Hill & Knowlton

www.hkstrategies.com

Hill & Knowlton Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated December 4, 2014
Updated December 4, 2014
91 Reviews
3.3
91 Reviews
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Hill & Knowlton Chairman and CEO Jack Martin
Jack Martin
35 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • I was at H&K for three years of incredible highs and also terrible downs (in 13 reviews)

  • If you make it known that you want to grow, senior management will really take the time to give advice and mentor you (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is verbally encouraged but they don't really mean it (in 10 reviews)

  • H&K as a result has suffered in retaining and winning business (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

16 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fellowship Experience NYC

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fellow in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Fellow in New York, NY

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton (less than a year)

    Pros

    Fellowship provides opportunity to work across departments and on specific accounts of interest. Hourly salary of $15/hr.

    Cons

    It is a slow process to transition from a fellow (intern) to an assistant account executive, sometimes taking 6 months on top of the fellowship period.

  2.  

    The Best!

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

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of room for advancement! A great training ground for PR Pros looking to work with a variety of brands across a wide range of disciplines.

    Cons

    Working with such a large agency is not for everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on promoting from within.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A terribly political, unfair environment.

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

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    If you're junior, you learn a lot by doing. You aren't necessarily learning what actually works though - just how industry standards / H+K has always done it. This can be good or bad depending on what you learn from it. But it's really not a very entrepreneurial or forward-looking place when it comes to the day-to-day running of accounts and being marketers.

    Cons

    Terribly political. Terribly, terribly political. Definite old boys' club feel at the top. It doesn't take too long to figure out who's influential based on who they buddy up to or what their pedigree is, honestly. Some of this comes from the holding company, which allegedly keeps H+K on its toes by never providing concrete or systematic info about when raises will happen, etc. This unfortunately trickles down. Managers will tell you you're getting promoted, just kidding you're not, no you are but we can't tell you when, okay you're promoted but don't tell anyone else or they'll be upset they didn't get promoted too. It's bonkers. This goes on for months at a time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's so much talent here and it's a shame it's going to waste. I've seen so many great leaders, smart thinkers, and just good people who are all but pushed out the door. Turnover is unreal, which you as upper management already know. I believe individuals and individual teams can be successful here, but it would really help if we had more visibility and support across the board (not just focused on certain people and groups). Transparent communication and disclosure of what resources are available goes a long way. Andy Weitz was great at this, by the way - hope it continues with his departure.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    What politics in NY and DC

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

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Some incredibly smart people in NY and many wonderful minds to work with throughout the US and global network. Some fascinating assignments and accounts to work on.

    Cons

    The politics were awful, and could really interfere with the access and the ability to do your best work. I lost some excellent staff members over a few thousand dollars - penny wise and pound foolish.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look more deeply at your staff. The people going for 30 Under 30 should be spending that time looking after your clients, not their own pr.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great PR agency on the upswing

    • 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 Hill & Knowlton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people, interesting high-profile accounts, top-tier crisis team, great learning environment for anyone interested in public relations or marketing

    Cons

    Mostly typical agency angst--long hours, office politics, bureaucratic structure. Low pay relative to long hours and high pressure environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more willing to invest in your junior and mid-level staff. Turnover has been exceedingly high over the last two years and shows no signs of slowing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great experience, you learn a lot here!

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

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    - Great, enthusiastic people
    - Good CEO
    - Clean environment
    - Warm atmosphere

    Cons

    - Little pay
    - Unorganized at times
    - Little to no social life..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be respectful to your employees..and bump up the salary, will ya?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    The worst place I've ever worked

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

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    International reach and network, interesting clients, okay salary, good benefits, a few very nice, competent people, recently, the company rebranded and has a new management team now, so it may be better now.

    Cons

    I worked on the healthcare team and everybody there, no matter what level, was miserable. It was an atmosphere of fear. People got fired all the time, just because the management thought it was good for morale to get of the worst-performing team members. The people were awful, very condescending and nobody worked there for long. The whole department was one revolving door.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management has to do a better job of creating a nurturing corporate culture. Less focus on getting the next, big client, and more focus on retention.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Tough times after the merger for this old stalwart

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

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great global network, opportunities to work on brands in crisis, access to other WPP partners and generally avg or above avg salaries

    Cons

    Still very much an old school agency that gets passed up for the more cutting edge agencies. Will never really compete with Edelman on any meaningful level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on digital and modernizing your operation. Revamp tech and consumer. Pay more attention to retaining young stars.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going through growing pains, but emphasis on innovation and culture will pull them through

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

    I worked at Hill & Knowlton full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    - Extremely smart and highly approachable senior management
    - Values top performers, provides new career opportunities (i.e. transfers, new client work, new biz)
    - Good clients
    - Creative and innovative thinking

    Cons

    - Tough transition period with merger and new management
    - Creative ideas abound but execution is shaky
    - There are a few senior leaders that have coasted without contribution; that's changing
    - Tends to invest at the top, which is evident in mid-level pay
    - High turnover; people are antsy with the transition and long hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep communicating, invest in the mid-level and they will one day be your senior leaders!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    One of overall frustration with the lack of resources and solid leadership in moving the agency forward.

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

    I have been working at Hill & Knowlton

    Pros

    A global firm that provides potential opportunities to work on big brands across countries and practice groups.

    Cons

    Continuing to go through a transition to become more competitive as one of the leading global agencies, with more limited resources than key competitors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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