Ketchum Reviews | Glassdoor

Ketchum Reviews

Updated August 7, 2017
34 reviews

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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
8 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Creative agency, great people, opportunity for growth, commitment to work/life flexibility (in 16 reviews)

  • good work/life balance, interesting clints and challenging tasks (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance can at times be difficult (in 32 reviews)

  • Long hours, not great pay, was spread across many clients at times (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "People are great, but you work at a sweat shop"

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

    I worked at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    They have a cool company culture, and you can find your niche of people within the Ketchum network. People you work with on other teams can be really encouraging, and there is bar cart every Friday which is pretty great. They match you on 401k after a year of employment too.

    Cons

    Your hours are so unpredictable, more so than any other agency (and I had worked at a few before Ketchum), and there is ALWAYS grunt work to be done despite your endless 50 hour weeks. Expect to work weekends and very long nights. Almost all VPs and SVPs are working parents, so they expect you to be on your email after work up until the later hours at night since they are attending their families simply because you have the "time", but the point of the matter is, I shouldn't be staying at work until 8pm every night, commuting an hour to my house, and then logging back onto work once I get home. When you're an account coordinator making $36k, really $26k after taxes in NYC, and barely making $950 every two week paying period, you simply are not paid enough to work that many hours - even if we do get overtime. It doesn't make up for the lack of pay and overwhelming amount of stress. I was depending on overtime to make ends meet, and this shouldn't be the case.

    Advice to Management

    Take away some of the pay from the top heavy people or ask Omnicom to give up a small fraction of their salary to those who work on the day-to-day work for clients and are constantly faced with endless grunt work and late nights. It won't be missed, and it will make your employees much faster. Please stop lying about how the Ketchum turnover rate for employees is lower than most because, in actuality, it's just like every other large agency in the industry. Long story short - pay your lower tier employees more.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Not the most inspiring environment"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fantastic brands, people are amazing and incredibly nice

    Cons

    If you aren't interested in PR, you won't be happy here. Very little vacation time (should consider summer Fridays??) Little to no work life balance. Office needs to be refreshed.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Review for Digital"

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

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

    Pros

    Some neat clients and well-meaning people who are really trying their best.

    Cons

    Everything else. The budgets are absurdly limited for the scopes of work that get signed. The senior management is passive aggressive and will attempt to lay the blame at everyone else's feet for their inability to provide adequate, billable work.

    At the present time, there is no opportunity here - it's a dangerous tragedy that they think they should be staffing up, when half the department has nothing to do. Stay away until the situation stabilizes, if it ever does. Recent layoffs in other Ketchum departments, and directives from Omnicom - which include the idiotic consolidation of IT and office management staff into a labyrinthine, glitchy, automated service called Paige, that's supposedly the home IT base for all Omnicom agencies (whose harebrained idea was that?!?) - seem to indicate that more cuts and more instability are on the way.

    Advice to Management

    Figure it out, and maybe quit hiring until you have enough work for the people you employ.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Nice People, Quick Downturn"

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

    I worked at Ketchum part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Almost everyone I had contact with at Ketchum West's SF office were friendly and welcoming.

    Cons

    Client base is slipping fast and is forcing sudden hiring and firing. Communication and work is not shared well between other offices. There's a lot of work being done that doesn't get billed because there's no budget for new client acquisition.

    Advice to Management

    There is tremendous disorganization with upper management with some saying one thing and others something different. Don't bring in new hires and then fire them when company budget goals aren't met.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "You are part of "Accounts" not teams"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Looks great on your resume
    - Big clients
    - Very hierarchical: every year or two, your get promoted to the next level. Clear career path.

    Cons

    - No office or team culture.
    - No camaraderie and don't expect most people to help/support you. Everyone works for themselves.
    - Very hierarchical: very clear set of tasks, hard to be given more responsibilities.
    - Either very long hours or not enough work. They rarely strike a good balance. Depending on the period, I had way too much on my plate, or I was begging various account managers to give me something to work on.
    - Pressure to be "billable" (difficult to achieve 7.5 hours/day of billable time when you are not given enough work), and bill a lot of hours and at the same time, not be too expensive = extreme productivity pressure. It also prevents any kind of office/team culture because each time you spend 5 minutes chatting with a colleague or going to the restroom is 5 minutes less of you being billable.

    Advice to Management

    We work hard. Don't put so much pressure on your younger staff in terms of being billable. Allow people to socialize at work, otherwise, you face high burn out and high turn over rates. Allow rotations from departments to departments.


  6. "Intern experience"

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

    Pros

    Good hours, collaborative environment, kept you busy

    Cons

    Low wages, unfriendly supervisors, negative atmosphere


  7. "Finance Manager"

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

    Pros

    good people, free food, good direct manager

    Cons

    biased management who have no idea what's going on

    Advice to Management

    Be kind

  8. "I expected better"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great location and team. Fun events and activities at work. Good benefits

    Cons

    Too much turn around. The company is so divided. So many promises made but never follow through. It feels like the employees are not valued at all. Work/life balance sucks


  9. "Vice President"

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

    Pros

    nice people to work with on the lower levels

    Cons

    Long hours, no work/life balance, horrible and expensive benefits


  10. "The experience is what you make it, but the pay its terrible"

    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
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    There is a wealth of knowledge available to you, smartest people, and a Friday happy hour.

    Cons

    Very low pay, senior managers with inflated egos, no work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Billable hours shouldn't equal slavery.


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