While building a creative department within a company can provide many benefits, there are also a number of reasons that external agencies still play a key role in supporting a client’s brand.

One key reason is that our clients’ internal creative teams are typically extremely busy. So much so that it makes sense to outsource projects to an agency that can provide support (relief) as well as an outside perspective.

So the question is, what is the best way for in-house creative teams and agencies to collaborate? Phinney Bischoff has a long history of serving as an extension of in-house creative teams for many clients. Below are some reasons we find these relationships successful, long-term and mutually rewarding.


As the in-house creative team, you know your business and your organization’s brand better than anyone. When hiring an agency to support your team, if they don’t honor that knowledge and they try to force their point of view on you, the journey will be rocky, and not likely a long one. We find that our clients appreciate the deep level of mutual trust that we build with in-house teams and that all starts with mutual respect.


It feels good when you have a partner who gets you and wants you to succeed. If an agency holds their cards too close to their vest, you run the risk of costly revisions and general frustrations. Phinney Bischoff has been in this business long enough to understand the value of partnering with our clients in an iterative method, a process that yields better work and greater buy-in from constituents.


It’s unquantifiable, but you know it when it’s there. Team chemistry is key for generating the best and most inspiring creative solutions and relationships. This holds true for the client/agency relationship as well as with your internal team itself.


Sometimes the best way to shake things up is to leverage an outside perspective. Occasionally key decision makers can be resistant to change or inclined to default to what worked well in the past. Further, we sometimes hear from the in-house team that there is a misperception that their role is to merely churn out marketing materials on demand. An agency partner can serve as an ally and advocate to build awareness and understanding within your organization as helpful stewards of the brand and as a strategic partner to the organization as a whole.

Aside from additional manpower, the right agency partner can also provide plenty of learning opportunities that in-house teams can benefit from (and vice-versa). This can be achieved in many ways including workshops, quarterly planning sessions, creative scrums, strategic planning sessions and of course by creating brand guidelines and other tools to set your team up for long-term success. Partnering with an external agency can also help create a culture of development within your organization, while continuing to strengthen and build powerful brand experiences for your audiences.

If you are interested in learning more about how Phinney Bischoff can serve as an extension of your creative department, contact Annett Kohlmann at annettk@pbdh.com.