Both paths offer unique opportunities and challenges, so the key is to evaluate your own goals, preferences, and values to determine which environment will best suit the direction you want to go


Whether you’re a seasoned PR pro or a relative newcomer, one of the most significant career decisions you’ll face is whether to work for an agency or in-house. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but the right choice ultimately depends on your preferred style of working and personal career goals.


Choosing to work in a PR agency can be an exciting experience, where no two days are the same. Some of the pros of choosing an agency role include:

  1. Client diversity – PR agencies typically represent a wide variety of clients across multiple industries. This diversity ensures that you will be exposed to a range of different sectors, work styles, and new challenges that can be invaluable for career growth and resilience.
  2. Fast-paced environment – agency work is often very fast-paced and demanding, which is particularly exciting if you are the type of person who thrives under pressure. To succeed in a PR agency, you’ll need to constantly stay on top of news, keep an eye out for upcoming industry trends, and be adaptable to meet the ever-changing needs of your clients.
  3. Networking opportunities – PR agencies often participate in events and industry gatherings, which offer ample networking opportunities. Australia’s PR industry is relatively small, so putting in the effort to build a network of contacts is something that will continue to pay off well into the future
  4. Focus on skill development – the variety of clients and projects you’ll be asked to handle at an agency will help to accelerate your skill development. By working with a range of clients across a range of sectors, you are bound to quickly become proficient in media relations, event planning, social media, crisis management, and many more important communications skills without realising!
  5. High growth potential – agencies offer the chance for rapid career advancement. Because of the more fast-paced environment, you are more likely to be offered the opportunity to lead accounts, manage teams, and have input in shaping the agency’s strategic direction


Conversely, taking on an in-house PR role means that you’ll be able to focus all your attention on a single organisation, and really immerse yourself in the brand. 

  1. A deeper understanding of the brand working in-house allows you to immerse yourself in a singular brand to gain a more in-depth understanding of its values, culture, and goals. Having this deeper understanding can lead to more effective PR strategic thinking, as you are more aligned with the company’s vision
  2. Stability – in-house PR and communications roles often provide more stability than agency positions, as you’re not constantly juggling multiple clients and campaigns, or only working on one-off project contracts. 
  3. Better access to stakeholders – In-house marketers generally have greater access to key stakeholders meaning they have access to more information that can influence the direction of their campaign and a greater ability to communicate. They have access to the ‘big picture’ and can move more quickly and with greater agility when problems arise.
  4. Connection to company culture – You become an integral part of the company’s culture and decision-making process, which can be deeply rewarding if you align with the company’s mission and values.
  5. ​Chance to develop industry expertise – Working in-house means you have the chance to develop a deep level of expertise in a singular industry and carve out a specialisation that can position you as a leader in marketing for that sector.

So, which is the right choice?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the agency vs in-house question. Both paths offer unique opportunities and challenges, so the key is to evaluate your own goals, preferences, and values to determine which environment will best suit the direction you want to go with your career in PR.