Cloud technology gets a lot of deserving recognition for equipping organizations with a modern IT infrastructure at a fraction of the time and upfront cost it would require to build one in-house. In an interesting paradox, the value of hiring a public relations agency is less perceived, even though the benefits are much the same—professional expertise and tools (and not to mention, valuable media relationships) all at the ready, priced at a pay-only-for-what-you-use basis. Yet PR agencies are often asked, “Why should I hire you instead of adding a full time employee?”
As it happens, there’s a quantifiable difference. While there’s no doubt that a full-time, senior-level or even junior employee can bring value to an organization, there’s a decided limit—in experience, media relationships and hours in the week. By contrast, a public relations agency like Amendola typically assigns a team of five people to each client account. On average, each team member has 15+ years of experience in one or more niches such as account management, strategic counsel, crisis communications, social media, media relations, content development and more—all of which won’t necessarily cost more than bringing on a single full-time employee. In addition, when employees call in sick or go on vacation, you may be caught short. Not so with an agency team behind you, where PR activities are constantly covered.
Hiring the PR agency brain trust
One of the most compelling reasons to hire an agency like Amendola is that our employees come from a variety of backgrounds, giving our clients access to broad expertise. Some of us hail from agencies, while others are former TV, newspaper and radio reporters. Others come from the client side, including provider and payer organizations, healthcare IT companies and industry trade associations. What this means for Amendola’s clients is that instead of having one person with some degree of knowledge in multiple areas, they can put multiple experts to work in many different areas.
For example, a client that’s been focused on the provider side may at some point want to enter the pharmaceutical space. That’s no problem at Amendola, where we can quickly add strategists—or writers, social media or media relations experts–deeply versed in life sciences to the existing client team. We even have market intelligence researchers who can uncover valuable information about newly targeted spaces. When it comes to gaining insight and a foothold on new markets, the power of an experienced PR agency works faster than just one or two insulated employees.
Strategy driven by business goals instead of personal comfort levels
Speaking of the in-house bubble, very often whoever drives public relations and marketing in these departments makes decisions based on their own expertise, comfort and convenience. This isn’t a criticism so much as the natural propensity of humans to do what they do best—even if it’s not necessarily best for the company’s business objectives. And so, these professionals end up spending all of their time/energy/budget on their favorite or most familiar strategies, and neglect other often important areas.
At Amendola, we offer expertise in all areas of marketing communications, branding, PR and content, which no single person can possibly provide. This enables us to determine and deploy strategies that are most likely to meet our client’s business goals. If that includes social media, we’ll assign a social media expert to the account. If brand awareness, we’ll bring in a well-connected media relations. We will customize our services to meet your business objectives.
The rewards of resource sharing
You might be skeptical that all this access to public relations expertise really can be had without investing in a sizable in-house department. But as a PR agency that works with many different clients, Amendola is able to spread the business costs across this extensive client portfolio—another commonality with cloud services vendors that spread the cost of infrastructure across multiple accounts, sparing any single customer from having to shoulder the entire cost. While we offer a full range of services, including some that are a la carte, the majority of our clients have monthly retainer agreements in place that are comparable to the monthly payroll of a single employee, minus the costs of training and other in-house employment expenses, such as health insurance.
Again, these clients benefit from the experience already gained by our work for others; very rarely do we encounter a completely unfamiliar topic in the realm of healthcare or healthcare IT. And when we learn something new, all of our clients benefit sooner or later. That’s the power of “public relations-as-a-service”…it brings top-tier public relations services to all.