Burson-Marsteller Reviews | Glassdoor

Burson-Marsteller Reviews

Updated February 21, 2017
228 reviews

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3.3
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Burson-Marsteller President & CEO Donald A. Baer
Donald A. Baer
81 Ratings

228 Employee Reviews

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

  • Big name clients and high profile projects (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Burnout and work/life balance unless you make it a priority (in 18 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Direct Impact - Good first job"

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

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

    Pros

    Under Connie Partoyan's leadership, Direct Impact was a great place to work. I started as an intern and later went full-time when I graduated from college. I don't think I could have asked for a better job out of college to gain valuable experience in comms/PR.

    Cons

    A lot of layers of management. Not a ton of creativity involved. At times, I wish that we would have been a little more innovative and relied on tactics that were more appropriate for 2016. I guess traditional PR tactics are still profitable, even though leaders in this space would tell you that they are becoming more obsolete.

    This message is for WPP: I watched a lot of my millennial colleagues leave BM because of poor compensation and very small, pitiful raises. In fact, a lot of the talent that I learned from is gone. Inequality leads to an exodus of talent.


  2. "burson employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burson-Marsteller full-time

    Pros

    money, people, food, atmosphere, location

    Cons

    there are no cons to working here


  3. "Smart professionals, toxic culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Burson-Marsteller attracts a diversity of talented PR practitioners and subject matter experts. Depth of knowledge and experience of teammates creates a great hands-on learning environment. High profile clientele and reputation are strong resume boosters.

    Cons

    From the top down, Burson-Marsteller is plagued by a toxic culture created by management. Employees--particularly junior employees--are seen as expendable, which creates a sweatshop culture. Attrition is high, work hours are longer than the industry average and pay is low. Further, employee development is put on the back burner far to oft to truly support professionals. The only time I ever felt valued was when I came to my supervisor with another job offer.

    Advice to Management

    Either admit that you're a sweatshop and own it, or work to invest in a culture that supports employee development and allows for some semblance of a work-life balance. Stop micromanaging highly talented professionals and spend your time investing in managing the business--not granular account details.


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  5. "Brand name clients, but antiquated reputation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The opportunity to work on big brand names, especially ones that are engaging in activities outside of "traditional PR", is great for the resume. You also get a really good feel for the challenges that these types of blue-chip companies face on a day-to-day basis.

    There is a strong entrepreneurial nature to working at Burson. If there is a project that you really want to work on or believe that you have an idea that will help generate new business or revenue, you are encouraged to pursue that idea. Individuals who are self-sufficient and independent will thrive in this environment.

    If you're in corporate or public affairs, Burson is still the agency you want to call first. It understands these spaces better than anyone else out there.

    Cons

    Burson's reputation as a leader in corporate and PA acts as a double-edged sword though. It makes it more difficult for the agency to engage in projects that involve up and coming brands and startups. When pitching new business, that reputation is hard to shake in the room.

    The other side of that is that realistically Burson really is still behind when it comes to the changing PR landscape. PR is drastically changing and Burson has not done a good job keeping up with the trends. There were definite strides in the last few years I was there, but there is a lot of work still to be done.

    Finally, there are a lot of potential senior-level leaders out there who are not old and white. I suggest Burson looks at them.


  6. "Creative"

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

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller full-time

    Pros

    Lots of smart people. And a multitude of disciplines, which exposes everyone to many different areas of the advertising, PR, tech, and creative business.

    Cons

    Massive, massive company. As a result employees are sort of a number, and at times it's hard to decipher your purpose or background to some projects you work on. There's little client contact, and the executives that are in charge are very removed from the day-to-day folks in the trenches.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time with middle management and lower tier leaders. Apprise them of whats going on, so the team has knowledge of their purpose.


  7. "Account Executive"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Associate Executive
    Former Employee - Digital Associate Executive
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Major global clients, good environment, possibility to grow

    Cons

    Don't pay extra hours, sometimes a professional is too busy with more clients than should have in order to maintain the area with good rentability


  8. "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.


  9. "Associate"

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

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

    Pros

    Incredibly smart and talented peers; great bosses and support system; opportunities to raise your hand and work on new projects; attempting to improve culture; work from home flexibility is amazing

    Cons

    Coin toss on if you're going to have a good manager and strong support system; promotion cycles are incredibly frustrating and political; senior leadership is a boys club; culture can be lacking

    Advice to Management

    Remind your staff that you value them and recognize that the lack of transparency around promotion cycles (including how people are chosen for promotions) make even the most loyal "Burson Persons" feel jaded


  10. "Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive Salary and benefits package

    Cons

    Executive leadership encourages competition from within

    Advice to Management

    Keep cross team conflict to a minimum


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Too big, too dirty, too many men at the top"

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

    Pros

    smart people. hard workers. ( i need to have 5 words...)

    Cons

    they take on a lot of clients who are controversial as in anti-environment, pro GMO, etc. There are few days where we left feeling good about the people we were helping.

    Everyone is always 'so busy' to the point where work looses creativity and it's just about moving things and getting things done.

    Advice to Management

    slow down. work more closely with junior staff. incorporate training programmes for staff at all levels. let some more women get to the top. teach men about sexism in the workplace



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