Ketchum Reviews in Washington, DC

102 Reviews
3.9
102 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
36 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great place to learn new skills but it's best to leave after a year (in 7 reviews)

  • Fun colleagues, great clients, agency network, international business, trainee program (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is essentially non-existent even though it is touted often (in 13 reviews)

  • long hours, no compensation for overtime (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

7 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Experience is what you make it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Account Supervisor  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Managing Account Supervisor in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Ketchum is a place that allows you to grow, but growth won't just be handed to you. Work hard and raise your hand to opportunities and don't be afraid to create an opportunity that doesn't yet exist.

    Cons

    Rise above office politics and learn to navigate around some department heads that are afraid to confront staff at any level head on.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    New to Ketchum but enjoying it so far

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

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great culture; something different every day; great team; never a dull moment; fast-paced; always something new; access to leadership at all levels of the agency; collaborative environment (everyone pulling together to complete projects on time); excellent process in place for reviews (both formal and informal); very creative - no idea is a bad idea; room for growth at all levels.

    Cons

    Long hours and no overtime; no reimbursement for using public transit (bus, metro); it's a big company so there is some level of bureacracy that you have to wade through.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 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 for 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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  5.  

    Challenging at times, like any big agency, but focused on client service (not office intrigue)

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

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

    In a town and industry that can be frustratingly crowded with self promoters, the team at Ketchum is remarkably collegial, professional and dedicated to client service. From top to bottom, I'm not sure I've worked with a more talented, hard-working group of people.

    Cons

    I don't think there's anything unique to Ketchum that isn't problematic in the industry as a whole. Clients are demanding, hours can be long, and the job itself is stressful (but comes with high rewards).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know the company took significant steps to avoid laying off staff during the downturn, and I hope they show an equal dedication to sharing the benefits of a stronger performance this year.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's OK, but not going to stay here forever

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

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

    As far as PR Agencies in DC go, Ketchum is a pretty good one. More transparency from upper management on financials and such.

    Cons

    Volume of work is absolutely crushing, work-life balance is a joke. Not enough staff to do the work -- ending up with more freelancers than staffers. And benefits are below industry standards -- two weeks vacation when most other DC agencies offer three to begin with. Very little sick leave too.

    Managers don't have enough time to do their management tasks -- so reviews are 6-months late, no one has time to worry about career progression for those outside the traditional account-team roles.

    Only ideas that are given credence are those surrounding social media. While social media is definitely growing faster than anyone ever imagined, can't hand our hats on that alone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You're going to start losing people if you don't take care of them. Two weeks vacation is not nearly enough when everyone puts in 50-hour weeks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Ketchum

    Pros

    Ketchum offers the chance to work on big-name projects. Even though it's a large company, you can still feel like you're making significant contributions to projects. If your career is in PR, this is a good place to be. Company culture is somewhat laid back, and they have office happy hours and baseball games, etc. If you're looking for an internship, Ketchum is a great place to start.

    Cons

    If you are, like me, not working on the PR side of the office, this may not be a good place for you, as the work is not as exciting as at some other places. Office culture can be somewhat impersonal--like birthday cake for everyone within a month with the words "Happy birthday" written on a flip board. People generally commute from out-of-town, so there's not a lot of socializing outside of work hours. Office environment can be really quiet and dull, everyone works in a small cubicle, and most people have tiny computer screens. Many of the accounts people (especially interns) do a lot of grunt work for very little pay; it seems unsatisfying. Ketchum is probably a better place to work if you are mid-career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are far too many "managers"! Anyone at Ketchum who has been in the industry for more than four years seems to be a "Vice President"--the title is almost meaningless. All of these "VP"s are Type A people who run around like Chicken Little, asking where things are. The office is top heavy!.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Met some nice friends, hated the work

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

    I worked at Ketchum

    Pros

    I met a great many friends while working at Ketchum. People I still keep in contact with to this day - many years after leaving (well, not many years). Frankly, that's about it.

    Cons

    Very little respect paid to employees. Too much concern with punching clocks. Stale environment. Very little money invested into the corporation or employees. Old infrastructure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start all over. Look at your rentention rates and ask yourself, why are they so low?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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