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Burson-Marsteller Director Reviews

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Director

2.7
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Burson-Marsteller President & CEO Donald A. Baer
Donald A. Baer
20 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people, office culture, interesting work, exciting environment (in 17 reviews)

  • Really like the smart people and great working location (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance essentially depends on team associated with (in 23 reviews)

  • Most staff work long hours although official working hours are from 9-6 (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Smart colleagues, impressive clients, lots of charitable opportunities, fast paced

    Cons

    The technology is pretty bad. Burson obviously outsources their technology which is frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to improve transparency.


  2. "Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Director
    Current Employee - Account Director
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Career opportunities and flexible schedule, works well for parents and students.

    Cons

    Compensation, work/life balance, culture. Outsourcing and Shared Services creates more headaches than it fixes.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "So Much Potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Solid reputation in for a specific kind of business (PA/Crisis). A household name for crisis communications and public affairs, which opens doors and conversations that other agencies don't have.

    Cons

    Leadership at the highest level lacks the willingness to be collaborative with those in positions to change the organization. They over-scrutinize anything that doesn't fit a traditional PR mindset. They claim to understand how to navigate the changes in the industry to remain relevant but lack the willingness to make the right changes. Instead, they continue to reward and stack the ranks and thinking with like-minded people who don't have the experience or creativity to make the real change that Burson requires to keep up with its peers. For every one step forward, they find a way to take three steps back with every reorg. Diversify your leadership. Consider flipping the script by not hiring any more traditional suits.

    Advice to Management

    Either decide to remain the monolithic public affairs and crisis agency you have built a reputation on, and use that to manage the long-term decline of the agency, or get out of your own way. Be truly disruptive, and look for answers from those who have experience asking and answering different questions. You're either in the PR business or can recognize that your world has changed. Bring in people who can disrupt, and give them the respect, support and chance to do so. You're becoming a wallflower at the ball. Loosen your tie, and get out there an boogie. The last song is about to play.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Horrible place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    By comparison to other companies, the "pros" are non-existent!

    Cons

    Poor:
    - leadership
    - opportunities for growth
    - office space
    - culture
    - technology
    - benefits
    - training

    Advice to Management

    Remove the dead weight and replace them with people who understand how a real company operates. Bring in leaders that have a vision for the future instead of people who are trapped in the past.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Lacks leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong professionals, broad range of clients

    Cons

    Lacks visionary leadership at the top, high turnover, can't keep senior women, not investing in talent or innovation

    Advice to Management

    articulate a vision, retain senior women


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Smart and talented people
    Interesting clients

    Cons

    Demanding work environment
    Promotion and raise process is not very transparent and happens infrequently


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Professional rocket booster"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Complicated, high-profile clients with diverse business challenges, high standards for work quality, high pressure to perform combine to transform willing raw talent into sharp, world-class PR operatives with highly-sought-after skills and experience and extensive professional relationships. Unless you have dreams of becoming Olivia Pope, Burson-Marsteller may not be your dream job -- but the experience you will build working there for a couple years will help you land it.

    Cons

    Complicated office politics; the business of the business is too far behind the scenes; the best efforts of upper management to make positive changes seem often stymied by micro-management by layers of holding company minders; because promotions and raises depend on overall performance, those who work super-hard to bring in revenue do not see rewards themselves if their colleagues aren't similarly motivated, and it's easy for frustrated stars to find opportunities elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Set staff expectations to the baseline of what you're actually able to deliver, share a vision of what the company could look like if everyone worked together to achieve it, and invite those who don't share your vision to find a new place to work. Celebrate achievement of quarterly goals and reinforce how short-term goals ladder up to the shared vision. At minimum, clamp down on unrealistic promises -- especially to new recruits.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Agency in trouble..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Park Ridge, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Park Ridge, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Strong leadership in some offices
    Some very talented younger employees
    Decent mix of clients

    Cons

    100 percent focused on billability and nothing else
    Myopic in focus with junior people learning only one area of practice
    People are just numbers, changes by top leadership are only based on profits

    Advice to Management

    Start over and learn how to push back on the parent company, you're bleeding good people.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Avoid this place. You can do better."

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

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Really smart veterans of the old-school PR world who know crisis comm and public affairs very well.
    -you can be a big fish in a small pond
    -Bagels on Fridays (in SF and DC)
    -Solid pay

    Cons

    -Absolutely zero understanding from executive/senior leadership on how integrated marketing works and how to apply anything other than a traditional model of old school media relations
    -Junior staff are often over-worked and not empowered. In fact, senior leadership cares more about the dollar than cultural improvements.
    -Lot of talk, little action when it comes to employee concerns.
    -Average work. Aside from a few superstars, the agency leadership has created a culture of being satisifed with what outsiders would consider pretty average work.
    -No real concept of team and building each other up

    Advice to Management

    I mean - where to start? You are so out of touch with modern communications it's scary.

    Having a job is not an incentive to work harder. This isn't 1978. Reward employees. Be more transparent in how and why you're doing things. Get out of your own way and set people up to succeed. People don't hire PR agencies for their media contacts anymore. They hire them for their partnership and creative thinking. You have a few talented people that you don't setup to succeed. Instead, you get territorial and force those people out.


  10. "An excellent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Managing Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time

    Pros

    Very fun and sharp colleagues; excellent crisis clients; very entrepreneurial; fun social events

    Cons

    Busy schedule makes it hard to keep up with fun colleagues

    Advice to Management

    Continue your efforts to communicate both internally and externally