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Agency vs. in-house: the two sides of PR- By Rachel Demarco, PR/Marketing Manager, InsideOut PR

When I tell people I work in Public Relations the most common question I receive is “what is PR?” followed by “How did you get into that”? Both simple questions to answer for me because I love talking about my job and what lead me to where I am today. The question that begs a little more thought is “Do you like working in an agency?” and truth is…I LOVE IT!

I recently celebrated my first year here at InsideOut PR and I’ve thought more and more about that question recently – but for good reasons! Not only do we have an intelligent, funny and creative team – we have a great portfolio of clients too. Clients who range from all walks of life and teach us a little along the way.

So, why did I choose an agency vs. working in-house? Simple. I’m a people person, hence why I’m in PR, but more so I enjoy switching things up each day and jumping across tasks (I know, call me crazy). I don’t like to get too comfortable in a situation because I enjoy challenging myself – it’s the only way you continue to grow.

Below are a few reasons why I find it beneficial working agency side:

  1. You are forced to multitask – both physically and mentally, but creatively too: While working on one client you might be inspired with a great idea for another client, whether that be a collaboration opportunity or just a new perspective on an angle or pitch. Constantly shifting from sector to sector can be a resourceful creative process.
  2. You build contacts in every industry: While there will always be media contacts that you speak to more often, because they take the time to reply, and those that play ‘hard to get’ – it is nice to know that you’ve got the knowledge of who works where and who is best to pitch what to and when. Working client side can often put you in a box of a certain sector.
  3. It makes you more accepting: When working in-house you usually have the benefit of choosing the brand you work for. However in an agency you work across a spectrum and while you may initially think that a brand may not be your cup of tea, it is these brands that throw you outside of your comfort zone and give you the opportunity to grow and showcase your skills.
  4. It gives you wider knowledge and experience: I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon, but it’s comforting to know this will benefit me down the track. Each industry is so different and if you can show breadth of knowledge across sectors, you’ve got an up on someone who’s been working client side for years.
  5. The culture is so diverse: Working in multiple industries opens up a lot of opportunities for networking – you’re not stuck mingling with the same people at each event you go to. It’s a constant turnstile of new contacts who you can tap into in the future.

Check out Rachel’s advice on What to expect from your first full time PR role.