Ketchum
3.7 of 5 89 reviews
www.ketchum.com New York, NY

Ketchum Reviews

Updated Mar 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 89 reviews

                             

96% Approve of the CEO

Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty

Rob Flaherty

(26 ratings)

79% of employees recommend this company to a friend
11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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1 person found this helpful  

Your experience will depend on your team

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Ketchum full-time for more than a year

ProsCasual culture, lots of free food, smart co-workers, big name clients, more job security than most PR agencies (Ketchum doesn't believe in layoffs), decent salary, if you are proactive and can create opportunities for yourself then you may survive here, some amazing managers, it all depends on your team, low turnover compared to other pr agencies

ConsDisconnect between senior and junior staff, cutthroat environment on some teams which encourages negative competition, tough to break in at mid-level if you aren't a 'Ketchum-baby', senior staff can be bullies on certain teams, too much importance to billable hours can be stressful, too many internal politics, hard to navigate the system if you want to switch teams, managers care more about saving their own skin, favoritism

Advice to Senior ManagementUtilize your resources better, understand the strengths and weaknesses of your staff, less emphasis on 'billable hours' and more on productivity

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great place to learn and grown

Assistant Account Executive (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at Ketchum full-time

ProsRetains well-respected clients
Great sense of community (depending on what office you work in)
Good for developing skills applicable to all industries and professions
Strong emphasis on creativity and innovation

ConsJunior levels carry heavy work load but pay is not competitive (typical for agencies)

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Potential to be a great company, for the right person

Senior Account Executive (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at Ketchum

ProsGenerally a good group of creative, energetic, communications professionals -- which makes the long hours worth it (sometimes). Very good internal employee training programs, although it has been cut back in recent years.

ConsLong hours and fairly low pay. Its a great place to have on your resume, but it can be a hard agency to move up in if you stay for your whole career. They sometimes value new faces more then tenure, so the best way to get a decent raise or promotion may be to leave and then come back later in your career. Also a tendency to place staff on the same, large client for a long period of time which can be a bit of a mind and energy drain on the lower level employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementFor a communications company, sometimes the messaging from the top down can be a little misguided. Generally they mean well, but it doesn't always translate to the lower levels.

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PR Agency Review

Vice President (Current Employee)

I have been working at Ketchum

ProsTop 10 Global Agency
Collaborative Culture
Excellent benefits

ConsIll-defined professional growth paths
Poor perfomance, bad behavior not addressed
Overly focused on bottom line - finance driven organization

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate pathways for professional growth

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Ketchum -- So Much Potential, But Turn Over A New Leaf & Stop Clinging to Bad Clients and The Past

VP/AS (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Ketchum

ProsIt's a relatively nice place to work. They made some mistakes with some of the most senior leadership in the Chicago office, especially hiring someone from another country to run the place. Unfortunately for all of us, that just doesn't fly here in Chitown. He also made promises that he never delivered, sometimes handicapping careers. Ketchum's most senior leadership also just won't let go of the past. Hire some passionate characters and not just the same old yes men and women. Ketchum, you have great potential...Just stop holding onto the people who rate 7 or 8 out of 10 who don't rock the boat. Rock the boat a bit with new ideas and new people and just imagine where you'll be when the economy turns around...

ConsFear of taking risks and an obsession with process. Much of the processes at Ketchum are fine, but they sacrifice innovation and creativity for process. Still the place is 100 percent better in terms of work environment than Weber Shandwick, from what I hear.

Also, Ketchum has some of the worst clients in the history of PR. Probably because no other agency is patient enough to handle these nut cases.

Advice to Senior ManagementLook at some former superstars who left for one reason or another when times were tough. Try to find them and see where they've gone. Ask the best of them to return, while seeking really new blood, too.

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Amazing learning experience but tough work environment and pay is only OK

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at Ketchum

ProsYou get an opportunity to work on global clients alongside colleagues who have years of amazing experience in the industry. I feel like I'm learning something new almost every day of my job. From what I hear about other big agencies in New York, Ketchum seems to stand out in terms of recognition. It's true - there are a lot of opportunities to earn recognition whether it's through leadership/teamwork awards or headliner awards for media relations; they try their best to put the spotlight on your top accomplishments. And we have terrific resources in terms of training, in-house departments like video, graphics, communications training, etc...

ConsConsidering work load and New York City metro area; salary is not good. They do not negotiate salary or vacation days.

It's not really just about the money though. You work extremely hard, it's intense 24/7 and a lot is expected of you. Work/life balance tips much more to the work. Senior staff have MUCH more flexibility than junior staff do. Promotion seems to be a matter of longevity, not just performance. They don't even take into account whether or not you're respected by or get along with your peers.

Advice to Senior ManagementBetter compensation that reflects the fact that you live in the New York City metropolitan area. Promotion based on performance, not longevity. More equality across practices in terms of promotion. More opportunities like telecommuting for ALL levels of employees. Recognize that sometimes you don't have to work until 7 p.m. to get the job done. If you're efficient, you should be able to go home at 5:30 without there being a stigma.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good career opportunities, long hours REQUIRED

Public Relations (Former Employee)
Dallas, TX

I worked at Ketchum

ProsIt is a great place to get experience and learn from professionals. The benefits are ok, and the people are very nice.

ConsThere is a total focus on profitability, to the detriment of employee satisfaction. Long hours are rewarded more than results and bad performance is sometimes overlooked. Turnover is extremely high and there isn't sufficient communication from senior management to offices outside of NYC. Managers have flexible work schedules, but lower-level employees are expected to be in the office all the time.

Advice to Senior ManagementRealize how important the people are and listen to them when they leave. The company could do so much better if there were more work-life balance options at the lower level.

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Ketchum sampark india

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Mumbai (India)

I worked at Ketchum as an intern for less than a year

Pros- good place to work
- work culture is good

Cons- erratic work because of the nature of the industry itself
- high attrition

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good experience but not particularly welcoming

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Ketchum

ProsThey always have a variety of projects to work on, and the work output is of a very high standard.

ConsVery unfriendly, not a good place for someone who was shy, my department seemed very clique-y.

Advice to Senior ManagementHave a much more structured system of welcoming and including new staff members.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great learning experience, but not long term

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Ketchum

ProsKetchum is a competitive global agency and is at the forefront of the PR industry, providing a competitive and team environment that fosters great relationships and opportunity to learn from the best.

ConsExpect to work long hours with few perks. The few benefits Ketchum provides are often undermined by the stress of meeting billable hours and client needs. If you are looking for a healthy work-life balance, Ketchum is not always ideal.

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