But I have a staff why do I need a PR or marketing agency?

Oct 2, 2019

We all have strengths and whether we admit it or not, we all have weaknesses. For one, I can’t seem to make a grilled cheese sandwich without burning at least one side. Lucky for me, there are people that not only cook grilled cheese to perfection, but they’ve done so well they’ve opened entire businesses to support this one simple menu item.

Outsourcing we all do it, nearly every day. I, for one, often “outsource” my cooking whether it be to family members or to nearby restaurants.

According to Dictionary.com, outsourcing is a verb meaning to purchase (goods) or subcontract (services) from an outside supplier or source. Unfortunately, the word “outsourcing” often sparks a negative connotation. In reality, it’s simply working with others to provide goods or services to enable one to focus on their own strengths.

The Benefits of an Agency

In 2017, the entire outsourcing market was worth $89 billion and has only grown since with both large and small companies outsourcing various components of their business. Frequently, companies choose to outsource all or pieces of their marketing and public relations efforts.

Some reasons companies may choose a marketing and PR agency include:

  1. It can be difficult to find the best talent, at a reasonable price. Hiring an agency that specializes in your field can afford you multiple experts at a lower cost.
  2. Faster Turnaround. With domain knowledge and available tools, a team of experts can produce results faster.
  3. Tools and Technology. An agency has access to the latest marketing and public relations tools and technology required to execute flawless campaigns with robust reporting.
  4. Staying Focused. This is especially true of smaller companies or high-growth companies. If information technology is your specialty, let your teams focus on internal development and support while outsourcing tasks that supplement your company objectives while allowing your team to stay focused on their initiatives.
  5. Last, but not least it is often more financially viable to outsource all or pieces of marketing and public relations rather than staff an entire team. Depending on a company’s size and growth trajectory, an internal marketing and PR team may consist of 1-2 or as many as 20+ internal employees.

Leaders must remember that it’s not an “all or nothing” scenario. If you have internal teams to handle most of the marketing and PR efforts, but you need the other 20%-40% managed externally, most agencies can fit your specific needs into a customized plan.

How to Decide

Even as a highly regarded marketing and public relations agency, we recognize that outsourcing these critical business needs is not for everyone. In a recent Forbes article, Jodi Amendola of Amendola Communications discusses the four criteria and questions to ask before choosing an “outsourced” marketing and PR agency.

The four most important questions include:

  1. Do you have clearly defined goals that you want your agency to achieve?
  2. Do you have someone that can act as your corporate liaison?
  3. Is your company’s culture accepting of new ideas and concepts?
  4. Are you okay with not being completely in control?

The last two are of particular importance. Whether you have an internal marketing staff already or will be relying solely on an agency, the culture of the company and willingness to accept an outside agency as part of your team is the key to success. The more you accept an agency as part of your team the easier it is for your employees and the agency to align with the business objectives and achieve goals.

In the most successful relationships, companies perceive their marketing and PR firms as an extension of their own teams. As with the existing marketing associates, agencies must also be held accountable for achieving defined goals and measured on their successes.

In summary, every company has its strengths and weaknesses. Josh Kaufmann, a famous business and entrepreneurship author, once said, “For everything we don’t like to do, there’s someone out there who’s really good, wants to do it and will enjoy it.” If you can find one of those, you’re ahead of the game.

Stacy State

Stacy State has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and product development roles within healthcare at large payers, health IT vendors, and start-up revenue cycle management organizations. Most recently, Stacy led all marketing for Advantum Health to include public relations, event planning, lead generation, brand awareness and content marketing. Prior to joining Advantum Health, Stacy held leadership roles at ZirMed (now Waystar) helping the company grow through three acquisitions, eventually leading to its acquisition by Navicure. Stacy also spent 10 years at Humana, where her last role was developing campaigns and content for closing gaps in care and improving STARS scores. Stacy holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky and a master's in business administration from Indiana University. Stacy is also a certified project management professional (PMP) and maintains her health and life insurance license.