Ketchum Reviews | Glassdoor

Ketchum Reviews

Updated April 16, 2017
227 reviews

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227 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great culture, great people to work with (in 15 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 28 reviews)

  • Either very long hours or not enough work (in 21 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "VP Digital Strategist"

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

    Pros

    They are vested in your professional and personal development and don't just talk the talk. This company really rewards initiative with opportunity.

    Cons

    At the lower levels, people tend to feel like cogs... then again, I think this is a critique of the PR industry more than Ketchum specifically.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize talent early and nurture it. There are so many specialties that folks can explore, and I feel that one's value and sense of purpose both benefit from being a specialist. PR folks are easy to lose at lower levels because the rigor and low pay. Giving someone the feeling of investment rather than toil can go a long way in retaining them.


  2. "Great place to call "home"."

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

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

    Pros

    Smart (and nice!) people, top tier brands, competitive salaries, values strong talent, excellent growth opportunities if you are committed and willing to do the work.

    Cons

    Agency life isn't for everyone, some aspects of office space, etc. could use some updates.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Fake it to make it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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)


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  5. Helpful (1)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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???


  6. "Dream Job - Dream Situation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Management is incredible - truly care about where you want to go in your career and life.
    Supervisors are well-versed and go out of their way to teach you - entry level, up.
    CEOs, partners - very humble, not too big to speak to even interns. Positive hierarchy with lots of room to grow, especially those who are specialized.

    Cons

    Lots of work - but it'll push you to be the best employee possible.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to care for the entry level as we follow your lead.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great experience that comes with a cost"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at Ketchum full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You'll get great experience and insights at this world-class agency that are second to none.

    Cons

    Your great experience comes with cost. Sure, you might have a giant salary. But forget about spending it, forget about having a life, forget about having a modicum of control over your schedule, say no and you're screwed, and forget about having a family. Find someone else to raise your kids.

    Advice to Management

    See above.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great for growth"

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

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

    Pros

    - Good hours
    - Supportive team
    - Great work culture
    - Top-tier brand clients
    - Strong leadership
    - Competitive compensation
    - Ability to grow within a role fairly quickly
    - "Trial by fire mentality" (could be a pro or con depending how you look at it)

    Cons

    - Each division is siloed even though they work in the same office
    - Some teams have a very corporate, machine-oriented mentality
    - Top-heavy leadership (too many VPs, not enough support staff)
    - Office space could use some modernizations


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great company with a ton resources and good hardworking people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart, creative, hardworking, professional people in a fast paced environment with excellent clients. Excellent meritocracy.

    Cons

    Can be overly formal. Not a great place to build confidence. Takes several years and a good manager to get to do meaningful work. Pay your dues type of place.

    Advice to Management

    Stop taking yourself so seriously and loosen up a bit. Be more approachable and casual. While talented, some people need to get over themselves and stop trying to intimadate.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Employees are over worked and under paid"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Account Executive in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Assistant Account Executive in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Ketchum delivers great work to clients and is an award-winning firm

    Cons

    Minimal work-life balance and definite low pay

    Advice to Management

    Provide more time off and include bonuses or other incentives for employees


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Hard working people, big-name clients and variety; inconsistent management & employee treatment, long hours"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Big, accomplished agency with lots of varied practices and high-profile clients.
    * Many very dedicated and creative people who work hard, put the client first, and drive successful, coordinated campaigns.
    * International brand recognition, industry awards.
    * Offices all over the world offer opportunities for transfer, travel, cultural exchange, fresh perspectives, and global influence and interchange.
    * Youthful energy paired with a strong history of experience in the business and stability of an older, well established agency.
    * Fast-paced and often exciting atmosphere, lots of teamwork and collaboration on client work.
    * Variety of training opportunities, talks, etc. Events and conferences.

    Cons

    * Some really poor management examples in a few cases, including self-aggrandizing behavior (passing risk and failure down, taking personal credit for achievement), not enough thought about employee incentives and career development, etc.
    * Some people are treated very well, given "rock star" status, and others are scapegoated and mistreated, seemingly not in relation to merit, but more based on relationships and rapport with managers.
    * Often over-emphasized focus on new biz while existing projects go sideways (internally, but never allowed to negatively impact clients), staff gets burnt out working long hours or doing damage control, etc.
    * Too many managers doing "strategy," wining and dining leads, attending conferences, and driving staff to put in extra work on pitches while still meeting billability targets and deadlines.
    * Some people are more sparkle than substance. Company culture is often more focused on appearance than reality.
    * Big, old agency is sometimes slow-moving, risk-averse, and feels a little late reacting to trends and market shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Consider whether managers are actually providing leadership or adding value. Give credit where credit is due, and not where it's not.


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