In-House Communications Teams: Cost Effective or Costly?

Many schools and trusts employ in-house teams to produce their communications, but is that the right decision? Here, Eduprise investigates if employing internal departments is the best solution.

Communication is, and always has been, an important part of any successful school or trust. It helps them engage parents, improve their reputation, and take control when issues arise. As a result, the ability to quickly turn out high-quality communications is extremely valuable to any school leadership team.

To make this possible, many schools and MATs look to hire internal communications or marketing teams. But is this always the right approach?

To help you decide what’s right for your school or trust, we’ve investigated the pros and cons of hiring an in-house team.

The Pros

High-quality communications require expertise and resources. The biggest benefit of hiring an in-house communications team is that, as long as you hire well, they will be able to produce better results than unspecialised staff.

An in-house marketing team would also have direct access to the positive, reputation-building stories that your school or trust should be turning into engaging content, and they’re ideally situated to develop relationships with teaching staff, which leads to effective collaboration and successful campaigns.

Having oversight over the work of your departments is important, and in-house teams can be directly managed by school leaders. This can help you ensure the standards you are met by your marketing team and increase your influence on communications strategy.

The Cons

Hiring a dedicated, full-time communications team is expensive. Even a single professional will cost you the equivalent of a fully qualified teacher. For a marketing department to be effective across a range of channels and mediums, several employees are necessary. This means the annual price of a communications department can easily reach six figures.

Considering that your demand for communications will fluctuate throughout the year, paying salaries to a full-time team that may sometimes find itself with nothing to do isn’t cost effective. In contrast, if you outsource to an on-demand agency such as Eduprise, you only pay for the work that you need.

As you will know, managing a school is a complex task. Most schools follow well-established workflows designed to fit the capabilities of their staff and the priorities of the school. Introducing a new department can put additional demands on you, your leadership team, and your staff by disrupting the workflows already in place, which can have damaging and costly consequences. By outsourcing to an agency, the responsibility, cost, and headache of managing a whole new department is taken off your shoulders.

The close proximity of a communications team to your school can have its benefits. However, there are also significant positives that accompany the degree of separation afforded to an external agency. At Eduprise, we’ve experienced these benefits first-hand, as we’ve acted effectively during crises and implemented successful long-term strategies based on communications best practice, not a school’s perspective or internal pressure.

Being outside of your organisation will allow our team to focus solely on producing targeted communications that achieve the best results for your school.

As for finding the right people for your in-house team, do you have the capacity to focus on recruiting even more staff? And what if the candidates you hire don’t deliver as expected? In searching for a specialised external agency, you can review portfolios, case studies, and testimonials that verify the quality of their work, making your decision far less risky and removing the pain of additional recruitment work.

What's Right for You?

A good internal communications team is definitely a better option than asking your teaching staff to pick up the slack. However, hiring a full team of experienced staff is both expensive and risky, and also increases the workload of your senior leaders, recruitment team, and HR department.

In contrast, hiring an external agency like Eduprise is more cost effective; guarantees quality, goal-driven output; and reduces your workload, rather than increasing it.

The Eduprise team produces professional communications for schools and academy trusts that help them achieve their aims. If you’d like to know how we can support your school or trust in accomplishing its goals, contact us today.

Published by
Adam Barker-Wyatt

Producing content and communications on behalf of schools and multi-academy trusts.

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