Grayling Reviews | Glassdoor

Grayling Reviews

Updated September 6, 2017
80 reviews

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2.7
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Loretta Ahmed, Sarah Scholefield, Peter Harris, Jan Simunek
32 Ratings

80 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work from home Fridays is nice to avoid the toxic environment of the office (in 13 reviews)

  • Grayling does more to promote work/life balance than any company I worked for in the past (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Some senior management were out of their depth and hanging on to positions for their salaries instead of committing to continuous improvement (in 8 reviews)

  • No one sticks their necks out for people, every man for himself (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Clients and a Solid Team"

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

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

    Pros

    Grayling has gone through a transition over the past 12 months, but it feels like it has found a good groove. The west coast offices have a really interesting mix of FinTech, consumer, healthcare and enterprise clients and the teams are super focused on delivering for each one. In SF in particular the roster is growing almost weekly.

    The agency blends a good mix of traditional media relations, digital content and public affairs, which I’ve found rare in Bay Area PR firms. I also like that management is open to new approaches and is super accessible.

    Cons

    Like most agencies, there’s a strong focus on client service which can lead to occasional long days. Likewise, as the company is very much in growth mode, teams can sometimes play “fast and loose,” but that actually appeals to me as it definitely opens up opportunities. Coordination between the offices also can be tough with different time zones.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on building the team and identifying high performers. There’s some great talent in the office that’s waiting to be unleashed. Communicate more with employees about company strategy and management changes across the agency. Lose Outlook and get Google!


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Take a closer look"

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

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

    Pros

    As someone with more than two decades of experience in the communications industry, who has worked for agencies big and small, good and bad, I can say without fear or favor that Grayling is a damn fine agency.

    I do not recognize the way some people have attempted to characterize it on this site – although I do know some of the people who have left negative reviews. I worked with them. Let’s just say there’s a reason they are not employed by Grayling anymore.

    Context is everything, so here’s some that I hope will be helpful to would-be employees: Grayling is not a big agency. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not small either - it has the ability to compete (and win) against some of the biggest agencies in the world - but there is no fat. There is no room for passengers. Everyone has to bring something to the party. The agency is not of a size where anyone gets to sit in a corner office and pontificate. Everyone has to pitch in. And while in the five years I’ve been with the company there have been a number of changes, one thing is consistent: The people who do not fare well are the ones who don’t get that. The ones who come with a sense of entitlement. Who lack the experience or wisdom to realize no-one is going to hand them anything. Success, recognition, reward… these things have to be earned. And those who do work hard, are rewarded. They do advance.

    Is Grayling perfect? No.

    But I have seen the company pay to relocate people to different countries or continents in order to retain their talents, or provide them with the growth opportunities they crave.

    I have seen the company invest in new ideas and initiatives that come from junior staff.

    I have seen junior consultants thrive in the hot house, and go on to great things.

    This is the Grayling I know.

    So go ahead, read all the reviews. All of them. Make up your own mind. And if what I have described doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other agencies out there. You’re probably not the right fit for Grayling. Good luck.

    Cons

    There are bigger agencies, with more and better resources

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Disappointing"

    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 Grayling full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility, including the ability to work from home, was one of the main things Grayling still had going for it by the end of my time there, though word is that it's since been reduced.

    There are a still a few good mid-level people left, and the high turnover sometimes means promotions happen quickly.

    I was able to work with a wide variety of clients, some of them very cool.

    Cons

    Senior management is disconnected from the people doing the day-to-day work, and doesn't seem interested in prioritizing changes that would really improve the work and culture. Morale has steadily decreased since the Huntsworth acquisition several years ago.

    For a long time, there were still fantastic, bright, hardworking people in the mid-to-senior levels, but many of them have been laid off in the past 18 months or so, while many others have jumped ship. Junior employees have left as well, as the growing lack of mentors and strong leaders has left them without growth opportunities.

    A once-impressive client roster has dwindled.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. Trust them. Value them. Know that unhappy employees don't provide the kind of client service you need in order to win--and RETAIN--quality clients.


  4. "Great place to learn new skills"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Grayling full-time

    Pros

    Great place to learn new skills

    Cons

    life - work balance is a challenge as most projects are demanding and time consuming


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Absolute misery"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Grayling full-time

    Pros

    The career growth opportunities at Grayling used to have tremendous appeal, as you were able to grow quickly based on performance. That has completely gone away as the company has struggled to maintain a consistent client roster and senior mentors within, with no budget for raises and promotions and zero incentives left for remaining employees.

    The only other perks were work from home Fridays for work/life balance and flexibility, and unlimited vacation, but WFH Fridays no longer exist because management does not trust employees.

    Cons

    - Incredibly high rate of turnover, both for clients and employees - unstable
    - Terrible management - unprofessional and inappropriate, management does not know how to lead by example or take constructive feedback
    - Insane workloads due to understaffed accounts
    - Completely toxic culture filled with micro aggression from management
    - Below market pay and empty promises from management - spot bonuses based on performance and salary audits/adjustments were promised numerous times, with zero follow-through

    Advice to Management

    Take a good hard look in the mirror when you ask yourself why your staff is so unhappy, rather than blaming external causes - then actually address the problems head on and provide real incentives for employees to stick around.


  6. "Quick Thoughts"

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

    Pros

    One-team mindset, diverse client base, opportunities for rapid growth.

    Cons

    Agency is better known in Europe than US. Still working through growing pains in US.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on pushing forward and make sure the right people are here for the right reasons.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Avoid!"

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

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

    Pros

    Work from home Fridays is nice to avoid the toxic environment of the office

    Cons

    No work/life balance, little appreciation for junior staff, lots of gossip, everyone is out for themselves, LOTS OF TURNOVER.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "World is moving forward, these guys are stagnant to backwards"

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

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

    Pros

    A lot of opportunity for younger people, because the senior layer does nothing. At least in the US. We don't know about the other people.

    Cons

    The media and business world are getting faster and more diverse and the Grayling team just gets older, slower and more gray with each hire. Everything special has left. The place feels like a golf club.

    Advice to Management

    Stop just hiring your buddies and look for more relevant leadership. Get involved with your team and do actual work. Earn respect instead of assuming it comes from your title or years in the business.


  9. "A work in progress, with smart people and potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Smart, dedicated people with creativity and drive.

    Cons

    Lots of transitions and turnover.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Struggling Agency, Proceed with Caution"

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

    I worked at Grayling (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, some smart coworkers, occasional interesting client work. Competitive salary.

    Cons

    Very top heavy. Valuable accounts staffed improperly... senior leadership/strategists have their eye on new business and not on helping to ensure quality of service on current accounts.

    Lots of politics and a few nasty people who are afraid of change.

    Annual bonuses are non-existent. Annual review process not consistent year to year.

    Advice to Management

    Button up internal processes like reviews and regular check-ins with employees of all levels to provide consistent constructive feedback. Stop all of the senior-level investment hiring and take care of the people you have.


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