SutherlandGold Communications

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SutherlandGold Communications Reviews

Updated May 15, 2014
Updated May 15, 2014
14 Reviews

3.1
14 Reviews
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Scott Sutherland
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Exciting and fast paced. If you're willing to work hard, this agency will find a place for you.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    Awesome, cutting-edge clients to work with. Fast-paced and exciting work environment. Hard work and results are immediately recognized and rewarded. Staff is made up of hard working, fun, and down-to-earth people.

    Some people gripe that you have to "play the PR game." There is no game--if you work hard, be proactive, and get results for your clients, your work will be immediately recognized by management and you'll be able to move up the ladder quickly.

    Even though most people are really busy, they are still accessible--even the CEO and President--and will make time to help you with any questions you have. Management seems to be serious about boosting office morale and retaining employees long term-- they are working on events like trips to Giants' games, monthly happy hours, and more career development opportunities. The company really does feel like a group of friends that happens to be working really hard and collaborating together.

    Cons

    It can be stressful at times, but that should be the case at a thriving agency. It can be hard to define the right work/life balance. There can be some office politics, but that happens everywhere. The high turnover can be unsettling and create instability on some accounts, but management looks to be trying to change that and keep employees long term.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up with the initiatives that show you're investing in employees in the long term.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great junior staff, abusive management

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

    Pros

    The junior staff (AAEs through SAEs) are generally just awesome people. Everyone is young, funny and fun. Dog-friendly offices help to alleviate stress and the roof is amazing for sunny days. Really cool clients with a broad range of consumer and tech. Both SF and NY offices (though NY is quite small).

    Cons

    The culture at SG is best described as that of a "kick the dog" mentality. Directors, VPs, the President and the CEO do not think twice before sending mean, condescending and intimidating e-mails -- often putting people on blast over the team alias. There's little respect for interns (I'd actually seen management address an email to "INTERN" versus using their real name) and everyone is in general overworked and unhappy. The company has the craziest turnover rate -- basically at every agency meeting, someone else has jumped ship. This company has the potential to be an awesome agency, but management really needs to get their act together and recognize that happy employees = better work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having a bar cart isn't enough to make everyone happy when they are abused throughout the day. Intimidation is not a good leadership tactic.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    High School Politics, with High Expectations

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

    Pros

    Fun junior staff; interesting accounts; high expectations for work; dog friendly

    Cons

    Crazy political office. You get hired full-time if senior management or key influential people like you, but your work is supervised by people one level above you who generally don't know what they're doing. People above me would also take credit for my work all the time. High turnover (8 people left in the 6 months I was there), yet they're slow to promote from within once you are hired. No mentorship (sorry SG, a 23 year old AAE with 1 month of non-intern work experience is not a real mentor). Also, everyone has so much work they're always "heads down." The office is dead quiet at all times, unless some out of touch VP (or founder) decides to have a bar cart come in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire fewer interns and focus on really growing and training them. Pay attention to the work they do and how they're treated. More realistic work life balance. Keep the dogs though, they're the only thing making the office bearable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    PR Agency Sandbox

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

    Pros

    You will have the opportunity to work with very smart people who work at all levels. Some of the junior staff can be equally, if not more, impressive than the senior staff.

    A very media-driven organization that puts a large emphasis on outcomes/results.

    Some great client companies that are doing interesting things.

    Cons

    Hours can be very long and very early, sometimes regularly pitching client news at 5am.

    Leadership recently presented about how they had record profits but those profits did not trickle down to the staff. What's the sense of telling everyone how much money the company made if you are not planning to give out bonuses?

    Has trouble retaining good people. CEO plays favorites.

    Ops has trouble doing some of the most basic things, like rolling out the 401K match.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop tap dancing around your team. Recognize that your employee happiness, client success and your success are all tied.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very Unprofessional Owners

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

    Pros

    Made great money in the beginning and added great experience to my resume

    Cons

    Owners only care about themselves
    Financial matters are poorly managed
    Loyalty is non-existent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek psychiatric help for your narcissistic tendencies

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to start in the PR Industry

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

    Pros

    If you start a career in PR at this agency, you will be able to decipher whether or not this is the career path you want to embark on.

    Cons

    A lot of office politics and drama.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to keep all of the politics to a bare minimum.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Opportunity knocked, SutherlandGold delivered

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

    Pros

    - Every employee from intern to CEO roll their sleeves up to do work.
    - Smart, fun, creative and energetic staff.
    - Client roster is diverse and exciting, inspiring creative PR campaigns and strategy.
    - Fantastic environment to learn and grow – hard workers thrive and are rewarded for great performance.
    - Access to learn all areas of PR - direct communications with management and big, strategic thinkers.
    - Everyone loves dogs! Dog-friendly office with lots of free snacks (for humans)... plus cocktails at weekly staff meetings.

    Cons

    - Long hours at times, up to individual to draw line for work/life balance (not abnormal for PR agency).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Less than Desirable Place to Work

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

    Pros

    Ability to move up the ladder if you have an influential manager; fun junior staff; dog friendly office; interesting accounts in the tech space; high bar for all work

    Cons

    Favoritism abounds, it's imperative to "play the game" and do so extremely well. Senior staff is very manipulative and there are not uniform expectations for individuals across levels. Some members of senior staff are great to learn from but others are relatively useless aside from championing a high school environment. It's a high stress job which many members of senior level staff like to use as a reason to be extremely rude and abrasive, if not abusive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to foster an environment where people are empowered to go above and beyond and take on new tasks, you need to listen to junior staff and take action based on their feedback. As other posts have mentioned, HR continually emphasizes that "it's a business" instead of actively helping to resolve existing issues. It's time to take a step back and assess why there is high turnover instead of blaming the industry and take the necessary steps to fix the agency for everyone not just those that are favorites.

  10.  

    awesome agency

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    smart people, dedicated leadership, up and coming clients, great new office space with rooftop deck and full kitchen, fun office-wide activities

    Cons

    hours can be long at times (typical of any agency), smaller agency means resources are limited (though getting better as we grow)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    best agency in the valley

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

    Pros

    fast paced work environment on the cusp of tech industry, news and consumer trends.

    tons of access to senior level management and big thinkers.

    awesome clients who are changing industries. from retail to health and security to media.

    Cons

    high bar is set for all work. expectation is for process, results and communications to be perfect.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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