Ketchum Reviews

Updated August 20, 2015
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3.0
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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
2 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. Pretty Good for a PR Agency

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    smart, talented people work there

    Cons

    it's a PR agency so there's a lot of work, difficult clients and very little work/life balance


  2. Employees are interchangeable

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You get to work with big name clients.

    Cons

    Like most big agencies, you're viewed as interchangeable and it's all about getting as many billable hours out of you as possible without fully burning you out where you leave the agency. They were horrible at budgeting for extra staff when new projects came on board. Not a great work/life balance on most teams.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Great experience that comes with a cost

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at Ketchum full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You'll get great experience and insights at this world-class agency that are second to none.

    Cons

    Your great experience comes with cost. Sure, you might have a giant salary. But forget about spending it, forget about having a life, forget about having a modicum of control over your schedule, say no and you're screwed, and forget about having a family. Find someone else to raise your kids.

    Advice to Management

    See above.


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  5. Great people

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

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    The best part of Ketchum is the people. Smart, hard working and treat others like extended family. Great opportunity to work on big accounts and learn from talented people.

    Cons

    There's a declining focus on company culture. Long hours and demanding clients. Emphasis on billabilty vs. people.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the people...reignite culture...match employees with their passions


  6. Helpful (6)

    Hard working people, big-name clients and variety; inconsistent management & employee treatment, long hours

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Big, accomplished agency with lots of varied practices and high-profile clients. * Many very dedicated and creative people who work hard, put the client first, and drive successful, coordinated campaigns. * International brand recognition, industry awards. * Offices all over the world offer opportunities for transfer, travel, cultural exchange, fresh perspectives, and global influence and interchange. * Youthful energy paired with a strong history of experience in the business and stability of an older, well established agency. * Fast-paced and often exciting atmosphere, lots of teamwork and collaboration on client work. * Variety of training opportunities, talks, etc. Events and conferences.

    Cons

    * Some really poor management examples in a few cases, including self-aggrandizing behavior (passing risk and failure down, taking personal credit for achievement), not enough thought about employee incentives and career development, etc. * Some people are treated very well, given "rock star" status, and others are scapegoated and mistreated, seemingly not in relation to merit, but more based on relationships and rapport with managers. * Often over-emphasized focus on new biz while existing projects go sideways (internally, but never allowed to negatively impact clients), staff gets burnt out working long hours or doing damage control, etc. * Too many managers doing "strategy," wining and dining leads, attending conferences, and driving staff to put in extra work on pitches while still meeting billability targets and deadlines. * Some people are more sparkle than substance. Company culture is often more focused on appearance than reality. * Big, old agency is sometimes slow-moving, risk-averse, and feels a little late reacting to trends and market shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Consider whether managers are actually providing leadership or adding value. Give credit where credit is due, and not where it's not.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great place to learn.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people, focus on career growth, good culture.

    Cons

    Terrible compensation, high turnover rate.

    Advice to Management

    In a competitive job market, perks win outstanding employees. Incentives can go a long way.


  8. Interesting experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum as an intern

    Pros

    Training: employees have many opportunities to grow.

    Cons

    The work hours can be long especially when you're sitting in a cubicle all day.

    Advice to Management

    Try to get out and talk to your employees. Of course there are things like email and IM but showing your face would be nice.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Fantastic company with great clients. Work, No Life.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    - Great global PR firm with very connected network - Opportunities for higher-level employees abroad - Fortune 500 clients open to creative campaigns - Resources across the network to help employees personally and professionally

    Cons

    - Extremely low pay, despite claims of competitive salaries - Bright individuals, average collective groups - Serious attitude problems that slide without repercussions or comment - Company and management expect employees to work serious overtime with no consideration of personal life - Company finds any and all ways to cut costs, including eliminating positions - Office culture is clique-y, oriented to group-think - Boasts being the best in the industry, but company leadership constantly compare campaigns, clients and opportunities to Edelman. Tired of hearing about what Edelman is doing, rather than what Ketchum could be doing.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Your experience will depend on your team

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Casual 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

    Cons

    Disconnect 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 Management

    Utilize your resources better, understand the strengths and weaknesses of your staff, less emphasis on 'billable hours' and more on productivity


  11. Great place to learn and grown

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Retains 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

    Cons

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



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