ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
September 22, 2008

Agency v. In-house


I get asked by young professionals all the time, “What’s better, in-house or agency public relations?” The answer is both. There are pluses and minuses to every situation. And I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to be on both sides of the discussion. I like to focus on the pluses.

Currently on the agency side at Benedetto Communications, Inc., one of the things I really enjoy is working with and mentoring young professionals. The advice I typically give, and it was given to me by one of my favorite public relations professors back at San Diego State, Dr. Glen Broom, is to start your career at an agency, for at least two years. It’s the best place to learn because it’s fast paced, teaches you to manage many different projects and tasks simultaneously, and there are a variety of clients and industries you work with. So you get to figure out what you like and don’t like and what you are good at. And the variety of public relations strategies and tactics you develop and implement are much greater than when you are working for one company, in one specific industry sector.

The thing I really enjoyed about being in the in-house capacity was being part of the “inner circle.” I’ve been fortunate enough to work for organizations that understand and value the public relations function, and so they give it a seat at the executive table. In a situation like that, you are part of the process, not just implementing someone else’s direction and strategy. In the right situation, it can be very fulfilling. But without the agency experience in my background, I wouldn’t have been able to get that seat at the table, that’s for sure.

Check out our new blog at www.benedettopr.wordpress.com.

Greg Block, vice president, Benedetto Communications, Inc., is responsible for strategic planning, creative development and overall marketing and communications services for the firm’s public relations and public affairs clientele. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a public relations emphasis from San Diego State University. And he currently sits on the board of the Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego Chapter and the Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Infrastructure and Special Projects committee.

Join Block, along with Don Stanziano, APR, for Agency v. In-house on Tuesday, October 7, 2008, at 2 p.m. EDT!