Ketchum Reviews | Glassdoor

Ketchum Reviews

Updated July 24, 2017
240 reviews

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3.7
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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
101 Ratings

240 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
  • the work/life balance of an agency can be stressful at times (in 31 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Daily Firedrills"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Vice President in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    High Profile clients, brands and projects

    Cons

    Ketchum is a work environment in which firedrills and last minute, sister PR team and crazy client requests are the norm. There is very little time to prepare well thought out strategic plans. Everything is last minute. Employees are expected to write presentations and routinely work during major holidays like Thanksgiving and SR. Mgmt doesnt even say thank you for working over the holiday. SR. Mgmt email and expect employees to work all hours of the night and day, evenings and weekends. SR. Mgmt. expects employees to travel on their personal time like weekends and evenings rather than during business hours/weekdays. SR. Mgmt are workaholics

    Advice to Management

    Embrace Work/Life Balance.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Dysfunctional corporate culture. Break-neck pace."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They do have large brands that you can work on.

    Cons

    You will drive yourself crazy working there.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Racism - Ageism - Politics - NO GOOD FOR CREATIVES"

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

    I worked at Ketchum (More than a year)

    Pros

    Other companies think this is a good place to work so it will be helpful for your career advancement. Put in a 2 year bid and now everyone is so happy to hire someone with agency experience. YAY you!

    Cons

    IF you are a young talented person of color, AVOID AT ALL COSTS

    After having my work stolen by an older freelancer. I found that there is preferential treatment based off of age. Ketchum is very "cliquey" and you can work as hard as you like but if you're not "in" then you won't get ahead. This place if full of backstabbing people who only know how to give directions are fear doing any real meaningful design. It's sad because anyone outside of the design department wouldn't know any better. If you want to have your ideas stolen and be underpaid and have your name tarnished by those around you, then work at Ketchum.

    Advice to Management

    Replace yourselves with people who actually know what they're doing. How can you have creative managers that don't know BASIC Adobe CC functions and be so blind to how they are treating the people they are managing???


  4. "Intern"

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

    Pros

    not a bad location or office design

    Cons

    interns are swept under the bus in every department

    Advice to Management

    be more engaged


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Fake it to make it"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great reputation and resume builder

    Cons

    The new HR is disappointing and childish. They play favorites based on cliques and power rather than talent.

    Advice to Management

    Ole boys networks get you into trouble eventually (even when they are women)


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Assistant Account Executive"

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

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

    Pros

    Big-name clients
    People
    Ensured career for life
    Competitive pay

    Cons

    Ketchum may be one of the top global PR agencies, but if it doesn't start innovating its practices, it's not going to stay afloat. Ketchum is too top heavy, and doesn't provide enough support or appreciation for their junior staff. Some people aren't suited to be managers, and Ketchum should hold them more accountable, as they hold the careers of junior members in their hands. Serious hierarchy issues among VPs.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more junior staff and support them with great managers, transparent promotion process, and decent coffee.


  7. "Account Coordinator"

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

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

    Pros

    Great name associated with the company

    Cons

    not a great place to work, no management to look up to

  8. "The wage gap is very real"

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

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

    Pros

    401k - 4% match
    Decent health benefits

    Cons

    Ketchum is a master of its craft. True magicians in the art of illusion.

    Behind the curtains however, the wage gape is appallingly real, diversity is scarce and creativity is rarely embraced. There is no work/life balance. A 10 hour day is expected, a 16 hour day is a weekly occurrence and you'll be available during non-work hours.

    Horrific managers, politics and favoritism run the show. If you're good at sucking up and walking on other people to get ahead you will quickly climb the ladder. Hard work and dedication alone won't get you much but it does help if you're male.

    Sure, you have tons of female co-workers, sometimes it seems like they outnumber the men, but the best part of working in a traditional PR agency is embracing a culture that does not discuss salaries.

    You'll meet and work with so many talented, smart and creative people. When they work on an account that requires months of unpaid overtime, with a decent manager they'll get a $25 gift card to iTunes for helping win a million dollar account.

    Understandably, very few can turn down a job for moral reasons or a bad review.

    If you go for the job, especially if you’re female ask for at least 20k more than you normally would, embrace the clients and co-workers and after a year, get the hell out.

    Advice to Management

    In an industry that is more than 50% women, the wage gap is atrocious and completely unacceptable. Run the numbers and fix the problem internally before advising others on the issue. Blindness to misogyny from both males and females is not your employees problem, it's yours.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Brutal. Worked like a dog for no money."

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

    Pros

    Good accounts. Nice office space.
    Offers good courses for training. A good place to get experience, but not a good place to stay past three years.

    Cons

    Terrible pay in comparison to other agencies. Some people work very hard, but some don't. A lot of politics in getting a promotion. HR is not responsive to complaints. Bonuses are also low.

    Advice to Management

    Management doesn't realize how bad some managers are. Pay is very low. They promote dead weight that doesn't perform. People complain about the same people and nothing gets done.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "No Idea How They Continue On"

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

    Pros

    +Well known, fortune 500 clients
    +Industry prestige & reputation
    +Some great people on account teams and in practice areas
    +Central office location

    Cons

    -Integration is a joke, digital is a shiny object not a partner
    -somehow, the cruelest least talented people move up
    -Vacation time is refused often, it's common to be denied comp time for weekends / late nights
    -no work / life balance
    -complete disregard for employee development unless it can be directly tied to growing business
    -specialty areas are poorly defined and often compete against one another
    -silos and firewalls everywhere
    -terrible facilities. offices look like a call center in oklahoma
    -IT can not and will not provide adequate machines / technology
    -HR is totally useless robot arm of management
    -very few people are trustworthy
    -constant fake deadlines pushed internally and cross-functionally
    -freelancers used to prop up and propel a totally dying infrastructure
    -all managers and no doers. especially in specialty areas

    Advice to Management

    -look to spend real time determining what is really going on
    -just because you HAVE a digital or social group doesn't make it competent
    -hold leaders up to the same standards their team members are
    -cultivate relationships with mid level talent by actually listening to their concerns rather than holding pointless levels meetings as venting sessions for HR to hear about what is wrong and use it against those who voiced it.


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