Ketchum Reviews

Updated April 19, 2015
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3.0
17 Reviews
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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
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17 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great people

    • 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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    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

  2. Helpful (4)

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

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Great place to learn.

    • 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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    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.

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  5. Interesting experience

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

    I worked at Ketchum as an intern

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    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.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Fantastic company with great clients. Work, No Life.

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

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Your experience will depend on your team

    • 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 a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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

  8. Great place to learn and grown

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

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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)

  9. Helpful (1)

    Potential to be a great company, for the right person

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

    I worked at Ketchum

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Generally 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.

    Cons

    Long 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 Management

    For 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.

  10. PR Agency Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President
    Current Employee - Vice President

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Top 10 Global Agency
    Collaborative Culture
    Excellent benefits

    Cons

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

    Advice to Management

    Create pathways for professional growth

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - VP/AS in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - VP/AS in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Ketchum

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It'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...

    Cons

    Fear 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 Management

    Look 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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