In-House PR vs. Agency PR

agency vs. inhouse

I recent read an article by Ryan McShane via about the 4 myths about PR agencies.  McShane had some very good points.  Even though I’ve only interned virtually with different public relations agencies, I would like to talk about how starting out in-house has helped benefit my career.

  • Just as McShane stated, you must evaluate each job opportunity, whether in-house or agency, independently to see if which would be the best fit.  I’m from NC and there were not any agencies hiring at the time I was looking for full-time employment in public relations.  I was able to find an assistant position in-house, doing marketing and PR for a snack company.  There were so many things the company began to do to build brand awareness that I got to travel 3 weeks after graduation to Chicago for a trade show.  I love to travel and I was really excited not only to travel, but to meet and work with our sales representatives that do not live where our offices were headquartered.
  • After realizing my passion for PR, I’ve noticed that to work full-time in PR, companies wanted you to have so many years experience working in agencies.  That’s when I decided to look for part-time work at different PR agencies.  Because of my full-time job working in-house PR, I had to find something virtual that could fit around my schedule.  Since then, I’ve worked three different part-time virtual unpaid internships with different agencies all over the nation.  You must take initiative and show the hiring managers that you are serious about working in the industry.
  • McShane stated that agency experience was short-term.  This is not always the case.  I signed an internship agreement with my previous internship based out of Portland to work for three months.  I ended up loving the job so much, that I stayed another three months and would have stayed longer, had not my full-time job didn’t impede outside of my 9-5 business hours.  You must know when to say no and when to scale back while working an internship.  If it is starting to affect your school work or your full-time work, then adjustments must be made.
  • For me, starting out in-house doing PR has definitely helped my work that I do through my virtual internships.  Starting my career doing in-house PR has really helped me focus on what’s best for the brand, the company, and the product/service.  Exploring all avenues and choosing the best method for my company is what I do on a daily basis.  Now I can use that perspective when completing my work for my virtual internship, while working with the agency’s multiple clients.  It will definitely give you a leg-up when finally landed that agency position.

Where did your PR career start?  How has it benefited you since then?


Author: Cassandra Williams

Public relations and marketing professional. Subscribe to share my journey to fulfilling my dreams as a marketing and public relations professional.

4 thoughts on “In-House PR vs. Agency PR”

  1. Phenomenal and useful post here! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m set to graduate in about a year and am exploring my options; your post helps make sense of a lot of the questions I’ve been having. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad to know that I helped out in any way. Definitely explore all of your options and let me know if you have any other questions. I’d be happy to help if I can.

      1. Absolutely helpful! And so kind of you to offer help in the future! I appreciated the play-by-play of your decision making process and experience. Congrats on your success!

        This year I’m definitely working on networking and getting my online personal brand going at full steam… and in the meantime, I will be doing some “cold” applying to listings for summer internships. Preferably agency-side — I really like the idea of the intensity and breadth of experience. Cheers, Cassandra!

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