Burson-Marsteller Reviews | Glassdoor

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Burson-Marsteller Reviews

Updated February 5, 2018
280 reviews

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3.0
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Burson-Marsteller President & CEO Donald A. Baer
Donald A. Baer
103 Ratings

280 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Big name clients mean that there are high-exposure campaigns and opportunities to work on, which helps build skill and can look impressive on a resume (in 10 reviews)

  • Great people, office culture, interesting work, exciting environment (in 18 reviews)

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

  • Parent company has large influence, lack of recognition for hard-working staff, long hours and focus on numbers over work (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great Company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Exciting and diverse mix of clients both large and small
    Challenging work
    Flexible and good work life balance
    Fun office culture with close knit team
    Great company outings and events
    Lots of resources for people to take advantage
    Some of the smartest and most talented people work here

    Cons

    Vacation policy good but could be better
    Office and equipment can be updated / better IT service

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your staff as much as you can and where you can. They are the most important part of any company.


  2. "Great Experience!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern
    Former Employee - Intern
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Close office culture, fun events, generally approachable people

    Cons

    minimal yet expected office politics / can't get a sense of how employees have access to upward mobility

  3. "Just ok"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller full-time

    Pros

    Experience to work on high profile clients
    You get to meet great people
    Flexibility to work remotely

    Cons

    Salaries are not competitive to other agencies
    Promotions are hard to come by

    Advice to Management

    There's a lot of turnover in PR and especially at agencies so invest in your people.


  4. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Good long-term, large clients, great internship program

    Cons

    Parent company has large influence, lack of recognition for hard-working staff, long hours and focus on numbers over work

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the work and the staff who produces quality work for key clients


  5. "Client Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Most people are great and wonderful to learn/work from

    Cons

    Late hours, work/life balance, promotion cycle is horrendous


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Smoke and Mirrors - Get your house in order"

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

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

    Pros

    Smart colleagues, diverse clients and new initiatives to improve culture and promote diversity & inclusion

    Cons

    Financial hardship (recent layoff selection process unclear - leaving many questions and concerns), top heavy, raise & promotions are not consistent both with timing (unsure as to when the next cycle will occur) and selection (lots of social promotions), performance development plans are useless and connected to nothing (raises nor firing), many senior leaders have been socially promoted and do not carry their weight - dumping the work and on younger staff and quickly point the finger at others.

    Advice to Management

    Get your house in order. Develop consistent HR practices for raises & promotions - talent and institutional knowledge are walking out the door every week. Take the business case for employee engagement seriously. Retention of clients will never work until you nurture and develop the people that serve them. Connect annual performance evaluations to raises and firing, without doing so they serve no purpose and you are not developing your talent or providing exits for low-performing employees.


  7. "Junior Staffer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Pros

    - Great projects
    - Capable and intelligent colleagues
    - Opportunities for growth
    - Entrepreneurial spirit

    Cons

    - Work life balance
    - Crazy hours

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Don't Be The Fool That Stays"

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

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

    Pros

    - Incredible talent everywhere you look that came for the name
    - SF office prioritized culture and succeeded
    - Flexibility
    - Ability to punch above your weight (also a negative - see below)

    Cons

    - Leadership needs to change as evident by the revolving door of talent
    - ZERO communication where it matters; any communication is just smoke and mirrors that avoids talking about the topics people actually care about (i.e. why we lost the pitch or even that we lost the pitch, the outdated and ambiguous WPP-mandated promotion and raise cycle, serious IT problems, etc.)
    - The practically non-existent promotion cycle that is lucky to come once a year
    - Stuck using old HP garbage because of a deal signed years ago that should no longer apply
    - Mr. Burson's deal with the Y&R / WPP devil that keeps BM so tightly wound and "number" focused that it ruins the work environment and the work products
    - Junior talent forced to grow up fast and miss out on key development opportunities
    - Junior talent working at much higher levels without recognition or compensation

    Advice to Management

    Same advice every other former employee is giving: figure out how to fix the employee retention epidemic and for god's sake, cut ties with WPP and remove the horrible cycle.


  9. "Ok"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    It was fine - just a job

    Cons

    Same as above - it was fine


  10. Helpful (1)

    "ACE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Burson-Marsteller full-time

    Pros

    Friendly culture, at least in my team.
    Opportunity to work for many great clients.

    Cons

    Each team works on their own, they do not share anything with other colleagues.


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