the picture is a bit different.

  10. [...] What does a PR professional do anyway? The 3 critical ingredients to succeeding in Marketing and Communications PR professionals: Adapt or die! PR agencies: Why your staff are leaving What makes a kick-ass Account Manager? PR professionals: What works better for you? Agency or in-house? [...]

  11. [...] also some research via informal chats with communication professions or reading articles such as PR professionals: What works better for you? Agency or in-house? will aid your decision-making [...]

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