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Edelman Reviews

Updated November 18, 2017
838 reviews

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3.6
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Edelman President and CEO Richard W. Edelman
Richard W. Edelman
658 Ratings

838 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The company culture is amazing-- people work hard and care about their work but have a great work/life balance (in 89 reviews)

  • Great company to work for; smart people, great work benefits (in 105 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance could be better for full time employees (in 230 reviews)

  • The pay is just sufficient despite the long hours you work (in 155 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Edelman full-time

    Pros

    -New leadership in the office has has had an impact, as it has become a much more stable, supportive and positive environment. Definitely making an effort to employees and trying out new things for office morale.
    -Provides opportunities and options to explore different realms - whether its creative, paid, digital or planning.
    -Opportunities to work on a high-profile accounts.
    -Compensation is catching up with the rest of the industry.
    -If you're willing to put in the time and the work, you will be rewarded and provided more responsibility.

    Cons

    -As with any agency, client demands can be challenging and lead to long work hours and unrealistic asks.

    Advice to Management

    Continue listening to your employees and making sure to put their needs in line with client needs.

    Edelman Response

    Sep 14, 2017 – Edelman

    It's so great to hear you've experienced improvement in culture and morale in Portland. It's a great office filled with wicked smart people and I'm happy we've been able to successfully listen and... More


  2. "Account Executive"

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

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

    Pros

    Super empowering place that allows you to work with the biggest brands/Fortune 500 companies if you show interest. Being a global firm, you can work in offices around the globe when traveling.

    Cons

    Communication from leadership to junior level staff could improve.

    Advice to Management

    Being the biggest and arguably best firm in the world, Edelman should create strong retention programs to help prevent other firms from successfully recruiting staff.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Have realistic expectations"

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

    I worked at Edelman full-time

    Pros

    - You have an opportunity work with very smart people that come from a host of backgrounds (marketing, PR, advertising)
    - Transparent management (monthly all-hands)
    - It’s really a great place for an entry-level person to start and gain the most experience

    Cons

    - Tech is an unevolved practice with old guard clients, therefore aren’t winning business with emerging tech companies
    - For positioning themselves as an integrated marketing communications firm, Edelman tends to operate in very siloed practices that make it impossible to get anything done in a timely manner
    - The review process is horrific; would advise that new employees schedule weekly or bi- weekly meetings with your manager and archive copious notes to use when it comes time for you annual review (which feels like you’re writing a senior thesis)
    - As with any firm, Edelman is a revolving door.
    - Systematically an overall cold culture
    - Salary base pay is a joke (in comparison to what other Bay Area- based agencies offer) unless you have good negotiating skills.

    Edelman Response

    Nov 15, 2017 – Edelman

    Based on identical language shared in a Glassdoor review for Seattle, it appears as if you have submitted two reviews one day apart for two different offices. It would be helpful to better understand... More


  4. Helpful (9)

    "You Are Just Another Number"

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

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

    Pros

    - Hundreds of people in one office; therefore, there are numerous networking opportunities.

    - Clearly defined growth opportunities and career pathing, which used to not be the case. Edelman has made this a priority in recent years.

    - Competitive benefits, but they don't reward top talent like other agencies.

    Cons

    - They have competitive benefits, but they don't reward top talent like other agencies. They pride themselves on being an independent company with fewer restrictions/red tape, but given the name on the door, they'll let you walk and hire cheaper talent before rewarding those that pour their blood, sweat and tears into the agency.

    - In reference to employees' concern about turnover, the office president said during an employee staff meeting that, "I see human capital go up and down the elevators every day." Management will say they care about you, but at the end of the day, know that you are just another number that can, and will, be replaced.

    - Senior staffers are all co-workers AND friends; therefore, if there's a problem at work between a junior staffer and senior staffer... the junior staffer will lose EVERY time.

    Advice to Management

    Please, please listen to the junior staffers. Give them a voice and take their thoughts to heart. Retain your top talent and know that the people you let walk out the door are actual human-beings, not just another number you've written off.

    Edelman Response

    Nov 15, 2017 – Edelman

    Thanks for taking the time to provide this feedback. I'm really glad you've taken notice of our prioritization of career growth opportunities, our benefits and networking opportunities as of late... More


  5. Helpful (6)

    "The grass can be greener, despite what they say."

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

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

    Pros

    - Excellent health & 401k benefits
    - Get to work on some of the biggest brands in the nation/world
    - Great office location, free coffee, monthly happy hours, snack carts and other office "perks" found at many large agencies
    - Wonderful office services/tech/administrative team support

    Cons

    - Favoritism, especially among the tenured staff (10+ years)
    - Arbitrary performance management/evaluation system; very much based on subjective opinions & whether peers/account leads like you or not, rather than metrics associated with performance and results. I've personally witnessed/overheard instances where a senior employee would, in a subtle fashion/behind closed doors, recommend her peer provide negative feedback in a 360-performance evaluation review, a process which is meant to be completely anonymous in order to retain integrity of the review process
    - HR cannot be trusted to provide confidentiality (incidents reported by employees to HR have made their way back to team leadership and gossiped to mid-level employees), and cannot cultivate a workplace atmosphere which encourages employees to approach them with issues and challenges. This leads to employees to either internalizing their unhappiness, sharing their frustrations with peers, or begin looking for a new employer, without addressing/rectifying the original source of the issue/problem.
    - Lopsided imbalance of diversity (improving among junior ranks, but even the Chicago office president dubbed his senior leadership/agency leadership the Ivory Tower). This has led to instances of potential cultural appropriation in client work, where employees of color have had to get into heated confrontations with account leads on how certain client activations or tactics could be insulting to consumers, or journalists of color who would be on the receiving end of pitches/mailers. The issue was brushed off by team leads when brought to their attention, and it took the Crisis/Reputation Management's input to nix the potentially offensive idea, not the employee of color.
    - Despite the industry-wide pledge for integrity & ethics from the CEO, there have been instances where Chicago office leadership actually recommended that their employees delete emails that could be summoned under FOIA. While this recommendation did not come to fruition, it would be interesting to know how agency leadership would treat this instance of unethical behavior. However, as mentioned, there is favoritism and misplaced loyalty among the top ranks.
    - A bully atmosphere exists and is/has been rewarded (via promotion) if you are a top performer, despite a teary-eyed promise at an all-staff meeting from the office president, who said he would fire "bullies" regardless of how good they are or how much business they generate.
    - Office leadership gives passionate, motivational speeches on how the "grass is not greener on the other side," referencing volatile business cycles and layoffs common at boutiques and agencies under public holding companies, and how Edelman employees often boomerang (leave and then return). Unfortunately, they still do not place any emphasis in retention efforts, and oversimplify the issue by pointing to the cyclical, revolving door nature of the PR agency world.

    Advice to Management

    - Apply a "blind", objective approach to performance management. The 360-feedback system is not working, and is too subjective. Even how a manager evaluates performance can be based on personal opinion under the current system.
    - Look at your colleagues in DC for an example on how to inspire your employees of color. They were able to identify a woman of color with an excellent reputation, track record and experience in the PR industry to lead their DC office. It's not that hard to find talented industry veterans who happen to be of color, or a woman, to lead your offices.
    - Hold all employees, regardless of level, to the same ethical and moral standards. If this means implementing an accountability system independent of HR , or a completely anonymous reporting channel, it must be done for employee engagement/sentiment to improve to the level where people are proud to come to work every day.

    Edelman Response

    Nov 15, 2017 – Edelman

    There are a lot of concerns to unpack here. I happen to be in meetings with a number of our executive leaders this week and plan to raise your observations appropriately and quickly. I would very... More


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Company gives clients good advice, but can't follow its own advice in managing employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - name brand clients
    - quick learning
    - stretch opportunities

    Cons

    - Expectations for roles and therefore promotions are unclear. The amount of work and level of commitment varies by group. Even within a group, expectations are still unclear and uneven.
    - The company celebrates women in leadership, but it actually missed a goal it set for itself originally. 42 percent of women in leadership isn't impressive when the company is built on the backs of an employee base that's 72% female. You don't have a pipeline problem, you have a desertion problem.
    - The maternity leave policy improved, but is still largely considered a disability.

    Advice to Management

    Make the annual review system actually connected to performance and compensation; the current 360s are a model of how to evade accountability. Write job descriptions with clear goals and expectations. Have a global P&L so departments and geographic offices aren't fighting over chunks of a client's business. Come up with a consistent way of communicating with your own employees (there were at least five platforms to use when I left). Pay your entry level assistant account executives enough money to support themselves in New York.

    Edelman Response

    Nov 15, 2017 – Edelman

    "Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. Many of your observations are astute and I'm not going to spin the fact that there are currently areas of improvement in the employee... More


  7. Helpful (13)

    "Toxic atmosphere created by upper management and HR."

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

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

    Pros

    Some really good brands to work on and talented people in various depts.

    Cons

    Upper creative management is clueless to what goes on and good people leave because there is no career path for growth unless you're a favorite. HR is just as bad as they have a double standard on complaints to protect upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Stop playing favorites and political games and start being creative.

    Edelman Response

    Nov 15, 2017 – Edelman

    This is a tough one to read. It's a big priority for me that HR be a neutral and beneficial force for good for both our employees and the firm and "toxic" is not a word I ever want to hear... More

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Mixed Bag"

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

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

    Pros

    Edelman is a unique organization. We have exceptional people working here, the brands are fantastic, and I do believe senior management is well intentioned. The client work is interesting, and you do get to play a heavy hand in owning campaign work, pitching to clients, and partnering across other specialisms, which is great.

    Cons

    No clear career path. No real relationship with HR or your manager to understand growth opportunities. Things move so fast sometimes, it is hard to see what you actually contribute, or, people on the account teams will talk down to you. You do also have to work on weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Fairly obvious a ton of folks are overlooked and undervalued. Managers are not doing a job enough job of checking in with employees, and being honest about workloads.

    Edelman Response

    Nov 15, 2017 – Edelman

    Thanks for your review. I'm pleased to hear that you are enjoying the work and have to agree that "unique" is a great way to describe us, our people, our brands and our campaigns. The work... More


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Slavery work"

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

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

    Pros

    Fun people to work with because of same age group / generation. Made a few good friends from different walks of life. Somewhat decent benefits to 'feed' us for our excruciating work that we do. Depending on which client you support, you will get some if not, lots of goodies for take home.

    Cons

    Your title/rank doesn't mean a thing! Ridiculously low pay considering the amount of work we do. It also depends on which department and client you support. You're treated like a slave! What is lunch break? Oh, and be prepared to go to the office at odd hours when everyone at your side of the world is still asleep. Better yet, don't sleep! Some coworkers are snotty divas who think they own you and boss you around-the-clock even though you don't report to them. Managers are empathic, but that's about it. Not a lot of mentorship throughout and advancement within the company is sparse. Either suck it up and wait for your review and hope for the best, or they wait for you to quit. Raise is also a laughable amount no matter how long and how hard you've worked.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees better. It's okay to treat them like slaves, but having a nice title, working really hard and long hours, along with a low pay, doesn't blend so well.

    Edelman Response

    Nov 15, 2017 – Edelman

    While I'm quite confident that we're nowhere near treating employees like "slaves" (and I'll save that history lesson for another day), your feedback does not fall on deaf ears. While the... More


  10. "Planner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Strategic Planner in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Strategic Planner in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    there are great people and a healthy culture

    Cons

    depending on the account or team, there can be a very heavy workload

    Advice to Management

    more focus on levels 1-3


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