Can you do it yourself? Yes. Do you want to do it yourself? No.
Small businesses and non-profit organizations sometimes choose to do their own PR and marketing work. Many of the basic PR functions can be handled by the business or non-profit agency. So, why would you want to hire an outside consultant?
Time. A business owner may have good intentions. He knows he should send out a release about the big change in his business. He knows he should compose a marketing email about his big sales promotion. He knows he should post something on his Facebook page that hasn’t been touched in three weeks. He knows he should call that TV guy he met at a charity event six years ago. But he has to deal with vendors/bankers/customers/employees/landlords, etc.
Expertise. Your independent Public Relations practitioner knows how to write. He can compose a release, website copy, blog post, tweet, Facebook post or marketing email. She knows not to include too much jargon so it will be understandable to the person checking the news release inbox for the media outlet. He knows when to include significant amounts of copy and when to include just the basic info and a web link. She knows when to send the release, when to schedule the marketing email, when to call the writer or assignment editor.
Contacts. No, every PR person does not know every media person. But most who have worked in PR (and in media, as many have) do know people who will open their emails and take or return their calls. If a PR pro does not know who the right person is, he calls and asks. Top PR practitioners have good media contact lists. (I once received a release from a business owner who included the email address of every media member it was sent to—instead listing recipients on the “Bcc” line—and over half were out of date. Sad.)
DIY PR? Well… Did you cook your own lunch everyday last week? Did you replace your own brakes last time? Did you put the most recent new roof on your house? Did you assemble your bicycle? You could have done each of those tasks yourself, but you chose to let professionals do them—and you know exactly why you did.
DIY PR? If your business or non-profit agency seriously wants to share its message with the public, hire a PR professional. Then you can focus on running things.