Agency vs. In-house: What’s the Difference? 

By: Jane Parry, Meimei Tannehill, Alexa Abramovitch, Kobie Parrish, Kate Harrison, Caitlin Leib, Zoe Fields, Emma Brodbar, Grady Libertini, Isa Renteria, Lucas Tan

Entering the world of public relations can often be overwhelming. With so many career paths, how do you know where to start? Often the first decision you’ll have to make is between agency and in-house public relations. Don’t know the difference? We’ve got you covered.

What are they?

PR agencies, also called PR firms or boutiques, provide service to a number of clients. They are always shifting gears when juggling projects for different clients.

In-house PR, also known as corporate PR, is a public relations team within an organization. In-house PR works exclusively on projects for their corporation in alignment with their mission. In other words, in-house PR employees only work on projects for one organization.

Number of Clients 

Since in-house public relations works with one client, it is essential to learn their brand needs. An agency will be independently working with a range of different clients which may periodically change according to different companies’ public relations needs. While an agency will be working with multiple clients, this also means that their attention shifts from client to client based on project priorities. In-house public relations, on the other hand, are able to deeply develop plans for the one company’s products and services.

Daily Tasks

Those who work in agency public relations will quickly find that their daily tasks vary as a result of working with a multitude of clients, while in-house PR professionals will focus on the organization that they are employed by. 

With in-house PR you will find many familiar faces as you’ll be often interacting with the same employees and executives. There is typically more stability and predictability with in-house PR compared to the often sporadic routine that agency PR deals with. In the world of public relations, some may prefer the reliable, consistent work that in-house PR provides while others might find that they enjoy the fast-paced, changing environment that agency PR is known for.


While both agency and in-house PR have their pros and cons, when choosing which to work for it all comes down to personal preference. If you like a fast-paced and constantly changing work schedule, agency work might be the best fit for you. If you prefer to be deeply connected to the work you produce, in-house PR would suit you. Regardless of which kind of organization you might work for, you will be producing important work!

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