Outsourced vs. In-house Marketing

Posted by Albers Communications on April 17, 2018

You know those job alerts that LinkedIn and Indeed send every morning? All of us at Albers Communications get them, too. None of us are looking, but even if we were, they wouldn’t be a fit.

Often, they’re for jobs that we’re well-qualified to do, but the pay is not commensurate with our years of experience and expertise. Other times, we know we’d be great for one half of the job, and someone else on our team would nail the other half. And then there are the organizations that post the same job every six months or so. Clearly, they’re struggling to find a unicorn.

Perhaps that unicorn does exist, but it doesn’t take the form of an in-house employee. And that’s not what every organization needs – or can afford – in the first place.

Hiring an in-house person means budgeting for each of the following:

  • Salary: this can be anywhere from entry-level for someone just out of college to six figures for an experienced and well-rounded marketer
  • Benefits: according to the S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers can expect to pay the employee’s salary plus an additional 31.7 percent in health insurance, vacation time, etc.
  • Payroll taxes: including Social Security which is 6.2 percent and Medicare, which is 1.45 percent
  • Training costs: including initial and ongoing job training as well as compliance training for things such as Federal EEO Laws
  • Overhead: including office space, equipment, software and office supplies
  • Turnover: for employees earning a median salary of $45,000, the turnover cost is $15,000 per worker, according to Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report

By comparison, when you work with an agency, they’re responsible for all of the above, and you only pay for deliverables.

Another concern with hiring in-house is finding someone with the skill set you need. A PR person is not necessarily a writer is not necessarily someone with video production experience is not necessarily a strategist or project manager. A full-service agency will have experienced professionals in each of these roles, and more.

For businesses who are wary of making the leap to outsourcing some or all of their marketing, it often comes down to relationship. They want to be sure the agency understands their history and company culture, is responsive and can handle any situation that arises.

Just as organizations vet potential employees for these qualities – and as they enhance them over time — they can look for an agency with a proven track record of building a trusted and valued partnership with their clients. When this happens, an agency can provide the best of all possible worlds.

What Zucked this Week, and What Didn’t

Posted by Albers Communications on April 13, 2018


It’s Friday! And, no matter how intense your work week was, we’re willing to bet that Mark Zuckerberg had it harder.

Over the course of two days this week, Zuckerberg testified for 10 hours before the House and the Senate, answering 600 questions about whether there should be more regulations on his company (which would set the tone for social media in general), whether Facebook censors some content and how much damage to the American democratic process was done via Russia’s use of the social network.

Our team did a water cooler analysis of Zuckerberg’s testimony and, from a PR perspective, we thought he did pretty well.

  • He led with an apology and accepted accountability
  • He was well-prepared
  • He stuck to his talking points
  • He dressed the part (For some, the biggest shocker of the entire two days was that he abandoned his trademark hoodie for what NYT fashion critic Vanessa Friedman calls an “I’m sorry” suit).

Zuckerberg did one other thing from the crisis communications playbook that had more mixed results. He said that he would have to get back to the lawmakers on more than 20 different questions.

This is a million times better than a “no comment” response, and it’s something we advise our clients to do if they are unable to satisfactorily respond to a reporter’s question in the moment. But in the case of Zuckerberg, it’s unlikely (and irresponsible) that he’d be unable to answer such questions as the number of fake accounts that the social network has removed, or whether any of his employees ever worked with Cambridge Analytica to assist the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election.

As the founder and CEO of Facebook, the buck stops with Zuckerberg, and we believe it was a tactical error for an executive whose integrity is already generally perceived as a bit…flexible to appear disingenuous in front of a Congressional hearing.

Zuckerberg probably won’t be significantly damaged by this (after all, he handled a lot of it well). And, although the company’s stock has dipped about 15 percent since the Cambridge Analytica bombshell, Facebook isn’t going anywhere soon either. But it is a good reminder that Zuckerberg is no longer a whiz kid but a powerful CEO that must be held accountable for his company, and that social media companies also need to enter a new phase of accountability and good digital citizenship.


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