Grayling

  www.grayling.com
  www.grayling.com

Grayling Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
14 Reviews
3.0
14 Reviews
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Grayling Global CEO Pete Pedersen
Pete Pedersen
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Intern: Amazing experience, but left more to be desired

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

    I worked at Grayling as an intern

    Pros

    Working on Capitol Hill; fast paced environment; Very smart people

    Cons

    Unpaid; Lots of downtime if no relevant legislation is being discussed in Congress; Commute

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    It was time...

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

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

    Pros

    I loved my co-workers and there are some exceptionally smart and talented people in San Francisco. Grayling has great benefits and I loved the flexibility and being able to work from home.

    Cons

    I loved my supervisor but there was no leadership in San Francisco otherwise. A new MD was hired but had no presence in the office. For months, I didn't know who she was. When we were Atomic, there was pay for performance and that seemed to be eliminated with the merge. It seemed that a lot of people on my team were waiting for approval on their annual reviews, which used to be consistent. The culture was once fun but has changed a lot and not for the better. It became uncomfortable and tense. The office being cramped and overcrowded only made things worse. I had high hopes and was excited about the merge but my hopes quickly diminished. Moving on was the the best option.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire leaders who are available to staff. Pay for performance. If you don't invest in your staff, they will go somewhere else.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Typical problems of large PR organizations

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

    I worked at Grayling full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I had served the Company faithfully for over 9 years within the investor relations group of the NYC office. One has the ability to learn an inordinate amount while on the job due to the fact that the greater organization has zero ability to generate new investor relations business on its own or through cross marketing of existing PR/corporate communications business

    You are left to your own devices to hunt and eat what you kill. 3 out of my 5 clients that I serviced I brought in myself and two left Grayling when I quit. Because of this, one must learn a great deal in terms of marketing and client advisory as well as Investor Relations and financial communications as a craft. In essence Grayling is where I cut my teeth and learned to be the fantastic IR advisor that I am today. Right off the bat at my new firm, I have advised on an large cap IPO, something that Grayling hasn't pulled off in 5 years, worked for the President of a Country and the like.

    The NYC staff by and large are gifted and are as good as most Investor Relations consultants in the business outside of a few underperformers.

    Cons

    Grayling is public and issues dividends, as such the staff hasn't seen raises or bonuses from 2008-2014.

    Grayling as an organization is PR focussed who claim to be an integrated investor relations, corp comm and PR business. In truth Grayling is a PR/Corp Comm company who has no idea whatsoever how to run an IR agency business. NYC is the financial capital of the world, and Grayling as an organization is trying to minimize the role of the NYC office instead focusing on the PR business.

    No raise, bonus, profit sharing or stock options in 5 years.

    Inter-offices do not play together whatsoever and will bicker over who owns the P&L, refusing to work on any project until they have a clear understanding what their "cut" in the project is.

    Company has no successful marketing team with any understanding of agency communications business.

    Company's management team is extremely top heavy.

    Company allows employees who lie about their whereabout on sick days and work at home days to still have a job after being caught.

    Company lacks any perks or training outside of a salary and a very good healthcare plan.

    In terms of salary the Company underpays the industry by 30%-50% from general census of my friends who work in the same industry.

    When I left Grayling I took an offer that was 35% higher than what I was making.

    Management bought a large PR firm, integrated the PR firm's NYC offices with the IR office in NYC. They leased a large space that cost the same as what the PR and IR firms were paying for their individual offices.... THEN fired the entire PR staff in NYC so that the office space is now only a 1/3 full.

    Management purchased PR and Corp Comm offices in locations that don't make money like Poland so the greater business is stuck paying all of this overhead for offices that are not profitable for no reason. I.E. No true business would buy a PR business out in West UK - its not a profitable venture so why do that?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check out a Company called Brunswick, they are probably the only global integrated PR firm that knows how to run an integrated IR/PR/Corp Comm public affairs business.

    Pay your employees what they're worth and for a communications company communicate your strategic plan to your employees and don't treat them as if they are prisoners in an internment camp.

    Stop paying dividends and reinvest that money into your staff, you are in a people business and you treat your staff horribly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Creative Agency with Room for Growth

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

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

    Pros

    Grayling (merged with Atomic PR in January 2014) is a great place to work. The agency is home to brilliant creative teams and has a great company culture. Benefits and salary are very competitive. Upper management is transparent and open communication is welcomed. Politics are minimal and colleagues are friendly. Intelligent and motivated bunch. It's a great place to grow a career; hard-workers are recognized and rewarded.

    Cons

    In order to truly thrive here, you need to be a self-starter and be able work independently. It's a fast-paced environment and teams are small; over-communication with teammates is critical.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great Atomic culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great Company Culture!

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

    I have been working at Grayling full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Exceptional co-workers who are great to work with; great work-life balance; lots of room to grow within; great benefits; many employees work from home; unlimited vacation; relaxed easy going office atmosphere

    Cons

    Company is still going through growing pains

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the awesome focus and execution!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Company

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

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

    Pros

    I've worked for many different companies and I've never been treated as well anywhere else. Many employees that have left end up returning. Great culture/work environment. Management truly cares about employees. Excellent vacation time and very open to letting employees work from home.

    Cons

    If you're not ready to work or are not self motivated this company isn't for you. If you work hard then you play hard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Very Top Heavy Organization with Little to No Leadership.

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

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

    Pros

    Great location, located in the heart of midtown. Receptionist is very friendly. This review is for Grayling USA, based in NYC.

    Cons

    No raise/bonus in 3 years of being here. Everyone is my boss. Relationships with upper management seem to be the only way to have job security. Many leave early, come in late and make their own hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace senior staff with mid/junior level staff that are more bright.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    I left after only a short while does this say anything?

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

    I worked at Grayling

    Pros

    You can learn a lot in a short time.

    Cons

    Management at the highest level doesn't care a snivelling snot about his employees. Our primary roles are as management consultants in financial communications. That said does anyone within management believe that their employees aren't smart enough to look at their own Company's books? In 2011 the leader of the Company took in $1.8 million dollars in a dividend distribution to shareholders that he and the board approved while stiffing everyone out of raises or bonuses. Needless to say I didn't stick around long enough to get stiffed a second time around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your human capital is your most important asset, you will continue to lose talent to other agencies if you continue to stiff your workers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Fake office environment with few prospects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Grayling

    Pros

    great clients and that's about it- the company culture leaves much to be desired

    Cons

    I worked at Grayling for just over 3 years as a Consultant in the Brands team. I mainly stayed because of the clients and the some of the great relationships that I had them. However, as the years went on the office environment became incredibly catty and I felt that I needed to get out. I now work for another agency who do normal hours (9-5) and I actually appreciate having a life outside the office!! In the Brands team I felt a pressure to work after my hours (9-6) - sometimes working until 8pm (!) which took a massive toll on my social life. Being a sociable person, I was also extremely surprised by the lack of social and team activities that were encouraged. There are hardly ever 'Friday drinks' - despite the promise of 'finishing at 4pm on a Friday'. Believe me - this never happens. There is also a very strange culture where at the end of the week staff nominate someone who they think have 'gone the extra mile'. Often, if you work hard and achieve great results and no one nominates you- it makes you feel rubbish and completely undervalued. The whole thing is a popularity contest encouraged by the senior management and forced upon the whole team who look visibly uncomfortable whenever the 'nominations' come around. I also felt very sorry for some of the junior staff who were treated very badly while I were there. They were told to write up media lists day after day- I can't see how this helps them further their careers in PR?
    Also not long before I left, two new junior staff members joined- one in particular some of the female management took an instant disliking to (made obvious by their catty and unprofessional remarks). She had not been there very long so I suspected it had to do with the fact that she was very confident and pretty. Luckily this happened after I handed in my notice - but it made it clearer in my mind that I was making the right decision.
    As with some of the reviews below - there are no 'benefits' that come with working at Grayling. You pay for everything yourself except from the weekly fruit. This is shameful when you think of the hours some of the staff work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Don't frown upon staff who leave at 6pm (everyone deserves a life outside the office and your staff will be better for it)
    - Offer your staff real benefits that they don't have to pay for out of their own pocket
    - The senior management in the brands team need to come down a peg or two. There are one or two females who think they are above everyone else
    - Do more social activities to encourage team bonding - I felt like I barely knew some of you!
    - Treat your junior staff with more respect

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Work hard, play hard

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brussels (Belgium)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brussels (Belgium)

    I have been working at Grayling full-time

    Pros

    A very dynamic atmosphere as it is an international young team. Ppportunities to grow and climb up the ladder if you are dedicated to work and to th team. Ideal to get early responsibilities for projects which is partly a reason for everyone's steep learning curve.

    Cons

    Work is your life. Extra hours are not worth to be mentioned and working during weekends happens on a regular basis. There is a very firm team culture you need to fit in. A lack of senior colleagues results into not sufficient guidance and much "learning by doing".

    No opinion of CEO

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