Capstrat Reviews | Glassdoor

Capstrat Reviews

Updated June 20, 2017
42 reviews

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2.5
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Karen Albritton
6 Ratings

42 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Account Executive"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Raleigh, NC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great experience in the advertising business. A great way to launch my career.

    Cons

    Lots of project by project work with clients and less large campaigns. Lots of hierarchy. Too many junior staff and not enough senior staff to take leadership and provide strategic guidance. Pay was not great especially considering I was working 60 hour weeks every week.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "A turnaround is still possible, if you're willing to do the work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Director in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Account Director in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good people, challenging projects, great space.

    Cons

    The chief contributions of the account services lead include: inciting panic, playing the victim and throwing a tantrum the moment things don't go her way. Worst of all, this behavior is rewarded instead of reprimanded.

    Advice to Management

    Take a serious look at how your industry has shifted and the groups that create value for the agency. Treat the underlying causes of the issues that plague the company and not just the symptoms - there are more than a few recurring themes and actors.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Stressful, High-pressure, Clique-ish and Demeaning"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You can learn a great deal about the industry verticals that you work in. Capstrat teaches the team to become experts in the clients' space and this knowledge can propel you once you leave Capstrat.

    There are very smart people in the organization.

    The office is gorgeous and working in such a beautiful space is pleasant.

    Cons

    The temperament and attitude of some of the leaders and long-timers is unreal. The executive leaders and upper managers gossip and talk badly about their subordinates. There are executive team members who continue to throw temper tantrums and fits when something doesn't go her way. Employees who aren't in the "clique" or "friend group" feel abused and emotionally mistreated. It seems that because of long-standing client relationships and the length of some of the leaders' time at Capstrat, certain executives are tolerated in spite of their terrible behavior, incompetence (at times) and emotional instability.

    Advice to Management

    Be more aware of the HR nightmare that is your executive leadership team. There could be less turnover if the poisonous, negative behaviors were not coming from the top-down. The work-life balance is also difficult on employees with family commitments. Although employees work hard, have great ideas and care about clients, they aren't rewarded. When an employee can't dedicate weekend time to the client work, it does not mean those employees are less dedicated than the ones working Sunday - Friday. Find meaningful ways to periodically acknowledge and recognize employees outside of when a large project is launched. Explore sensitivity and diversity training for the executive leaders and managers.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Don't waste your time at Capstrat. You'll want to leave as soon as you start."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Capstrat full-time

    Pros

    -Cool list of clients and interesting projects

    Cons

    -Nearly everyone dislikes their job/the company. HUGE turnover rate.

    -Cuckolded by parent company (Ketchum), which also means very little room to advance, career-wise, in many departments.

    -Strange workplace dramas that get in the way of work being done

    -Management prefers to take on any project even if it is guaranteed to have them lose money (which happens on most projects), but then proceeds to hold the staff to unreasonable standards to try to fit within the under-sized budgets

    -Temp employees kept long-term (and told their position is temp-to-hire) but kept as Temp status and not given the treatment of regular employees, even though they are expected to act and commit as if they are employees

    -Management egos shift blame onto lower level employees

    Advice to Management

    Don't perpetually take on projects with budgets you know are too small. It's bad business to simply compete on price versus value. Clients stay not because they see Capstrat's value, but because it's the cheapest option.

    Treat your employees right so they don't keep quitting. Also, if you tell someone they are temp-to-hire, honor that. Don't keep them in Temp status in perpetuity.


  5. Helpful (10)

    "Reviews are true"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working with some of the smartest people you'll ever work with and has gotten more flexible over the years. Open, colorful working space and fast paced work.

    Cons

    For the people who still work there and deserve better, I can only hope Ketchum sees through was is a two-faced culture of power plays, meanness, and gossip. Only a handful of coworkers during my time there got the promotions they deserved. From client services managers to social media managers it's a nonstop gossip train. They are so nice to leadership and so awful towards almost everyone else. If it isn't to your face, it's behind your back to the other people there who enjoy gossiping and saying awful things about people. These are the people who get ahead. Southern upper class white females who like brown nosing and talking\laughing about people behind their backs until they quit do very well at Capstrat. No one asks these people the tough questions and no one in leadership cares to know what's really going on or why so many people leave.... actually some people do know and will tell you that's just how it is. It isn't that way everywhere though and what a relief it's not.

    Advice to Management

    Find a better answer than that's just how it is if you want talented employees to stop quitting because they are discouraged by the cliques, secret meetings, secret email forwarding, gossip and brown nosing. Stop letting middle, upper and senior management use their power to get their way instead of doing what you need to do to make a better company. Listen to two sides of every story and get entry level employees and other people from other departments involved in feedback and reviews so you know who you are promoting and how they behave when you aren't around.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Pressure cooker, but learned a lot"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Capstrat (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I learned a ton while working at Capstrat. I had an awesome manager, who was there to encourage me to learn new skillsets and pushed to have me promoted. The office space is gorgeous and days went fast because there was so much going on.

    Cons

    I've never received so many nasty emails internally in my career. Account services had no understanding of how websites were built, and overpromised to clients at the expense of the development and design teams. When there was a problem with a project, instead of teams coming together to find a solution, there was a bunch of finger pointing and blaming between account services, design and development. There was a particularly nasty employee running part of account services, who had the relationship with our biggest client -- Blue Cross Blue Shield. She set a totally negative vibe, literally threw temper tantrums during meetings and trained the young account managers to be nasty to project managers and digital producers. It's such a shame because it has such potential to be a great company, instead of doused in negativity and blaming others. Unfortunately, the managers relationship with our biggest client was so strong, leadership refused to reprimand or demote them.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the negative people who bring the entire company down. One or two toxic employees can ruin the morale of an entire department.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Lovely place to work, toxic environment"

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

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

    Pros

    Their office space is gorgeous, lots of light, conference rooms set up for remote meetings, it looks creative. The people are friendly and want to do good work.

    Cons

    High expectation to be billable for low pay (compared to what the company charges clients). Plenty of lip service to the idea of doing things right, but lots of pressure to cut corners and get things done. Lots of churn based on clients changing their minds and going outside their contracts without being held responsible for the additional work.

    Advice to Management

    Teach the client facing teams how to politely hold clients to their contracts or negotiate contract modifications. Empower your people to help the clients. Get the creative and technical people involved in sizing contracts before you promise to move the earth for a client and get locked into another high cost delivery with very low payment.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "I think I still have PTSD from my time there"

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

    I worked at Capstrat full-time

    Pros

    You will learn a LOT, because at Capstrat it's sink or swim. Be prepared to work hard, harder than you've ever worked before (just don't expect to be fairly compensated for it). If you're young, Capstrat is a great place to get some experience and build up your resume. The agency is well-known and well-respected in the RDU area and experience there can help land you that next, better gig.

    Cons

    Capstrat is known for paying the absolute rock-bottom-est salary in the biz. Don't expect to make much money unless you are very high on the totem pole. (This is one of the reasons why the average age of employees continues to go down. It's like a college campus over there these days.)
    At the same time, expectations are sky-high. "Push and be pushed" is a company mantra you'll hear, and it basically means you are never good enough, no matter how hard you try. Your self esteem will take a huge hit. It wasn't until I took a job at another company that I truly began to realize I DO have talent, and it IS appreciated.

    Advice to Management

    Culture change has to come from the top. Unfortunately, being beholden to Ketchum/Omnicom means things will probably never change.


  9. "Great place to work on work that's great"

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

    I have been working at Capstrat (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Super smart people, very creative. Opportunities to do important work in a variety of industries including technology, healthcare, professional services and energy.

    Cons

    Same as every agency - very heavy emphasis on "making the numbers" which is getting harder in the agency world.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being open about finances and performance. Recognize individuals for good work - simple, personal "thank yous" would suffice.

    Capstrat Response

    Oct 27, 2015 – VP HR Director

    Thanks for taking the time to share about your experience working with us. We're continuing to bring the best and the brightest to work here, and we are striving to make sure our employees hear often ... More


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Services in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Client Services in Raleigh, NC
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very smart people. Great ability to work on a variety of projects. Fair management

    Cons

    Culture shifted after being acquired by Ketchum. Not what it once was. Everything became an upsell and the desire became less to produce great work that befit the company and more to produce any kind of work that someone would pay us to do.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. Allow them flexibility. Get back to what made Capstrat great.


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