For a few weeks now I’ve been thinking to myself: “At what point does an agency PR go in-house?” Like most of my articles, I found my inspiration whilst relaxing in a very nice little boozer. I was talking to a chap over a few halves when he revealed to me that he had been working in-house for ten years. That means his first job fresh out of university was to go straight into an in-house role.
It got me thinking, why didn’t I think about working in-house when I first started? I’ve always thought that in-house roles were for those who had had enough of the often frenetic agency environment, settled with kids and generally wanted a quieter life. Of course this is not true, in-house comms teams face just as much turbulence as their agency counterparts and, for some companies, it can be a daily battle to protect reputations. I also failed to consider the fact that junior jobs (like the ones I do for my agency) need to be done in-house too, so someone must be doing them.
So, over the last few weeks, I’ve been casting my mind back two years and thinking if I could choose a different route and go in-house, where would I go?
Firstly, I considered whether the company would be interesting enough to lose myself in, would it be a constantly shifting challenge and would it consistently have a high media profile. The list narrowed quite considerably. But anyway, here they are:
· Arsenal Football Club – I’m a big fan, so no explanation needed
· BBC – Arguably Britain’s most successful brand and one which would be a never-ending challenge
· MOD – With some of my clients, past and present, I have seen a fraction of the technology the MOD is developing and to think about what might be going on behind closed doors, it would certainly get me up in the morning
· The Mayor’s Office – Come on, any explanation needed? I wrote my dissertation on the devolved body and like to think I know it inside out. After nine years of quiet but steady consolidation, exciting times surely lay ahead.
And really, that is about it. With such a small list, I would really like to hear from people who have gone in-house at a junior level, why they did, what they like about it and if they would ever consider trading it all in and going to an agency.
I think there is a tendency from agency PRs to think in-house is the place to go once they’ve exhausted themselves, so now is your chance to prove them wrong!
The floor is open: