Ketchum

www.ketchum.com
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Ketchum Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
16 Reviews
2.0
16 Reviews
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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
16 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great place to learn new skills but it's best to leave after a year (in 8 reviews)

  • There is opportunity to work with great clients and leadership is good at matching assignments to passion (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is essentially non-existent even though it is touted often (in 14 reviews)

  • Long hours, no compensation for overtime (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

16 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Ketchum

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Ketchum DC is fun and the ppl are nice and friendly.

    Cons

    Employees are not given their do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Stay Away

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Well-known global clients, that's about it.

    Cons

    No creativity, too much bureaucracy, losing business, disconnected management...well actually the worst management ever (and believe me, I've had my fair share of bad senior management), no values or ethics, terrible supervisors who couldn't care less, lost of grunt work that the clients don't want to do, by far the most horrible place I've worked for. it's all about who you know, not what you do. Just say no to this hellish place unless you have no other option and there are bills to pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. You are doing a good job of running this place into the ground anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

    Learning 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.

    Cons

    Work/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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Resistant to change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Ketchum 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great experience but they burn through people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Ketchum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Morale 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 ManagementAdvice

    Manage 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    work is hard and thankless be a good trainging ground

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Ketchum

    Pros

    you 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.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    reward good work

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Wish I could take back a year of my life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY

    I worked at Ketchum

    Pros

    You work with some great people

    Cons

    Everyone is overworked. Management is very unsupportive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Give It a Year, Then Split

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Ketchum

    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 ManagementAdvice

    There 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Volume 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 ManagementAdvice

    You'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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Work life balance at Ketchum declining.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Accountant in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Accountant in Pittsburgh, PA

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

    My co-workers at Ketchum are great.

    Cons

    Ketchum 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 ManagementAdvice

    It's not always about the hours you work, but about the quality of the work you produce.

    Disapproves of CEO

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