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3 Monkeys | Zeno

Future proofing in-house PR teams

Future proofing PR - 3 Monkeys Zeno

Three years ago, 3 Monkeys Zeno (3MZ) partnered with PRmoment to conduct qualitative and quantitative research across senior in-house communications leaders. Our aim was to gain intel and insight into how these sector leaders were adapting to the ever-changing world of PR and comms. What new demands were being made of them? How were they working with consultancies and agencies to support them? In terms of their recruitment, what new skills were they seeking? Was their scope of work increasing or decreasing? How were they regarded internally – did they have a seat at the boardroom table or were they still perceived as the poor cousin of other marketing disciplines?

The findings were significant enough for us to want to revisit this research in 2017. They are discussed in this report. The report examines an in-house PR team's journey from a department with a focus almost entirely on media relations, to one which now has hundreds of channels and platforms to communicate through.

  • How journalists and influencers remain a critical part of public relations work
  • How PR and communication teams are evolving to take advantage of their increased scope of work
  • How the skill sets of in-house PR teams have evolved to meet the new requirements of digital and social media
  • How in-house teams are changing the way they use agencies in modern public relations
  • The impact on in-house teams of the current talent crunch happening within UK public relations
  • The importance of in-house teams being able to understand their cost per acquisition, or the value of their organisations reputation, so that their contribution relative to other areas of marketing can be understood
  • How in-house teams are responding to the current political and social environment and the resulting difficult media environment


Sarah Ogden, Head of Corporate & Business, 3 Monkeys | Zeno
Howard Jones, Head of Comms, EE
Simon Bristow, Global PR Director, adidas

Key take outs:

  • Public relations as a discipline is always likely to remain responsible for the reputation of an organisation. As such, the sector has taken advantage of the social and digital media opportunities. The measurement of social reporting remains critical.
  • Research showed that the trend towards integrated campaigns means that the organisational structure of companies is likely to become more of a matrix, with decreasing barriers between departments.

  • Collaboration between marketing and PR departments is key. The move to an overall brand communications strategy means creative ideas are not the exclusive domain of advertising people and ideas require collaboration to execute.

  • The benefits of an agency relationship remain as robust as ever. The need for an out-of-organisation perspective scrubs strategy; content creation and activation is critical.

  • For inhouse teams, one of the challenges is the number of skills that are now required. Digital, and the variety of channels and content required, means where there's a gap in network or expertise, agencies are indispensable in filling those gaps. But in turn, the agencies must have a vested interest in the outcomes and the impact of their recommendations to determine the value that they bring.


Download the report here


Tiffany King, Marketing Assistant, 3 Monkeys | Zeno,

About the author

Izzy Ashton, Assistant Editor of BITE, Creativebrief

Izzy is a writer/researcher for BITE, Creativebrief’s daily insight into global marketing trends and the cultural movements driving them. She keeps abreast of the latest communication, technology and consumer news, and is responsible for conducting interviews with key agency strategists and creatives to gain insight into the most innovative global campaigns.

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