Golin Reviews in Los Angeles, CA | Glassdoor

Golin Los Angeles Reviews

Updated January 7, 2018
22 reviews

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Los Angeles, CA Area

3.6
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Golin CEO+International, CEO+Vision, and CEO+Operations Jonathon Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick
Jonathon Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick
4 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great environment as well as work life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • With unlimited vacation days and the option to work from home once a week, Golin LA is very flexible with anyone's schedule (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Hard work/life balance, as is the nature of agency work (in 12 reviews)

  • Would like more diversity amongst senior management (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Love This Company and Office"

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

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

    Pros

    --Great work environment. The people are wonderful. I've worked at a handful of big companies over the years, and the people in the Golin LA office are some of the best. They are all kind, professional and a joy to work with.

    --Amazing benefits. With unlimited vacation days and the option to work from home once a week, Golin LA is very flexible with anyone's schedule. And unlike other companies that offer a lot of vacation time, they don't discourage you from taking it.

    --A close relationship with upper management. I've never worked for a company before that's offered such a close relationship with not only the managing director, but the CEOs as well! The CEOs pay regular visits to many of the offices and absolutely open their doors and inboxes to feedback and suggestions. It is very refreshing.

    --Open to change. The work environment is constantly evolving. This might be seen as a negative to some, but I love that things never get stagnant. Golin is trying to be a relevant agency, so they know they have to adjust to trends in the industry. They never rest on their laurels and get stuck in a rut. They want to be the leaders in their field and are always fighting to make that happen.

    --Exciting social activities. In addition to a wonderful volunteer day once a year on Al's Day, Golin LA is always offering some fun and unique events for the employees. This even involves the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lucky group of employees to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa!

    Cons

    --Not a full office. We are still hiring a few positions, so the office feels a little empty at times. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I look forward to the near future when the office is full and bustling again.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "#TimesUp"

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

    I worked at Golin full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The Chief Creative Officer is an inspiration and great creative leader! She is the epidemy of an incredibly strong and beautiful woman breaking the glass ceiling (or at least trying!) The NA CEO who resides in Chicago headquarters is great too. He’s a fair and decent man trying to disrupt the business and tries to be a great partner with his colleagues. However, I feel for him and the other US offices trying to navigate through, “The British Invasion.”

    Cons

    The LA office is the most horrible and dysfunctional environment and being run by incompetent, cold, and robotic leadership who cares only about herself. And the former MD who runs the Nintendo account is the worst leader and most self absorbed person I’ve ever encountered. Being at at Golin three years was the worst experience and job I have ever had in my career.

    Advice to Management

    #timesup Matt Neale

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great LA agency for career growth and work life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Catalyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Catalyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The LA Golin office is a great place to grow your PR career, work on smart and innovative campaigns, and feel supported and encouraged by senior leadership. You are not only comfortable being yourself and pursuing your passions, but you are emboldened and expected to do so. We work on some of the most reputable brands in the business – and we’ve executed programs that are different and bold. The people who work here are collaborative, adaptable, ambitious, and resourceful. The recent arrival on a new creative head has rejuvenated the entire office. Golin LA takes mentorship seriously – people are genuinely dedicated and invested in the growths of peers and direct reports. The MD of the office highly prioritizes diversity and inclusiveness. There are great benefits that are unheard of at comparable agencies, such as unlimited time off, work from home and wellness reimbursement. Finally, the office space is very modern and spacious.

    Cons

    Golin LA is fast-changing - not a great fit if you're looking for a more traditional agency.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Executive Director"

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

    I have been working at Golin full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I’ve worked at Golin for over 30 years so clearly they’re doing something right! I’ve stayed at the same agency all these years for two main reasons – one is the culture and the second is the opportunity to work on big-name, exciting brands.

    First, let me talk about the culture. Golin LA is collaborative and supportive with no politics and backstabbing. The office is full of genuinely nice people and it really feels like a family. Everyone supports each other and we have lots of fun together! Throughout my career I’ve heard about the toxic culture at other big agencies and it makes me even more appreciative of Golin.

    Our Managing Director bends over backwards to make sure people are doing what they’re passionate about and allows us to try new things. She’s very accessible and is wonderfully supportive and helps us succeed.

    And we have a new Creative Director who already is producing amazing work and has a wicked sense of humor that keeps us all laughing!

    And while I love working with the talented and passionate people in the LA office I also appreciate the opportunity to work with colleagues in other offices around the world who all seem to have the same belief in collaboration and are passionate about doing awesome work.

    I know there are mixed opinions on our agency model, G4, but as a career-long media specialist I really like being able to do what I love all day long. I love our integrated media approach and our influencer engagement center called The Bridge. From what I hear from clients, Golin is the only agency doing trendspotting and pop-culture engagement right. And I’m so proud of the amazing work our media team produces on both the editorial and paid side of media.

    Also, there’s lots of opportunity to learn and grow and work on great brands like Nintendo, Nestle and Toyota. There’s a small but growing tech practice with clients like Adobe and Intel with lots of opportunity for the right people to help the practice grow more.

    And last but definitely not least Golin has great benefits! Unlimited time off and the ability to work from home. And we work in a beautiful office in a dynamic part of downtown.

    Cons

    A lot of pressure to be billable but that’s typical of all agencies. Need to add more staff which we're working on. Contact us if you want to work at a great agency and do exciting work!

    Advice to Management

    Please keep the Golin culture going, keep hiring smart, creative, collaborative people and keep pushing us to be brave and fight for the big ideas!


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Meh"

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

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

    Pros

    Good benefits like unlimited time off and once a week work remote days (as well as flexibility when needed), generally fun and pleasant coworkers, big name clients to bolster your resume and basic PR skills to set up your career

    Cons

    Where does one begin. Many of the recent negative reviews on here are spot on. Unfortunately, everything is super top heavy, with senior leadership not always the best and brightest or willing (or capable) to lend a hand. The office's fate is in a constant state of flux due to an inability to retain clients and an ever shifting pool of employees. This year saw a second round of layoffs with the threat of more always looming. Positions are open for months at end and the promise that new staff are coming only for the position to never be filled and the work dumped on your shoulders.

    There's also the case of the MD... nice person but has a leader ever exhibited a complete lack of charisma? There is no emotion or connection to any employees but her favorites, those that she brought in from past agencies and have given carte blanche to treat people however they feel. And at what point does seeing client after client leave, staff exodus after staff exodus, with new business barely trickling in, does the blame fall on her shoulders? It’s harsh to say but when an office is failing you can only point the blame at others for so long.

    Then there's the actual work being done. Nothing too exciting here. Unfortunately, there is just no investment in innovative work. We always hear about the amazing work being done in other offices and yet everything in LA is so stale and tired. Sure there are big clients but everything is so drab and unimpressive. As as much as they try to position themselves as an integrated marketing agency that can do all these great things, somehow the work constantly falls back on traditional PR/media relations.

    In terms of pay, good luck. Negotiate upfront as much as you can because once you’re locked in growth is so stagnant it’s absurd.

    Finally, there's the magic that is G4 -- one of the dumbest concepts ever. Why would you silo your employees into specific communities that have one skill? Why would you do that to your junior employees? Why would you want to create a fleet of talent that don't have the total PR experience? If you're a connector (media relations) you're focus is on pitching alone. Sure, if that's your passion that's nice. But sooner or later you should know how to speak to clients or manage a budget or plan a program. This seems to be completely lost on the executive leadership at Golin and something that they actually congratulate themselves on. Imagine, patting yourself on the back because your entire backbone of staff (those associates and managers that do all the execution) cannot flex to other areas because they literally are unable to get that experience. Who does that make sense to?

    Advice to Management

    Get a new MD who has a vision to turn things around and the ability to motivate those around them to come for the ride.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Yeah...No."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Let's start with the positives first. Every single person that has worked at and walked in and out of the doors of Golin LA will tell you, the people that work there are the single greatest reason to work in that office. For all its shortcomings, Golin tends to find really great people that you can call "family" before they run their spirits into the ground. The introduction of Lifetime Benefits was also a welcome breath of fresh air as work from home days and UTO (unlimited time off) brought some semblance of work/life balance back and lessened anxiety on trying to save PTO for the right time. And lastly, the office space is modern and nice which makes for a nice working ambiance.

    Cons

    Ohh boy, are you ready for this? Where to even begin. Employees are very underpaid according to industry standards. Interviewing at the same level elsewhere you see anywhere between 24-43% more in the salary being offered. People are already overworked there for a number of reasons. There's extremely high turnover because of the burn out and lack of pay that it leads to being even more overworked. After people leave it takes forever to replace them or sometimes they're never replaced at all. On top of that some in executive leadership have the audacity to think they don't need to replace people they lost, showing a lack of support. You'll just keep spinning your wheels there as there are little to no growth opportunities. Thanks to turnover, it's like you have to keep starting over to convince people you are actually really great at your job in hopes that you'll get some sort of raise or bump in title. Golin's answer when they actually do replace people is to continue to make everything top-heavy rather then hiring from bottom up. That means managers are doing associate-level work because there are no associates and senior and director-level employees think they're above their work so they also dump their work onto the managers as well. Meaning, managers are doing everything with no bump in pay, because all that salary that could've gone to rewarding team members who have actually been there and helping to keep their accounts afloat is going towards bloating senior leadership who just arrived.

    Advice to Management

    Actions speak louder than words. There's always meeting on meetings asking what can Golin do better and employees opinions are always being asked on to create a better working environment whereupon they just fall into the void because literally nothing ever changes. Yeah free lunches and booze are nice every now and then but we want actual change, which it just doesn't seem like the company is trying to do. We always hear about how great the Chicago office is and the core values Golin holds dear, but all of that just sounds like a pipedream or bs depending on who you ask. They are so unaware that literally every current employee there is trying to get out. Unless real tangible changes are made, they will keep losing good employees and clients.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great national rep but poor L.A. leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President/Director in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Vice President/Director in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place to learn about the evolution of PR, long history of innovative campaigns, great national and global reputation, good perks and benefits, great place to build relationships. Chicago (HQ), Dallas and London offices are best in business -- one star for these offices, and one star for Al Golin legacy.

    Cons

    LA office lacks strong leadership, not the same place since its previous MDs who really cared about the staff. Current MD is a robot, cannot be trusted. Stagnant environment in LA where politics rule office and top-heavy senior management team lacks real talent, creativity or ability to innovate. Questionable unethical decisions made behind closed doors. Current MD has driven the best senior talent out to bring in her former colleagues to inherit their work, clients and team members. Very long hours and expectation to work around the clock, no real work-life balance exists here anymore, and no one really cares about you -- It's a CYA mentality with senior leaders. They claim "unlimited vacation" but the chances that you can actually utilize that perk are slim.

    Advice to Management

    Take a good long look in the mirror. Examine your conscience and ask yourself if you've really made ethical decisions in the LA office. Would Al Golin really be proud of you?

  8. "Great Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Golin full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Solid team of creatives and a great place to work with some top clients such as Nintendo and Nestle.

    Cons

    Large office and very spread out and corporate. Also located deep in downtown LA so if you commute it's tough to get in and out.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in the best equipment and give creatives freedom to manage their personal computers and software.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Look at leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    There are some good people at Golin, including the current MD, and great work being done. Opportunity to get some big-name clients on your resume. The new PTO benefits are great. The inter-office network can be really strong if you know who to talk to.

    Cons

    Golin needs to take a hard look at leadership in this office. There are a few senior people who are at best not held accountable and at worst actually rewarded, despite bad attitudes and incompetence. Mid or junior level staff shoulder the burden, and are getting frustrated and burnt out.

    Advice to Management

    Take a serious look at senior leadership and ask some questions about what work they are actually doing. Your strongest mid/junior level people are overworked and emotionally burnt out. They are going to continue to leave unless they feel they have leadership who inspire or at they very least support them.


  10. "Great company, good benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Golin full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Met some of the most creative brightest people there, received good benefits

    Cons

    Some changes in the company, high turnover rate, can be cutthroat


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