. The Transom .

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lease vs. Buy -- Agency vs. Internal

We work with a client who is in the business of leasing IT equipment. They are, and I'm not playing favorites, easily the best in the industry. I was recently studying their position on lease vs. buy and it occurred to me that the same concept applies to communications and human capital.

A company has the option to either handle their communications with internal staff or hire an external agency (for reasons of simplicity we won't go into the companies that do both). Excluding a few exceptions, I'm in the lease camp on this one. Think about it.

Hiring (leasing) an agency's human capital (strategy and creativity) keeps things fresh. It offers an outsider's perspective with strategic and tactical expertise. You can update your equipment (change team members, scope of work) as you wish or as needed. You gain the power of flexibility (drawing on the resources of the entire agency).

By keeping your communications internal, you run the risk of thought becoming stale, creativity being squashed because of responses like "we've never done that before," and if your people don't work out, it's expensive and time consuming to replace them. In addition, your team is all you have. You can't draw on an entire group of expertise for assistance.

As businesses ebb and flow between being all things to all people and focusing on core competencies one thing remains the same: their need to communicate with their stakeholders. Agencies have been through it and seen it all and are in the best position to successfully accomplish your communications objectives.

2 Comments:

  • Rob, these are interesting thoughts, they must be 'cause you are generating a response from me.

    I started my young career with an agency, most of the time it felt like a sweat shop more than creative think-tank for our corporate clients. Now I am with a Fortune 1000 company and we utilize agency support on a project by project basis. Our goal is to gain perspective from our PR firm, in other words, that their work in multiple industries will help us think and create the best of the best.

    John

    By Blogger JKirkwood, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 2:12:00 PM  

  • Always nice when an agency helps you think.

    By Blogger Rob Amberg, at Friday, June 02, 2006 8:00:00 AM  

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