Burson-Marsteller Director Reviews | Glassdoor

Burson-Marsteller Director Reviews

Updated April 30, 2017
31 reviews

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Director

2.9
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Burson-Marsteller President & CEO Donald A. Baer
Donald A. Baer
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You can learn a lot buy serving different clients (in 9 reviews)

  • Good opportunities to work with sharp public affairs professionals and to do work on behalf of some outstanding clients that have global footprints (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance essentially depends on team associated with (in 20 reviews)

  • When pitching new business, that reputation is hard to shake in the room (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Prestigious Organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    The most prestigious PR firms I have worked at. Very smart, strategic, talented employees. Great clients. Strong interest, from the top, around culture and a positive work environment.

    Cons

    Have to deal with the corporate WPP structure which sometimes creates roadblocks in getting things accomplished. Similar to Publicis and Omnicom... they are all the same.

    Advice to Management

    Have clear decision makes, sometimes too many cooks in the kitchen.


  2. "Lacks leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Professional rocket booster"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Agency in trouble..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Avoid this place. You can do better."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  8. "An excellent place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Good for a paycheck"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great colleagues, fun to work with, day to day work with clients is fun and interesting. Hours are reasonable, work-life balance is possible. Great 401k plan.

    Cons

    The company doesn't care about you - in any way. Raises are not review-based, and are doled out randomly and inconsistently. A lot of senior staff operates on need-to-know, making it hard for middle and lower level staff to feel connected to project, or even give proper counsel. Senior staff pretend the internet doesn't exist, despite some really talented and cool internal tools available. No family leave to speak of...except for 6 weeks for a birthing mother, and nada for a father.

    Advice to Management

    Put into place a real system for promotions and feedback. Train managers/leaders to...manage and lead. Introduce the internet to Senior Management


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great flexibility, but no clear development path"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good clients, interesting work and flexibility for high-performers. New CEO has committed to change culture and performance program, but change seems to be slow.

    Cons

    No clear development path - raises, bonus and promotions are all a total mystery to rank and file staff (and some senior leadership claim they don't really know how it works either) We are told that its the fault of the parent company (WPP) but other WPP companies/sister agencies have seem to figured it out. I was told when I started here 3 years ago that they were 'working' on a new performance program, but it hasn't happened yet.

    Advice to Management

    Get the performance and development system organized and make it transparent.. Tell employees what it takes to move up and then reward them when they achieve those benchmarks.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Great people but crazy clients aren't reigned I."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Really great people who care about each other, career development, flexibility. Account teams run well as most people work hard but have easy going personalities. Employees are much nicer than what I experienced at other agencies.

    Cons

    Work/life balance. Lack of culture and identity as many accounts work across different offices. Senior leadership lets certain clients (who fall within the Key Client Relationship Model) walk all over us. They will do anything to keep these clients, even at the expense of employees health and wellbeing.

    Advice to Management

    Cut ties with abusive clients that aren't profitable.