A growing trend within American companies and organizations is to outsource a variety of services from accounting to public relations. According to a study done by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and the Council of Public Relations Firms, Fortune 500 companies now spend 25 percent of their public relations budgets on outside firms. PRWeek did a similar study and found that companies of all sizes spend an average of 40 percent of their public relations budget on the services of outside firms.
Companies turn to outsourcing for different reasons. The most common reasons are to bring resources and expertise into the company that cannot be found internally and to supplement internal staffs during peak periods of activity. Not only do companies hire outside public relations firms, but they hire more than one so that they can pick and choose the best agency for a particular situation.
If this trend continues, there may not be a need for internal public relations staff. Why would companies spend insufficient budget money on a staff when they can just hire pr when they need it? If internal pr becomes obsolete, more public relations entrepreneurs will have a chance to create and grow a business. What’s wrong with a little competition? We claim to be a capitalist country anyway.
Candace N. Johnson