JPL Integrated Communications

www.jplcreative.com
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JPL Integrated Communications Reviews

Updated March 16, 2015
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2.8
9 Reviews
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Luke Kempski
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Truly a great place to work.

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

    I worked at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    I've worked at a number of marketing organizations, and JPL is a rare find in the industry.

    For me, it starts with the leadership. JPL is led by people who actually care about their employees. In an industry notorious for sweatshop work environments, JPL is a refreshing option. This is due not only to the fun, creative perks provided by the company, but also to the focus that they place on supporting and developing strong employees. And, the leadership is very transparent with employees. Everyone knows where the company stands: the good, the bad and the ugly. That gives teammates a feeling of ownership of the company, which is highly motivating.

    In addition, JPL is turning out strategic work unlike any other firm of it's kind in the region. Clients consistently turn to JPL to provide the strategic guidance and direction that they aren't getting from their "big" agencies. That's because JPL has strong, business-minded, strategic staff that understands that it's all about helping clients achieve their goals. This means that JPL is also professionally rewarding to those who are looking to be challenged and grow in their careers.

    Lastly, the people of JPL are, for the most part, fully committed to the success of the company, and egos are not a factor. Again, refreshing in this industry. If you've ever worked in an agency where Art Directors tell Account Managers not to talk to them, you know what I mean. The open collaboration at JPL leads to a great working environment, and great work.

    Cons

    No place is perfect. If someone finds the perfect place, please let me know.
    I could nitpick little things, but that doesn't seem productive, as they are hardly things that affect the overall experience at JPL.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be transparent with the team. Continue to reward great employees and provide opportunities for growth.

  2. As a contractor I was "let go" for no reason... but only after completing my task and pointing out injustice.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at JPL Integrated Communications as a contractor (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Salad bar. Decent hardware. Flexible schedule. Friendly staff. It is very difficult to fill this box with the minimum twenty words.

    Cons

    Staff is very closed minded to new ideas. You will not get any feedback on your work positive or negative. They will waste more time arguing antiquated practices rather than adopt new ones. As with me- they will let you go when you voice any concerns. When I started they told me I may not be able to make 40 hours right away. They said it may take 2-4 weeks. After 6 weeks I was logging less than 30 hours. I raised the concern in a meeting with my supervisor and a few days later I was let go with NO explanation or warning. On top of that- the day before they told me not to come back- I had just finished the main task I was working on. I felt used. It has been hard to find a new job because I have to explain this incident. This is the least moral place I have ever worked. If you read the reviews on here I am not the only one this happened to. ALSO: No diversity to a creepy extreme.

    Advice to Management

    Grow a soul. Please keep in mind that when people leave other positions to come work for you they are giving up certain securities. You can damage someone's entire reputation by using a contract-to-hire process as a mechanism to "sample the goods.". If someone isn't what you wanted at least give them a chance to address how they can adjust to better meet your needs- this starts by simply raising a concern..

  3. It doesn't get much better for an agency in south central PA.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Harrisburg, PA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Harrisburg, PA

    I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    JPL is a great place to work. Management is open to understanding all aspects of any topic. Its an open workplace and you can assume your manager's door is always open. JPL supports and pays for employee training, ISP or gym reimbursement, work from home policy and flexible hours, competitive health benefits and 401K. They provide a great culture that makes working enjoyable and is a good mix of working hard and playing hard. I've found many employees are friends outside of work as well. Most of the negative reviews on here are employees or contractors that did not fit well with JPL's open culture or didnt take direction well overall.

    Cons

    Compensation is fair for the market but many feel they should make more. Expectations for the creative and work product are extremely high. Incredibly high focus on client experience. As with other reviewers, not really a con - but a necessity in our industry. This sometimes causes for stressful situations or tight deadlines but its well balanced overall. Employees typically work 40 hour weeks and are not taken for granted.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be open to new forms of project workflow and collaboration within teams. Always value people and treat them fairly. This isn't news - I feel most of this advice is already established by most principal folks around JPL.

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  5. Great first job, then move on

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

    I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications

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

    Pros

    Fun work environment, flexible schedule

    Cons

    Low salary, little room for growth

    Advice to Management

    Provide more mid-career opportunities.

  6. Deserving of their best places to work nod.

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

    I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications full-time

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

    Pros

    Flexibility to do work and enjoy life. No one is watching or enforcing "seat time". Doors are open, if we have a problem or issue, we can go directly to the source. Fun culture; beer taps on the wall, foursquare, arcades, pranks.

    Cons

    Expectations for each other and our work are very high. We are always working hard to adapt and improve. Not really a con in our industry I suppose.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to look for ways to improve the worklife, processes in the organization. Any way that we are able to make life easier for the team, the more they can focus on providing excellent results to our clients.

  7. Helpful (2)

    Not the best places to work for 10 years!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Harrisburg, PA

    I worked at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    A few of the employees are really talented and a joy with which to work.
    Good training ground for entry level employees.. giving them experience with which to move on to other companies.

    Cons

    Management is always attempting to create this atmosphere of "best places to work" but it is all hype! Salaries are low. Vacation time is not in line: I worked at JPL for ten years and only received two weeks.
    The CEO is difficult to work with. One day he compliments you at the staff meeting. The next day he considers letting you go. You never know where you stand with him. The rest of senior management...well if you are not part of the "in crowd", you don't get treated well. Despite their projected image, senior management does not like when you think outside of the box. They want you to do it their way, which can be unorganized. Some senior management have very little experience in the area they are working. If fact I was confused what some management did all day. They didn't seem to add value to any job.
    Too many staff meetings and other internal meetings. It seemed like 20%of my day was devoted to being in staff or departmental meetings, or preparing for the meetings. It is more important to put that energy towards client projects. We are always working to "make the building really cool". Which consumes too much creative energy from the staff.

    Advice to Management

    Really open your mind to suggestions from employees. You say you open your mind to new ideas, but you really are stuck doing it the same old way.

  8. Helpful (2)

    Decaying small business on a downward spiral

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

    I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    -Casual dress
    -You get most of the tools you need (ie. software, computer, office stuff)
    -Salad bar and lunch delivery
    -Culture - I heard it was way better before they added a corporate yawn to the leadership team
    -Some very talented people to work with
    -Hard workers

    Cons

    -Culture - feels a little forced fun
    -Slackers - I don't know how a company so small can keep people who just clock in/out while others carry the burden...what does that guy do that sits at the end of the hall???
    -The strategy area talks about insights but really just copies what the client's competition is doing. I would avoid working in this area which includes writing and design
    -Clients don't stick around because JPL charges too much or doesn't offer any value (see point above) so there's a concentration in work with certain clients
    -Disorganized and chaotic, especially with scheduling and getting the work done
    -Vacation time...they only give you 16 days to use for sick time, vacation, and personal time off...after 5 years and even 10 years it doesn't grow. So in a sense, you lose benefits the longer you stay.
    -Flexible hours - they boost it as a perk but clients & projects make it impossible
    -Leadership does not like hearing criticisms so things don't improve, especially with salary or time off

    Advice to Management

    This place breeds poor work life balance from the very top down. And if anyone from there disagrees they are part of the slacker group. JPL needs to look at the market closer when giving salaries otherwise the turnover will increase because there are other places to work. Lots of people complain about pay and time off and it falls on deaf ears and then they wonder why so many people are leaving.

  9. Helpful (4)

    Do NOT consider a contract position at JPL

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

    I worked at JPL Integrated Communications

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    It seems that they treat employees well but don't try to work there as a contractor. It was a very nice environment with creative employees. It's very unfortunate that they make false promises to get quality contract employees that they have no intention of retaining for their full contract.

    Cons

    JPL is known in the Harrisburg Area to be one of the worst to Contract Employees. They promise people full time positions for 6 months to a year or longer and then don't fulfill that promise. I've seen people with families leave their secure position at another company to work at JPL only to have their contract expired within a month with no explanation.

    Advice to Management

    JPL should conduct business responsibly and treat contract employees with respect rather than expendable commodities. They're getting quite a negative reputation in the IT Staffing Community and respectable companies are reluctant to do business with them.

  10. JPL is overrated, inefficient, ineffective, and has some serious organizational defects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Web Dev Group Thoroughly Disappointed In JPL in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Web Dev Group Thoroughly Disappointed In JPL in Harrisburg, PA

    I worked at JPL Integrated Communications

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    1 relaxed work from home options where job-appropriate
    2 relaxed dress-code
    3 company activities
    4 laid-back work environment in-general
    5. Free, good coffee
    6. crazy characters on staff

    Cons

    1 incredibly inefficient and wasteful
    2 question the experience and competence of management and leadership (I do not think most of them would survive in business outside of JPL)
    3 collaborative communication within certain areas of the business are not effective or efficient
    4 they seem cash-poor based on allocation of resources in all departments
    5 crazy characters on staff

    In summary, while this company likes to tout its "Best Places to Work in Central PA" awards, after being here for a brief time, I've concluded that it is way overrated; heavy on the fluff, light on the substance. I would never recommend a motivated, competent professional who cares about their business and business relationships to make a commitment here. When I first spoke with someone about JPL's supposed culture, they told me that there is more to a job than shorts and sandals; I now understand his passing remark.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to thrive, you need to seek-out more competent leadership and management/leadership that is dedicated to making your company succeed -- not just serve themselves. You also need to treat staff from all areas of your business with equal respect and try harder to foster productive communication and interaction between the groups (not just play-time). Frankly, I'm surprised you guys are still surviving this economy. I had such high expectations for the work environment and had disregarded warnings from others about the disorganization, but now I am convinced that the positive press was either hype, only certain sub-groups of the organization actually love working there, or that people there have never worked anywhere else so don't know any better.

    You could go so much further if you could combine your approach to a work-environment with a leadership and staff that is dedicated to performance and improvement. I am so disappointed and depressed with JPL; it's really disheartening as I had such high-expectations.

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