Golin Reviews | Glassdoor

Golin Reviews

Updated November 29, 2017
76 reviews

Filter

Filter

US - All CitiesFull-timePart-time

3.6
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Golin CEO+International, CEO+Vision, and CEO+Operations Jonathon Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick
Jonathon Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick
9 Ratings

76 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

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. "Agency with a Heart and Soul"

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

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

    Pros

    I’ve worked at Golin for 3 years and have been at other places. This agency has a heart and soul unlike others. Golin culture is about treating us with respect and trust. One example includes giving us unlimited time off and work from anywhere solutions. We’re trusted to get our jobs done and take the time off we need to replenish. Management and supervisors seem to genuinely care about their employees and go out of their way to check in and encourage two way dialogue. I think our junior employees give the office a lot of life and energy. It’s a fun and career-building place to be.

    Cons

    Resources are extremely tight right now, making it hard to spend time on non-account work. We need more of a pad to encourage training and other growth opps.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the trust and environment.


  2. "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.

  3. "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. "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 (2)

    "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 (2)

    "Patriarchal vibes, cultural cluelessness"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Standard industry benefits, large clients with healthy budgets, talented colleagues

    Cons

    Poor leadership, cliquey, lack of diversity

    Advice to Management

    Less talk about values and culture and more action. The term diversity is thrown around a lot, yet I see no real commitment to inclusiveness. Despite PR being an industry where the majority of employees are women, mostly men still lead this company. Three white men are the co-CEOs, and almost all white men and women are at the executive director level. There's an undercurrent of patriarchy and it has an old boys club feel. Leadership doesn't take the time to get to know new employees, and new employee onboarding is terrible. I hear so much about "culture," but don't see any of the values practiced by upper management. My time at Golin? Three years of my life I can't get back.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Three CEOs and Zero Leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Nice people, nice offices, some big name clients, unlimited time off,, decent benefits, online training, opportunities for people who are interested in digital careers.

    Cons

    Three CEOs who don't actually lead the firm but rather waste money on climbing mountains to save pangolins - lucky there is an endangered species with Golin in the name. And, let's not forget "clever" research that never goes anywhere. Too much time letting the "chief community and creative officer" run amok and not enough figuring out why we continue lose pitches. Just continue to layoff people in Chicago, let half the San Fran quit and continue going what you are doing.

    Advice to Management

    IPG and Michael Roth - wake up. Now that Al has passed, time to see past the "brand" and hold Matt, Gary and Jon accountable for running the firm into the ground.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Proud to Work at Golin NYC!"

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

    I have been working at Golin full-time

    Pros

    Golin NYC is filled with talented, passionate people, and this talent and passion shines through in every facet of the agency from the bold, smart work we produce for our clients to the inclusive, welcoming culture that makes coming to work fun.

    Our client partners are among the most respected brands in the industry, and since our new MD took the reins two years ago, our client roster has grown substantially to include some of the most coveted accounts in the business.

    The people here are kind, compassionate and collaborative. (And fun!) In my time here, colleagues have become teammates, and teammates have become friends. The level of camaraderie in this office is unlike any other agency I've worked at in my career.

    But here's the best part: everyone has an equal voice. If you have a vision and the drive to make it happen, senior leadership will empower you and give you the tools you need to make that dream come to fruition.

    Cons

    The G4 Model, a cornerstone of the culture at Golin, allows people to focus on their areas of expertise. And yes this is amazing, but as with any major change, this model does require a bit of an adjustment for people coming from a "traditional" agency model. There is a bit of a learning curve for some, but once you adapt, it is well worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Continue empowering your staff and investing in top talent, and we will continue to soar!


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Disingenuous"

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

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

    Pros

    I read a review about Golin's NY office that is clearly someone trolling. I actually work at the agency and am very proud of my team, my MD and the work we're doing for world class brands. In the past two years since the new MD took over, we have won some of the biggest pitches in the industry.

    Cons

    When rapid growth happens, sometimes the agency should hire slowly and carefully. Maybe the troll was someone that just wasn't good enough?

    Advice to Management

    Keep being ambitious and don't lose heart. It's such a shame that people can be so nasty online.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    People do genuinely care about each other. Ive been at other agencies and this is by far the very best experience so far. The agency has a lot going for it right now such as the people, new approaches, great client brands and a culture of fun and recognition. New Chicago leader is very approachable and is dialing up the office communications and culture. I feel like I'm noticed and appreciated here versus just a number.

    Cons

    Keep up the communications approach and attention to our culture. We've needed this for a long time. With Al's passing, it's more important for us to keep what we have. Don't forget that culture is the key to our success.

    Advice to Management

    Golin is about the people. As long as management doesn't lose sight of this, we'll stay strong.


Showing 155 of 176 reviews
Reset Filters