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Edelman Reviews

Updated July 21, 2017
280 reviews

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3.0
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Edelman President and CEO Richard W. Edelman
Richard W. Edelman
150 Ratings

280 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Edelman has a great work life balance (in 86 reviews)

  • great and smart people to work with (in 98 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance could be better for full time employees (in 225 reviews)

  • The pay is just sufficient despite the long hours you work (in 147 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Fingers crossed the newer Digital leads will clean house"

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

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

    Pros

    Supportive President who will hopefully take this PR firm into the Digital future. Beautiful location, free ice cream and other basic agency perks you find elsewhere.

    Cons

    The "Mean Girls environment" that one reviewer stated is 100% true especially on the Chicago Consumer team. They are the worst, very exclusive and borderline bullying attitude. Collectively, the behavior seems like those so fearful of not "getting" digital and losing their relevance that they treat any from a real digital background as second class citizens. This behavior is apparent from the top - down. From AAEs all the way up to the SVP/EVPs. I think that Edelman works more on investment plans to find room for PR folks on Digital SOWs then profitable work. It's not sustainable for an agency with already record high billable rates.

    Advice to Management

    There is promise there - they just have to clean house with the old guard holding on for dear life.


  2. "Senior Account Supervisor"

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

    I have been working at Edelman full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Get to work with the best thought-leaders in the industry, big clients, international opportunities; Great leadership team

    Cons

    The NYC office is mired in politics, moving past the AS/AM level is not merit-based anymore but it's favoritism/cronyism. Hence, one can more often than not find themselves with a line manager that is not interested in great work or let alone helping you grow, but that is purely in it for themselves. One mistake and you get thrown under the bus. Eat or be eaten mentality.

    Advice to Management

    P&L structure is a hindrance and cause for most of the politics that is poisening the workplace culture; The leadership/executive team has all the best intentions at heart, and the values they hold dear are certainly great, but they need to open their eyes to the fact that follow-through down to the AAE level is NOT happening.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Great Company If You Fit Into the Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Great resume builder if you plan on working in PR.

    Cons

    Lacks diversity on several levels. If you are a person of color good luck fitting into the corporate culture and trying to find a mentor (I have heard some of the conversations from mid-level managers) If you aren't a prep you better get started looking and acting the part.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of the box.

    Edelman Response

    May 17, 2017 – Edelman

    Thank you for your review. It is disappointing to learn of your experience with and perception of the office culture. However, in our efforts to create a more diverse workplace and inclusive work... More


  4. Helpful (18)

    "It's O.K. but for an agency "O.K." means dying."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The offices are pretty nice: clean, mostly quiet with a lot of opportunities for social zones.

    Office equipment is top notch especially computer hardware: however, the software is terrible usually with offices and divisions sharing a scant number of licenses or seats that would allow employees to take themselves to the next game.

    Client roster is impressive but any medium-sized advertising or tech agency can easily steal most of their clients. I know because I'm leaving to go to a smaller firm that's opening up a PR shop in two or three months.

    Cons

    Most of the employees aren't particularly bright: they don't know any software program other than Powerpoint. In fact, most of them don't even know Powerpoint really well. So, it's hard to give clients "the best" when an account executive in Digital doesn't know the difference between Photoshop and Microsoft Paint.

    You'll quickly find this out when an executive is standing in front of a room of some of the world's wealthiest, smartest, and powerful people with a presentation that looks like a hot mess. It's because, I swear, when it comes to pitches, proposals, wireframes and prototypes... the company employs like seven whole designers at any given moment.

    And parts of the senior leadership claims to be experts in esoteric and dubious advertising and marketing "sciences" but can't even write a lick of code. And we're not even talking about real programming. They don't even know how to do a regression analysis in Excel much less write a function in python or tweak the CSS of a site.

    And that makes it hard to sell to your clients when you don't even know what a KPI is, how to track it or the technology that makes it work. As they move into this "communications marketing" model, everyone should have a basic working knowledge of modern technology in the context of marketing, advertising and media. That means the company is paying an executive a large sum of money that everyone else has to produce and work even more to pay for these wastes of space.

    Certain employees are there because of nepotism. They're even worse than the know-nothings. That's because they are so insanely stupid they haven't even realized they were hired because of a family friend, spouse or they are related to the client. So, they think they actually know things. These people are morale and profit blackholes. I'm not sure why they aren't locked away on their own floor never to interact with the employees who actually work and are there based off merit but if you have to keep them, isolate them off to their own existence.

    They also claim you can apply inside of the company and grow as an individual but I've seen about 2 whole people move divisions in the 3-plus years I've been here.

    Advice to Management

    In all sincerity, I think you need to spend more time pushing your employees to show they are capable of growing and expanding Edelman as we wander farther into the digital and data-driven realm and fire or train those who don't. Also, you should probably double the size of your creative departments. And pay competitively.

    Seriously, a VP at Edelman makes about as much as a junior designer at Droga5.

    Edelman Response

    Mar 20, 2017 – Edelman

    Your comments and feedback are certainly unsettling. For most employees, not only do they typically find their colleagues smart and savvy, but they rate the people at Edelman as their favorite thing... More


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Culture Improving"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Edelman (More than a year)

    Pros

    Big-name clients, diversity of work, good culture within Edelman at large, good vacation policy and holidays

    Cons

    High turnover, lacking leadership, lack of job descriptions, goals, and little clarity or transparency on organizational issues


  6. "Creative intern"

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

    I worked at Edelman as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Talented creatives, friendly culture, excellent work-life balance, competent bosses. I always felt listened to.

    Cons

    Organizational inefficiencies mean that you will often go from being very busy to having nothing to do for weeks. They sometimes take advantage of the poverty of interns by stringing them out on low-paying, no-benefits freelance with the promise of a job in the future. If you're a creative, don't try to start your career here.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great Environment/Clients, Horrible Pay/Work-Life Balance"

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

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

    Pros

    Edelman really does hire the best, and in turn gets the best clients. The work we do is incredible. Everyone is so smart, passionate and on their game -- it's great to be around. There are really great resources and people in the network with every specialty of knowledge who are willing to help you. The integrated communications marketing approach is excellent, compared to other agencies, because you can offer and tap social specialists, paid specialists, research specialists, creatives, whatever you want, in-house. It can be easy or difficult to move to different practice areas or clients, all depending on your manager.

    Cons

    The work life balance is horrid. I'm personally very burnt out after 1.5 years and the pay is eh. Especially in the bay area, Edelman pays just the median for junior staff. It all totally depends on your assigned client mix though- some people have it easy, and some have it really hard... luck of the draw. Like other agencies, people dont build very deep friendships at work or really let their hair down. There's also a fairly high turn over rate - people are coming and going all the time

    Advice to Management

    Pay your staff better and they will actually stick around. I could deal with the bad work-life balance if I at least felt competitively compensated.

    Edelman Response

    Feb 21, 2017 – Edelman

    I’m happy you are finding the client work engaging and are getting to tap into so many of the experts at Edelman. But I’m very sorry to hear you feel the work/life balance is poor. We try very hard... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Assistant Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are extremely intelligent and creative people here that will contribute to some of the industry's best work. There is some great camaraderie within each of the practices (although not really between the practices). Also it's a great place to learn the PR ropes if you're an intern or early-employee.

    Cons

    Your experience here really depends on the team you're on. I personally had a terrible experience with my boss and team and since I was an entry-level employee, my concerns were not addressed or recognized appropriately with both the operations teams or HR.

    Additionally, I feel as though big-agency lifestyle does not foster room for professional growth for entry-level employees as there is such high-turnover in the industry. Entry-levelers are often looked down upon by senior staff in terms of speaking up to insert their ideas. If you are an AAE in consumer, you're probably shipping product and organizing excels/decks for most of the time, rather than getting hands-on experience in PR.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize your junior staff more and utilize their bright minds from the get-go. Edelman hires extremely intelligent individuals because the work that Edelman does is top-notch, but there is a huge culture failure and HIGH burn-out rate that will lead employees to seek better opportunities.

    Edelman Response

    Jan 19, 2017 – Edelman

    Thank you so much for your detailed review. Your observations and feedback are important to us. Our entry level employees are critical to the success of the firm. We are always looking to ensure... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good experience, but don't count on a job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Edelman as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good experience that isn't just grunt work. Actually get to work on client accounts. Useful agency experience.

    Cons

    The DC office hires interns on a rolling basis and consequently has way too many at one time, because low wage interns doing high value work is good for the bottom line. They don't plan on hiring 90% of them, despite what they tell you. It's "just business". When one intern leaves, they replace him or her within a week or two. This makes for a toxic, stressful environment for interns, most of whom are new grads (some with masters degrees) who are struggling to make ends meet and secure the future of their careers.

    Advice to Management

    Be completely transparent about job prospects for interns. If the chances aren't good, it will give these individuals a chance to look elsewhere, rather than hold onto hope until the last day of their internships and end up jobless. Send out any AAE openings to ALL interns and set the tone for a level playing ground. If a position is open, interested interns deserve the chance to interview.

    For the 10% of interns you do hire, stop hiring based on convenience/timing rather than merit. Quality of AAEs and company culture suffers, and leads to high turnover. Yes, you're a business, but treat junior staff like humans and not like parts of the factory line. You'll notice more people stick around as a result.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Group Creative Director"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great environment to learn as a Junior to Mid level PR executive or manager.

    Cons

    Challenging environment for anyone being hired for non-core competencies of the group, such as advertising or Digital advertising (purely from a creative independence perspective).

    Advice to Management

    Transparency is required in interactions with employees.

    Edelman Response

    Dec 1, 2016 – Edelman

    Thanks for your review. As our business evolves, we're striving to create an experience that's equally as fulfilling for those bringing new capabilities to the firm as it is for those who work in... More


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