Are in house PR jobs really better than working in an agency?

Talking to most agency middle rankers just now it seems the lust for an in house PR job has reached an all-time high. An in house PR career appears to have become the holy grail of the PR job hunter. But is the idea that by “going in house,” you will get your life back a myth? Or a fair reflection? According to many agency people I speak to, those ones that are looking for a new job that is, in house roles are the way to go because they mean more pay and equal less work! But when I talk to in house people the reality doesn’t seem quite so stark. How happy in house PR people are in their jobs seems to vary enormously  - but interestingly it seems to vary according to company, not according to sector. For example, one healthcare PRO I spoke to recently increased her earnings by about 15% by going in house, added a company car and got a very generous pension scheme. So she was happy. Especially as she had left behind a stressful agency role, with lots of targets and new business pressure. But then I spoke to a guy who was also working in an in house healthcare role. He reckoned that in the last 5 years he’s had at least 5 departmental restructures and suggested that the stress of working for multiple departments was, essentially, just as stressful as working for an agency with multiple clients. So, if you’re an agency PRO considering your next move, in house may be the way to go – but not all in house PR roles quite match the perception. So choose your company carefully!