Survey: PR moving in-house at many organizations

As corporate entities seek to maximize content control and minimize spending, they’re ditching outside guidance. Agencies with niche specializations appear likeliest to survive the trend.

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Tightening budgets and greater control over content are key reasons why organizations are bringing PR efforts in-house.

The trend, documented in the 2019 JOTW Communications Survey (conducted in partnership with Ned Lundquist), mirrors patterns seen in marketing for the last several years, as CMOs have slashed agencies in favor of in-house teams.

Some 47 percent of respondents said they’ve observed more PR work being taken in-house, according to this year’s survey of 223 communications and PR professionals. Sixty-eight percent of respondents report holding in-house communication roles, and 90 percent have 10 years or more experience in the industry.

The PR community has heard inklings of in-housing anecdotally; Richard Edelman recently cited it as a cause following disappointing earnings for the year ending 2018.

According to the survey, the top five reasons for hiring an agency are:

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