Russ Reid Reviews

Updated August 18, 2015
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3.1
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Russ Reid President and CEO Alan Hall
Alan Hall
2 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Shocked

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Coordinator in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Operations Coordinator in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Helping the homeless find food and shelter during the holidays.

    Cons

    Too many politics. Many people that work there are related or referred. Poor training. I had my Employee Orientation after 2 months.

    Advice to Management

    No checks and balances on job performance. More supervisor training and evaluation by subordinate is (when under fire) needed. Unprofessional treatment of co-workers provide a stressful and hostile environment.


  2. Helpful (5)

    Dysfunctional and horribly managed agency.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Russ Reid full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working with nonprofits who want to change the world. There are also pockets of great people you'll meet and make lasting friendships with.

    Cons

    For an agency that services nonprofits, Russ Reid is dysfunctional, heartless and unethical. Steer clear of this shady, horribly managed agency that specializes in a dying medium. Russ Reid is old school and way behind on latest trends. This agency just can't seem to catch up. Ever. Russ Reid innovates at a snail's pace because the same geriatric higher ups are still calling all the same geriatric shots. Don't let their whole spiel of "50+ years experience in nonprofits" fool you. They may have 50+ years, but they have nothing to show for all those years. It's such a circus here and every SVP, VP and SP wants to be the ring leader, but none of them know what they're doing or have the slightest idea how to lead. The higher ups are a clique of very insecure and complacent slackers who just don't care and are waiting it out for retirement. Major inappropriate behavior from supervisors are ignored when brought to the attention of HR or management. As a result, we've seen coworkers left to struggle and suffer under bad conditions created by their bosses. Employees are also too afraid to speak up because those who have were quickly laid off. Those that keep quiet can keep their jobs...for now, but they are taken advantage of in the worst way then kicked to the curb when their time is up. We are also seeing upper management leave for several offsite or closed door meetings to discuss the status of the agency. After these meetings, management come back and lie to their employees about there not being any massive layoffs anytime soon. However, when these massive layoffs do happen, they are handled horribly and unprofessionally by management and HR. Since the right people are not in the right roles, there is a ton of insecurity, paranoia and backstabbing especially within the higher up clans. Russ Reid used to be about helping nonprofits, but the only thing that matters now is the bottom line. The agency doesn't care about their employees and this place is incredibly cheap. If they find out you have another talent, they'll exploit that and fudge it so you end up doing your normal tasks plus another job without compensating you. They follow this up by promising to invest time and money to grow their employees. Only the select "favorites" will ever get the growth they want.

    Advice to Management

    Really consider cleaning house now within your dozens and dozens of SVPs, VPs, Executives etc. (It seems like everyone and their mother's cousin is an SVP or a VP at Russ Reid.) Stop laying off employees that actually do the work just so you can keep your own cushy jobs. Trying to create efficiency also applies to upper management. You'll be amazed at how much better the agency will run when you hire the right people for upper management as well. If the higher ups are calling all the shots, but they're all idiots, then you're attempts at efficiency are pointless until you clean house. Think about providing adequate training for ALL employees, not just the select "favorites". Don't just throw your employees into a position without support and then stand by like idiots as you watch them drown then get rid of them once you've burned them out.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Doing good for others sometimes isn't enough.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fundraising for non-profits, feeling good about helping the clients, knowing you've made the world a better place. The majority of the people are very nice and hard working. When dealing with peers, it can be delightful. There are a lot of really talented people in the lower and middle management areas.

    Cons

    Depending on what department you are in, there can be terrible internal politics and a general lack of respect. Executive and senior management thinks they're cutting edge but actually sadly behind the curve, majority of "new blood" is brought into the junior accounts areas. Preference seems given to graduates of Azusa Pacific University or Westmont, neither of which are known for their stellar marketing, advertising or fundraising programs. The top managers who seem the most fair-minded and even-tempered, don't have that much face time with the average employee or aren't empowered to really make change. I've seen some really nasty behavior and tantrums exhibited by a handful of VPs. They undermine and contradict. Somehow the work gets done despite them, not because of them. There are a lot of faith-based clients, which depending on your own personal faith (or lack thereof) can make working at Russ Reid wonderfully fulfilling or very uncomfortable.

    Advice to Management

    Shopping the local Christian universities can be an asset, especially with the Missions clients. But are these the strongest candidates for the positions? Often very junior people are put in front of clients and they over promise and create a domino effect of problems. Then more experienced people are marginalized or blamed. Hiring for positions with competitive salaries, especially in technology and digital, would save a lot of turnover and upheaval. Assuming that "doing good" is someone's first priority isn't going to keep Russ Reid competitive or ahead of the competition. Also, take a closer look at some of your senior management. Many of you are personal friends which seems to fog true objectivity as to whether those people are helping or hurting the company in the long run.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Extremely Crazy Schedule, No Work/Life Balance

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Omnicom Agency AEs get up to 3 weeks PTO Summer Fridays

    Cons

    Underlying Christian favoritism, can't prove it- but know it's there Over Process Driven. To the point where it's sometimes debilitating. And doesn't render good profits Very heirarchial. Not very open to growth, unless you're some senior management's "favorite". In which case, all the doors open for you

    Advice to Management

    carefully watch the employees. they work too hard. too fast. and suffer burn-out easily.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Meaningful work, good benefits, low pay, poor balance

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, lower employee turnover than a typical ad agency, employees are full of heart and passionate about what they do. Semi-flexible hours during the day, or ability to work from home from time to time if necessary.

    Cons

    Hectic, uneducated clients, lots of women, lots of grads from local Christian universities, poor general work/life balance amongst employees, very Christian environment--almost too much, wish the company was more creative/laid back, not cutting edge advertising, company is very process driven to a fault, insanely low pay for job responsibilities and location, but the company gets away with it because the clients are non profits. There is a large disconnect between promotions/salary increases in half of the company, and very slow promotions in the rest of the agency.

    Advice to Management

    Prove/make clear--often-- to your employees that you truly value their sacrifice and hard work for the agency. Even if it comes to spending your own money to make your colleague feel appreciated.


  7. Helpful (1)

    This company cannot manage its greatest assest--its people.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Russ Reid full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I made wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime and had one incredible mentor that changed my life. But these were exceptions to an overall negative experience.

    Cons

    The management, who have been there for decades, are lazy, condescending and arrogant. They promote incompetence because of their own incompetence. When they have an issue with an employee, they will never tell the employee to their face, but will go above them to their supervisor. Rarely, if at all, is the employee given enough of an opportunity to change or grow because by the time they hear of the problem, it's too late. Management is already making plans to get them out the door. I cannot express enough just how much I would warn anyone considering working here. It is not worth it, for any reason. The experience will beat you down, shred your confidence and leave you totally confused about your own abilities. Additionally, the pay is terrible. They are a for profit company. Do not let them tell that you that because they work for non-profits, they can't offer competitive salaries. The executives are making six figures and above. Furthermore, they say they grow their people and want their employees to be happy. I saw very little evidence of that. Most people I knew were miserable and paranoid. I worked there for a number of years and can't believe it took me this long to free myself. Don't let that be you. Don't go there in the first place. It will destroy your life.

    Advice to Management

    Retire.


  8. Helpful (1)

    The current outlook is that of the Titanic.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Russ Reid full-time

    Pros

    The company encourages a good work-life balance.

    Cons

    The company has exceptionally poor upper management, few growth opportunities if you aren't ready to play the political game, and persistent religious undertones within the workplace even when not actually dealing with clients.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to be changed with individuals who understand the current and anticipated non-profit landscape and who have a fresh perspective.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Good experience with Direct Mail but get ready to suck up

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Services in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Client Services in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    * Powerhouse when it comes to direct mail for nonprofits * Some genuinely good coworkers who are passionate about their job and helping nonprofits * Awesome clients

    Cons

    * Machine. Lower levels get treated like workhorses while upper levels sit in meetings all day. * Management seems to value sucking up and over hard work and dedication. * If you're on the client services side of things, don't expect to be able to give much creative input. * Some poorly trained supervisors.

    Advice to Management

    * Allow lower levels to have some input in creative/planning meetings. * Don't just preach about work life balance, provide it. * Better qualified supervisors and leadership who are not just trying to prove themselves. * Listen more to the needs and desires of your clients instead of trying to shove the "Russ Reid" proven way down their throats.


  10. Helpful (8)

    An agency on the verge of collapse

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Client Services in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Client Services in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Russ Reid full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working for clients who affect significant change in their city, state, country, world!

    Cons

    UNDER NEW LEADERSHIP One half of the business just experienced significant upheaval in the client services department. And while change is necessary for an agency that is still incredibly reliant on a slowly dying medium, the way in which the change was orchestrated is indicative of a leadership team that views its employees as disposable pawns. Employees were lied to about layoffs that were already being planned. And when said layoffs were carried out, I witnessed leadership laughing hysterically immediately before "somberly" delivering an update to the team. A mass exodus is in progress in Client Services and - If I were a client, I would be seriously concerned about the inevitable issues that will come from having a smaller, less experienced account team. - If I were a member of an internal department, I would fear for the ripple effect the changes in CS will have on the business and how that loss of business will impact hours.

    Advice to Management

    If you still have jobs in 6 months, consider valuing your employees


  11. Helpful (1)

    Sr. Account Coordinator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Coordinator in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Account Coordinator in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Russ Reid full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good culture and work/life balance

    Cons

    SEVERELY underpaid for the work we do.

    Advice to Management

    Pay yourself less and pay the people who do the day-to-day work more money.



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