Burson-Marsteller Reviews

Updated June 20, 2015
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3.1
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Burson-Marsteller President & CEO Donald A. Baer
Donald A. Baer
11 Ratings

Pros
  • Big name clients and high profile projects (in 6 reviews)

  • Numerous opportunities to work on high-profile, top-notch clients (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance for the most part depends on the client (in 13 reviews)

  • Long hours, billable hours pressure (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

30 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Great Place to Develop

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time

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

    Pros

    It's a large agency with many huge clients and major projects. This is great for junior staff members who are beginning their careers. Opportunities and recognition vary by practice but overall, junior staff members who are just beginning their careers benefit greatly from their work experience at Burson. There are many senior people in the organization who are willing to mentor and help out the junior staff. An additional perk for junior staff is that in addition to your salary, you are eligible for overtime pay which I haven't heard is something offered at most other large firms.

    Cons

    Culture between practices varies greatly so it can be difficult to navigate sometimes if you work across practices. Work/life balance, depending on your clients and projects, can also vary greatly but that's the same for every agency. Also, promotions are done in cycles which can be frustrating. You just have to wait your turn for a cycle to come up even if you're outperforming other employees well ahead of a cycle.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Great people but crazy clients aren't reigned I.

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Really great people who care about each other, career development, flexibility. Account teams run well as most people work hard but have easy going personalities. Employees are much nicer than what I experienced at other agencies.

    Cons

    Work/life balance. Lack of culture and identity as many accounts work across different offices. Senior leadership lets certain clients (who fall within the Key Client Relationship Model) walk all over us. They will do anything to keep these clients, even at the expense of employees health and wellbeing.

    Advice to Management

    Cut ties with abusive clients that aren't profitable.


  3. Avg Clients, Senior Leaders Don

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Most clients are nice, location is great.

    Cons

    Lots of turnover, good people leaving. Senior leadership doesn't seem to care about development of junior/mid-level staff. Huge focus on meeting billability levels.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Compensaion continues to be issue for this agency

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    There is a great deal of autonomy. People are treated like adults. If you're doing your work, you can go about your business.

    Cons

    They do not pay competitive salaries with other agencies. They give incredibly small raises, if they give them at all. Promotions are always delayed because of lack of approval from the parent company. Senior management does not seem to have any control over compensation and rewards. Employees work incredibly hard but are not rewarded. It is unfortunate because there are some really great people here and we have retention issues because of this.

    Advice to Management

    Salaries/raises/bonuses need to be figured out. They are always delayed, if they happen at all. Employees need to be rewarded for their hard work or we'll continue to have turnover, which isn't good for the company or our clients.


  6. Burson

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller

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

    Pros

    Ability to experience diverse clients. Decent work life balance

    Cons

    Poor management and bad morale


  7. Olde-line company struggling to find itself

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Still some top tier clients still think Burson is prestigious based on its legacy.

    Cons

    No obvious strategy to differentiate itself; behind the times compared to competitors and awful and people management. Candidates should be forewarned that there is no formal evaluation process followed, that you shouldn't expect to get annual increases, and that if you intend to maybe be rewarded, you need to be on a key account or brownose with a practice leader: if you do not do this, it's as if you don't exist.

    Advice to Management

    Radical change is needed and it starts with getting a strategy, not a tagline and with treating people like real assets not as hourly labor. There is no culture here and a rewards structure that is inconsistent to nonexistent, and that is putting it mildly.


  8. Fellow co-workers were great. We all helped each other out.

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

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good tech team, supportive environment within the tech team.

    Cons

    Poor upper management and unrewarding work.

    Advice to Management

    Get people in key positions that understand digital


  9. Best learning experience

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

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It's the top/leading PR firm in the world (only competition is Edelman-not sure which one is currently #1) and you're working alongside the best PR practitioners in the industry. If you're new to the industry (intern, ACE, or CE) it's the greatest learning experience you could ask for. Great pay and opportunity to work with great clients.

    Cons

    There is a lot of backstabbing, caddy behavior. You're judged on a personal level, not just on how you perform professionally.

    Advice to Management

    No advice


  10. Class of All PR Firms

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Terrific ability to work with high-level individuals early in your career and learn from some of the smartest, kindest and most well-respected communications pros in the world. There is always a constant focus on training and putting employees in situations to succeed. Office culture is great - lots of fun things happening and opportunities to get to know colleagues outside of the office.

    Cons

    Compensation is historically low. Internal comms is pretty bad - you hardly ever know when people leave or get fired, I can't count how many times the only reason I've known someone has left is because I got a bounce back email.

    Advice to Management

    Back up what you preach about "taking care of your employees and valuing talent" by being more liberal with bonuses, raises and benefits.


  11. Long-time employee who has seen many opportunities at Burson

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

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Diverse client portfolio; if you have a good manager who champions you, you can have significantly stronger career growth

    Cons

    The external stereotype that this is just a Corporate and Crisis shop. Much more than that.



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