Ketchum Reviews | Glassdoor

Ketchum Reviews

Updated February 5, 2019
332 reviews

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3.5
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Ketchum CEO Barri Rafferty
Barri Rafferty
27 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 20 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work/life balance could be better" (in 42 reviews)

  • "Fexible WFH but very long hours" (in 32 reviews)

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. "Very good place to grow"

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent training program, great array of clients, learning from lots of very seasoned and smart people.

    Cons

    Public company means not everything is in the control of agency leadership. Money and bottom line play a big part of the day.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing all you can to foster creativity and innovation while shielding the junior ranks from the realities of Omnicom.

  3. "Great place to grow!"

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

    I worked at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    I had the opportunity to wear so many different hats during my time at Ketchum. I felt like I grew so much as a designer, an employee, a team mate, and a leader.

    Cons

    No room for salary negotiation, which was low for New York’s living standards


  4. "Partner, Director"

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

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

    Pros

    Top-tier talent as colleagues, food expertise is second to none, extreme dedication to client service and delivering top quality programs, supportive atmosphere, great people, great creative.

    Cons

    Too much emphasis on delivering very high profit margin to Omnicom makes client teams spend too much time managing billings and staff billability. Support services have been cut beyond bare bones. Self-seeking bad behavior from ladder climbers is often not addressed.

    Advice to Management

    Investing in support services to help account teams handle staffing mixes, client bills, contracts and IT would free up account teams to focus more on clients.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Love the work not the company"

    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

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Really cool clients, cool building. Work place flexibility is nice

    Cons

    Employees aren't value, low compensation. Not a goo company culture

    Advice to Management

    talk to employees before big changes, value employees and seek to retain talent


  6. "DIVERSE CANDIDATES AND POC BEWARE!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Looks good on your resume for the next job you will sure to be looking for within 3 months into your time here.

    Cons

    Don't let their Instagram/Twitter and external marketing fool you. Ketchum is not diverse at all. Many of the diverse people you see on their social channels are people who have either left or were interns. There's no one in Senior Leadership that is a person of color. You can search online and across all Senior Partners, SVPs, and even VPs, their ratios do not favor POC, nor are they empowered to hold any positions in leadership. They do all of their recruiting for diverse candidates at junior-level positions and once they are on-boarded to the team, they are ostracized by their team and either leave or get laid off. The only area they have successfully achieved "diversity" in is with women. However, when it comes to race, religion, and honestly the LGBTQ community, they have a long way to go. I don't think they will ever get there though, because they don't see it as a problem. It was a big dispute to even introduce their Inclusion board, which in 2019, is that even a question? They hide behind the facade of having a woman CEO, and a President that identifies as LGBTQ but diversity stops there.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pretending to care about diversity and actually care about diversity, beyond women. Hire multiple POC in a decision making role (i.e., SVP or higher).


  7. "Family culture and pivot pains"

    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

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    I really enjoy the people I work with day in and day out. It’s very clear who I can rely on and my team’s culture is all about having your back.

    Cons

    The recent pivot has resulted in some big losses at more junior levels because they don’t yet have a reason to be loyal to the company and other companies aren’t struggling at the same rate. Sticking it out has rewards.

  8. "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


  9. Helpful (8)

    "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.


  10. 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.