Edelman Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Edelman San Francisco Reviews

Updated January 19, 2017
83 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

3.8
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Edelman President and CEO Richard W. Edelman
Richard W. Edelman
59 Ratings

83 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Edelman has a great work life balance (in 83 reviews)

  • great and smart people to work with (in 93 reviews)

Cons
  • work-life balance can be improved (in 212 reviews)

  • Long hours, occasionally have to work weekends (in 135 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    I worked at Edelman full-time

    Pros

    Decent clients, good team, several folks to look up to/learn from

    Cons

    Bit of chaos in terms of whether the office was heading in the right direction. Felt like we were rebuilding without quite ever saying so.

    Edelman Response

    Jul 14, 2016 – Manager

    Thanks for the review and appreciate the insight. Believe we are always building toward something at Edelman given the very alive entrepreneurial spirit!


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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  3. Helpful (10)

    "great company overall, west coast management needs serious help."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Client roster is excellent. Senior level clients are incredibly smart, focused and driven.
    Being independently owned allows the company to act for the long term and experiment, rather than focus so heavily on quarterly numbers.
    Mid-level staff (VP) and below are energetic, smart and genuinely seem to want to do the best they can.

    Cons

    “Optics” far outweigh "results".
    Speaking for the West Coast, one of the most political environments I have ever seen. Riddled with managers who seem to have never managed before.
    Senior management – especially in general marketing disciplines (not traditional PR) – seem to think their job is to spend on lunches, drinks, hotels and to parade around losses disguised as wins (read: low budget, mid level, one time project work that loses money. Client retreats after underwhelming work due to poor setup and poorly managed expectations.)
    Incredibly poor hiring track record for key roles: Consistently hiring (and then within a year firing) the wrong people with the wrong skill sets who are given the wrong responsibilities and the wrong reporting structure. It’s damaging to culture, morale and the work every single time.
    Promotions and raises are predicted (accurately) based on social media posts of senior management’s after work drinking buddies.
    Very cliquey.

    Advice to Management

    Look past the first layer who reports to you. Dig into who really grew the client, won the pitch, built the relationship, came up with the concept.
    Move promotion and raise decisions to committees outside of direct managers to combat favoritism.
    Look at track record of success and failures and promote/replace appropriately.
    Pay attention to North American feedback in glassdoor – pretty consistent in terms of work life balance, pay and especially politics.


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  5. "Great leadership opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Leadership path; working with some of the largest companies in the world; access to resources and experts

    Cons

    Low pay compared to other agencies; office politics can detract from great work; very large company (for a PR firm) which creates a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy

    Advice to Management

    Invest a little less in hiring senior leaders who don't actually do client work and spend a little more on paying your jr and mid level associates better so that they'll stick around


  6. "Senior account supervisor"

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

    I have been working at Edelman full-time

    Pros

    Clear path for career development, opportunities to change departments and practices

    Cons

    Client service brings high pressure

    Advice to Management

    Help account managers navigate the politics and challenges that comes with collaborating across departments (creative, analytics, crisis, etc.)


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great learning experience"

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

    Pros

    Working at Edelman right out of college was like a masters degree in PR. You learn how to do things the right way on some of the best clients. You can take those frameworks and apply them to other companies or to your own consulting practice down the line.

    Cons

    Big company, impersonal, very traditional views on remote working/flexibility around work/life balance

    Advice to Management

    Adjust with the needs of the new workforce


  8. "Great place to start your career if you have a good manager"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great exposure to a variety of high-profile brands
    - Top notch training and resources
    - Ample support for junior staff
    - Fair review processes
    - The best meritocracy i've seen in the industry
    - Great attitude about working from home

    Cons

    - Clients are demanding, and the better you do, the more likely they put you on a difficult one
    - Little opportunity for work/life balance

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your junior folks and don't make teams so top heavy


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Stay Away"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They have the best health benefits of any large company I'm aware of. Pretty amazing. There are some nice buildings and you can get a Mac if you prefer. So, they got that going for them as well.

    Cons

    It's a soul crushing slog to work here.

    There is zero work life balance. You are expected to work insane long hours since the account folks will sell without regard for the impact on the people who do the actual work. It also doesn't help that the sales folks often have no clue about how to even get the work done. Expect very long work days and putting in hours over weekends. Don't be surprised if you are asked to participate in meetings while on vacation.

    Oh, and the travel. They will put you on a plane at a moments notice and fly you anywhere. Hope you didn't have any plans this weekend!

    The company has questionable ethics when it comes to who they represent. They represented Penn during the whole Sandusky thing. They helped with some BS climate-denier website on behalf of an oil company. You have to be willing to work for pretty much anyone as I can't see them turning down any client, no matter how sleazy.

    As other people have noted, the place is very political, and we are not just talking normal office politics. Who you know really does matter to how far you can get here.

    Advice to Management

    Get a soul. Seriously. Treat people better and start turning down clients who are evil. Not everyone deserves a PR firm.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Not for a techie"

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

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

    Pros

    Large company with good benefits. Re-reimbursement is swift. Although not in my personal career the ability move around to any of it's many offices around the world; change roles is both possible and encourage.

    Cons

    While Edelman brand is large each office in many respects acts as it's own independent company. Synergy across offices is weak and not well managed. Being on the production side of Edelman leaves much to be desired. Lack of strategic planning and well thought-out deliverables can leave you somewhat apathetic towards the purpose of the work you've been tasked to do. Technical expertise seems undervalued.


  11. "Room for change"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits
    Global access to communications industry and clients

    Cons

    Too much internal reorganization
    Minimal career growth for administrative roles
    Minimal perks for junior staff

    Advice to Management

    Focus more attention on providing enough local IT support for each office, especially for offices with staff larger than 50 employees. Make more administrative staffing hires to accurately support the number of senior executives requiring assistance in their day-to-day. Establish some sort of staff appreciation or employee of the month program for all levels of staff to improve culture and promote employee retention.



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