Ketchum
3.7 of 5 97 reviews
www.ketchum.com New York, NY

Ketchum Reviews

Updated Feb 27, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 97 reviews

                             

97% Approve of the CEO

Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty

Rob Flaherty

(32 ratings)

79% of employees recommend this company to a friend
14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Not the best, even though they tell you it is...often

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsLearning opportunities, office events/extracurricular activities, opportunity to work with great industry professionals, client roster. Great place to learn new skills but it's best to leave after a year.

    ConsWork/life balance is essentially non-existent even though it is touted often. Coming in early and leaving well past 7:00pm is the norm. You're made to feel like a criminal if you dont. Management is rude, selfish and limits professional growth to benefits their own personal achievements and stifle employees. Not all teams are treated equally. Culture has diminished over the course of time, but the spotlight on the 'bottom line' has increased. Management often identifies an 'employee crush' and drools over them until the next person with an idea shows up and takes their spot.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a look at your managers and your turn and burn rate. Re-evaluate the culture, because it's not great.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Resistant to change

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsIt's a pleasantly informal environment with many nice people. It's a big important name in the industry, and they have some fun accounts.

    ConsKetchum is incredibly hierarchical, and combined with my observation that success and promotions up the ladder are nepotistic and tenure-based, it's a hard company to succeed in from the middle. There are many people there who should have been fired long ago; they get by on knowing the system, but not necessarily having knowledge beyond the company walls. This problem goes several levels up. All around, employees are more preoccupied with appearances and covering their own hides than producing good work. It means that things move slowly, the works mucked up with people-pleasing and side-stepping direct solutions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo better to see the potential in everyone. Look beyond titles and focus on doing good work. Embrace change.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great experience but they burn through people

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsHigh profile clients and engaging projects. Cutting edge digital and creative departments. Great place for junior PR professionals to gain valuable experience.

    ConsMorale is extremely low – management views employees as interchangeable 'resources' to be worked into the ground. Account teams agree to insane deadlines without consulting those who will be executing the work. Managers think nothing of calling at 10pm or over weekends with the crisis du jour.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManage your teams. I experienced weeks where my direct manager never even spoke to me. Absent or un-engaged managers can create a volatile workplace where employees are pitted against each other and back-stabbing gets you ahead.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    work is hard and thankless be a good trainging ground

    Account Executive (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Prosyou learn client service and self promotion. These are invaluable skills, also it's a great name to have on a resume. You learn a lot and what you learn is helpful down the road in any job.

    Consemployees compete with each other and can be petty. hours are long and pay can be poor especially at the junior level.

    Advice to Senior Managementreward good work

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Wish I could take back a year of my life

    Vice President (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsYou work with some great people

    ConsEveryone is overworked. Management is very unsupportive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave reasonable expectations regarding the amount of hours and traveling a person should be expected to do.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Give It a Year, Then Split

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Kind, bright, hard-working colleagues
    - Good benefits
    - First-rate experience; a wonderful opportunity to build your resume
    - Diverse clients and learning opportunities. You will learn everything you need to know about PR.

    Cons- Terrible pay--but about the industry standard
    - Slow advancement. Promotions are based upon length of tenure, not merit. And they've been delayed even further since the economic downturn. Ketchum seems to promote employees more slowly than most agencies.
    - Out of touch leadership. Branch directors are very well-connected to their own employees' needs, but top managers are utterly clueless. And appear to do nothing with employee feedback.
    - Terrible work/life balance. The concept of achieving it at Ketchum is laughable, although senior management really seems to enjoy talking about it. You are expected to not only work long hours, but act like they're doing you a favor. Passion for your work is admirable--workaholism is not.
    - Poor H.R. management. Teams burn through junior staff like matches, unable to retain employees for even a year--and their leaders are not taken to task. Nothing is done to address the underlying issues such as poor management style, long hours, stressful and disrespectful work environment, etc.
    - Chronic understaffing. Management believes that because 3 incredibly hard-working people can do the job of 5, that they ought to. For years.
    - Highly top-heavy team structure--it's like having all Chiefs and no Indians. There are a totally absurd number of employees retained by Ketchum for no other reason than they've been there for 10, 15, 20 years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere are plenty of things to fix, but Ketchum's leadership would make *huge* strides by giving employees the support they need. As I said, 3 hard-working people can do the work of five--but they shouldn't have to. If you want your talented people to stop jumping ship after a year or two, promote faster. Invest in hiring more employees. And understand that as much as we love our work--you don't get it for free.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    It's OK, but not going to stay here forever

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsAs far as PR Agencies in DC go, Ketchum is a pretty good one. More transparency from upper management on financials and such.

    ConsVolume of work is absolutely crushing, work-life balance is a joke. Not enough staff to do the work -- ending up with more freelancers than staffers. And benefits are below industry standards -- two weeks vacation when most other DC agencies offer three to begin with. Very little sick leave too.

    Managers don't have enough time to do their management tasks -- so reviews are 6-months late, no one has time to worry about career progression for those outside the traditional account-team roles.

    Only ideas that are given credence are those surrounding social media. While social media is definitely growing faster than anyone ever imagined, can't hand our hats on that alone.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou're going to start losing people if you don't take care of them. Two weeks vacation is not nearly enough when everyone puts in 50-hour weeks.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Work life balance at Ketchum declining.

    Accountant (Current Employee)
    Pittsburgh, PA

    ProsMy co-workers at Ketchum are great.

    ConsKetchum increased our workweek by 5 hours, but did not adjust our salaries. Kethcum has always been famous for touting it's work life balance. Not sure that exists anymore?

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's not always about the hours you work, but about the quality of the work you produce.

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    Met some nice friends, hated the work

    AE (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsI met a great many friends while working at Ketchum. People I still keep in contact with to this day - many years after leaving (well, not many years). Frankly, that's about it.

    ConsVery little respect paid to employees. Too much concern with punching clocks. Stale environment. Very little money invested into the corporation or employees. Old infrastructure.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart all over. Look at your rentention rates and ask yourself, why are they so low?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Nice company,communication issues

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Dallas, TX

    ProsOn average, the staff is very friendly and warm. There is absolutely a culture that places an emphasis on being nice, and treating fellow employees with the same level of respect that one would give to clients. The company places an amazing emphasis on trainging - better than any agency I've seen, to date.There are great little perks to working here - free soda, frequently free lunches, and in the Dallas office, there was really a bright, fun group of people who I believe always had the clients best interest at heart.

    ConsFrequent rumors popped up in the Dallas office that Atlanta was trying to shut the office down, and many people were on the lookout for any signs of tension between the two offices. The cross-office communication between offices in the network was rough. Also, it really seemed like at the end of the day, there were few opportunities for true growth and development.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage senior leadership to give accurate, frequent and detailed feedback.

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