Ketchum Reviews | Glassdoor

Ketchum Reviews

Updated December 8, 2018
314 reviews

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3.5
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Ketchum CEO Barri Rafferty
Barri Rafferty
23 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Managers are always willing to work with employees to maintain work/life balance and encourage professional and personal growth" (in 12 reviews)

  • "great people, no office politics, no jerks" (in 18 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Empowering, engaging and creative"

    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

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Ketchum invests time in new employees through a thorough onboarding process and plenty of educational tools which helps new hires get up to speed quickly and allows them to get a strong overview of the capabilities of the agency. One of the best features of Ketchum is that although they are under the large agency umbrella, they function as a small/mid size agency, empowering employees of all levels to rise to the occasion and lead - this isn't strictly reserved for senior leadership which you will find in other large agencies. The teams embrace creativity and welcome all ideas across the board, which is only to the benefit of their clients. The clients at Ketchum are top-tier global accounts which allow employees to get a chance to work on fun, well-known brands as they move through their career here.

    I cannot begin to applaud this agency enough. If you want a fun, empowering workplace with smart, strategic leaders - look no further! Great benefits. Amazing culture. Happy people. No drama. Ketchum is a great place to spend 5 out of 7 days of your week!

    Cons

    Strictly cosmetic, but needs more windows in the NY office.


  2. "Associate Digital Strategist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Good people, great company

    Cons

    Work- life balance not great

  3. Helpful (3)

    "STAY AWAY! Agency on the decline!"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Big PR agency, Big client names, once considered a top 5 agency, not sure how much longer that will last.

    Cons

    Hiring freezes, promotion freezes, and raise freezes happen at least 1-2x a year. A ton of lay-offs in 2017 and it has continued into 2018 and looks to continue in 2019. They keep losing big accounts, due to lack of creativity and diversity. I've never worked at an agency that had culture this bad. It's like they were great in the 90's and early 00's and got stuck in like 2001. A lot of the work they do here is VERY traditional and all of the awards they claim are from their creative agency counterparts coming up with the big idea and Ketchum just pitching the cool idea to media, so they can claim the awards -- however the actual idea didn't come from them.
    Everyone at the agency looks, acts, and thinks the same. Which is very disappointing for an agency in New York City. They do a really good job of promoting diversity and ONE Ketchum, but everyone is really out to save themselves and their own job, due to the fact they have lost some big accounts which has led an increase in pressure on senior leadership which trickles down to their employees. Also LOYALTY is big here. Which to an outsider, you assume "Oh this place must be great, people never leave" when in reality it's just someone that's average who's manager likes them and allows them to continue to be mediocre and kill the spirit and creativity of any new blood or those younger than them.

    Advice to Management

    Start caring about your people again and not just numbers and billability. Otherwise, you aren't setting up your employees for success with their clients and will continue to lose them. Also, start cutting the dead weight even if they are you friend or have been there for 10+ years. Bring in new ideas and new talent or else continue to stay the same.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Vice President"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Agency and office leadership were very strong.

    Cons

    Holding company (OMC) has become overbearing and has basically taken control of all decision making.


  5. "Will Learn New Skills, But Stuck in Large Agency Rut"

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

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

    Pros

    - Opportunity to work with large clients and activate interesting PR campaigns.
    - Many nice people throughout the office.
    - Ability to work with other agencies and bring in a variety of expertise to fit client needs.
    - Flexibility to work from home.

    Cons

    - Too much time spent on financials thanks to Omnicom ownership.
    - Very little input on performance once you hit a certain level, so you're left wondering what's working and what's not and how best to make an impact.
    - Typical old school, large PR agency - slow, expensive, lots of talk about change but little action.
    - Although people are nice, there's not a lot of warmth, team building, bonding so it's hard to feel like you're part of a supportive community.
    - Low pay structure.

    Advice to Management

    The CEO has a good vision and is trying to make changes, but it's hard when you're a big agency owned by Omnicom. Time will tell whether or not this place can become the competitive, scrappy agency they hope it can be. Please be more competitive with pay!


  6. "Ketchum Pittsburgh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Finance in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Ketchum Pittsburgh was a family like, very team oriented workplace. Many employees had over 20 years experience there. Flex hours, casual dress code, monthly birthday celebrations

    Cons

    Sadly, the parent company consolidated their operations and many jobs were relocated to another city


  7. Helpful (1)

    "The people make Ketchum great"

    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

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

    Pros

    Smart, passionate, friendly people who care deeply about their clients and one another. Everyone is committed to excellence. Energized CEO. Access to top tier clients and stimulating work. Supportive learning environment and ongoing training through Ketchum University. Long hours, but lots of flexibility and ability to WFH.

    Cons

    Parent company oversight feels restrictive and limits growth through short-term focus on financial performance.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest in talent so that the benefits of staying overshadow the many downsides of being part of Omnicom.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Fellow/ Account Associate"

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

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

    Pros

    Exposure to lots of different accounts and coworkers at various levels.

    Cons

    This place is a SWEAT SHOP. Do not expect to be treated with respect or to grow professionally here. Unfortunately, the Fellows Program is a sham, and treated like all but a job offer. This is not the case. Critical to know what you're getting yourself into. Worked between 10-12 hours per day, and was treated disrespectfully by staff and managers alike. Job description changed day to day. One day you could be making media lists and the next you could be changing out the mouthwash in the bathroom.

    Advice to Management

    Frame the Fellows program for what it is. It is a paid "internship." Create realistic expectations for fellows/ interns and do not make promises you can't keep. Encourage a welcoming, supportive working environment, rather than the shark tank it is.


  9. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great Culture, especially as an intern I learned a lot and the people were very nice.

    Cons

    you do a lot of intern work and don't get to see what senior employees are doing


  10. "Overall positive fellowship experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Public and Government Sector Fellow in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Public and Government Sector Fellow in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ketchum (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Team-oriented; great clients; friendly atmosphere; high caliber agency; great values

    Cons

    Fast-paced; sometimes feels like interns get overlooked