Ketchum Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
108 Reviews
3.9
108 Reviews
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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
40 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great place to learn new skills but it's best to leave after a year (in 8 reviews)

  • There is opportunity to work with great clients and leadership is good at matching assignments to passion (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is essentially non-existent even though it is touted often (in 14 reviews)

  • Long hours, no compensation for overtime (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Dysfunctional corporate culture. Break-neck pace.

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

    I worked at Ketchum full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    They do have large brands that you can work on.

    Cons

    You will drive yourself crazy working there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not the place to be if you have any self-respect.

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

    I have been working at Ketchum as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Most of the people seem nice, considering it's a PR & Marketing company. Most staff seems more junior and inexperienced than their titles would imply.

    Cons

    Very disorganized & understaffed. Billing to a client is more important than producing good work - even half an hour of downtime will cause a call from HR/Finance to find out exactly why. Out of touch managers, at least on the digital side, who seem to have trouble managing even a small team with a not especially heavy workload.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your acts together, or good people will stop walking through the door - assuming filling seats isn't more important than people interested in doing good work, that is.

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

    No Idea How They Continue On

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

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

    +Well known, fortune 500 clients
    +Industry prestige & reputation
    +Some great people on account teams and in practice areas
    +Central office location

    Cons

    -Integration is a joke, digital is a shiny object not a partner
    -somehow, the cruelest least talented people move up
    -Vacation time is refused often, it's common to be denied comp time for weekends / late nights
    -no work / life balance
    -complete disregard for employee development unless it can be directly tied to growing business
    -specialty areas are poorly defined and often compete against one another
    -silos and firewalls everywhere
    -terrible facilities. offices look like a call center in oklahoma
    -IT can not and will not provide adequate machines / technology
    -HR is totally useless robot arm of management
    -very few people are trustworthy
    -constant fake deadlines pushed internally and cross-functionally
    -freelancers used to prop up and propel a totally dying infrastructure
    -all managers and no doers. especially in specialty areas

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -look to spend real time determining what is really going on
    -just because you HAVE a digital or social group doesn't make it competent
    -hold leaders up to the same standards their team members are
    -cultivate relationships with mid level talent by actually listening to their concerns rather than holding pointless levels meetings as venting sessions for HR to hear about what is wrong and use it against those who voiced it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Brutal. Worked like a dog for no money.

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

    I worked at Ketchum

    Pros

    Good accounts. Nice office space.
    Offers good courses for training. A good place to get experience, but not a good place to stay past three years.

    Cons

    Terrible pay in comparison to other agencies. Some people work very hard, but some don't. A lot of politics in getting a promotion. HR is not responsive to complaints. Bonuses are also low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management doesn't realize how bad some managers are. Pay is very low. They promote dead weight that doesn't perform. People complain about the same people and nothing gets done.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6.  

    Daily Firedrills

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

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

    High Profile clients, brands and projects

    Cons

    Ketchum is a work environment in which firedrills and last minute, sister PR team and crazy client requests are the norm. There is very little time to prepare well thought out strategic plans. Everything is last minute. Employees are expected to write presentations and routinely work during major holidays like Thanksgiving and SR. Mgmt doesnt even say thank you for working over the holiday. SR. Mgmt email and expect employees to work all hours of the night and day, evenings and weekends. SR. Mgmt. expects employees to travel on their personal time like weekends and evenings rather than during business hours/weekdays. SR. Mgmt are workaholics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Embrace Work/Life Balance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Ketchum

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Ketchum DC is fun and the ppl are nice and friendly.

    Cons

    Employees are not given their do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Stay Away

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Well-known global clients, that's about it.

    Cons

    No creativity, too much bureaucracy, losing business, disconnected management...well actually the worst management ever (and believe me, I've had my fair share of bad senior management), no values or ethics, terrible supervisors who couldn't care less, lost of grunt work that the clients don't want to do, by far the most horrible place I've worked for. it's all about who you know, not what you do. Just say no to this hellish place unless you have no other option and there are bills to pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. You are doing a good job of running this place into the ground anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not the best, even though they tell you it is...often

    • 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

    Pros

    Learning opportunities, office events/extracurricular activities, opportunity to work with great industry professionals, client roster. Great place to learn new skills but it's best to leave after a year.

    Cons

    Work/life balance is essentially non-existent even though it is touted often. Coming in early and leaving well past 7:00pm is the norm. You're made to feel like a criminal if you dont. Management is rude, selfish and limits professional growth to benefits their own personal achievements and stifle employees. Not all teams are treated equally. Culture has diminished over the course of time, but the spotlight on the 'bottom line' has increased. Management often identifies an 'employee crush' and drools over them until the next person with an idea shows up and takes their spot.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look at your managers and your turn and burn rate. Re-evaluate the culture, because it's not great.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Resistant to change

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

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

    Pros

    It's a pleasantly informal environment with many nice people. It's a big important name in the industry, and they have some fun accounts.

    Cons

    Ketchum is incredibly hierarchical, and combined with my observation that success and promotions up the ladder are nepotistic and tenure-based, it's a hard company to succeed in from the middle. There are many people there who should have been fired long ago; they get by on knowing the system, but not necessarily having knowledge beyond the company walls. This problem goes several levels up. All around, employees are more preoccupied with appearances and covering their own hides than producing good work. It means that things move slowly, the works mucked up with people-pleasing and side-stepping direct solutions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do better to see the potential in everyone. Look beyond titles and focus on doing good work. Embrace change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great experience but they burn through people

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

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

    Pros

    High profile clients and engaging projects. Cutting edge digital and creative departments. Great place for junior PR professionals to gain valuable experience.

    Cons

    Morale is extremely low – management views employees as interchangeable 'resources' to be worked into the ground. Account teams agree to insane deadlines without consulting those who will be executing the work. Managers think nothing of calling at 10pm or over weekends with the crisis du jour.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Manage your teams. I experienced weeks where my direct manager never even spoke to me. Absent or un-engaged managers can create a volatile workplace where employees are pitted against each other and back-stabbing gets you ahead.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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