Ketchum Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

Ketchum Washington Reviews

14 reviews

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Washington, DC

3.2
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Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty
Rob Flaherty
8 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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

  • good work/life balance, interesting clints and challenging tasks (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance can at times be difficult (in 36 reviews)

  • long hours, demanding clients, lower salaries than industry (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Review"

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

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

    Pros

    Great opportunity for growth, opportunities within the company that don't exist at small agencies. Great people.

    Cons

    Low salaries and office politics make it difficult to feel valued. Some people are kept at the same levels with no growth for years while others are quickly promoted. Hours are extremely tough.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Great resume booster but culture is lacking"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Great resources at the agency due to its size and high-paying clients. Clients are great for the resume. Entry level people learn a wide variety of skills.

    Cons

    Promotions are not solely based on skill and instead are all about office politics. Several promotions were given to people who stayed in the office excessively late instead of people who work more effectively and smarter. They try to position people in higher positions but won't promote them or give them a raise. I would recommend staying at Ketchum max two years and getting out. The office also needs to re-evaluate their diversity efforts in hiring and retaining diverse employees. The office is can also be very gossip-y at times and people are constantly talking about one another which creates a competitive environment. It is also impossible for junior staff to take real vacations because there is no one who will cover them or they feel extremely uncomfortable asking people to cover them. Junior staff are also doing a LOT of admin work for the first 4 years of their career.

    Advice to Management

    Consistent promotion process across the scale or switch to a once/twice a year time where everyone is evaluated. Encourage VP's to create a better work life balance. Make sure client managers do not over service clients which creates difficulties for junior staff.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "admin asst, receptionist, office details"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    enjoyed working with staff and always coming to the office motivated and inspiring ohers

    Cons

    after 18 wonderful years of employment, I didn't really appreciate the option I was given to leave the company. And those were being fired or leave via disability. Hired a employment lawyer and received severance and vacation pay.

    Advice to Management

    there is a reason key staffers are leaving and that's understandable. But under some of those conditions mentioned and to recruit current staffers and they too leave, immediately, says something


  4. Helpful (3)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Incredibly talented agency. Teams work hard & play hard."

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

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

    Pros

    Cutting edge PR firm offering an integrated suite of services to clients and comprised of the most talented and brilliant professionals. Company as a whole practices great internal communications, backed by a supportive/present HR team and offers all types of training opportunities to keep employees engaged and growing with the latest trends in our industry and our clients' industries. Opportunities to pave your own career path and seek challenging work. Good pay compared to other agencies, pay increases outside promotion cycles, and bonuses as a result of award-winning work.

    Cons

    Work-life balance, as with most agencies, is difficult and heightened when staffing is strapped. Stressful environment juggling client deliverables and needs across accounts. Management training needs enforced and supervisors should be held more accountable to the growth and development of their direct reports.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on motivating and developing junior staff to eliminate burn out and turnover. Need better structure in place for supervisor-to-direct report relationships. Offer mentorship program.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Ketchum"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ketchum full-time

    Pros

    Ketchum DC is fun and the ppl are nice and friendly.

    Cons

    Employees are not given their do.


  7. "Interesting experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ketchum as an intern

    Pros

    Training: employees have many opportunities to grow.

    Cons

    The work hours can be long especially when you're sitting in a cubicle all day.

    Advice to Management

    Try to get out and talk to your employees. Of course there are things like email and IM but showing your face would be nice.

  8. "Experience is what you make it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Account Supervisor in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Managing Account Supervisor in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Ketchum is a place that allows you to grow, but growth won't just be handed to you. Work hard and raise your hand to opportunities and don't be afraid to create an opportunity that doesn't yet exist.

    Cons

    Rise above office politics and learn to navigate around some department heads that are afraid to confront staff at any level head on.


  9. "New to Ketchum but enjoying it so far"

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

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

    Pros

    Great culture; something different every day; great team; never a dull moment; fast-paced; always something new; access to leadership at all levels of the agency; collaborative environment (everyone pulling together to complete projects on time); excellent process in place for reviews (both formal and informal); very creative - no idea is a bad idea; room for growth at all levels.

    Cons

    Long hours and no overtime; no reimbursement for using public transit (bus, metro); it's a big company so there is some level of bureacracy that you have to wade through.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great experience but they burn through people"

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

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

    Pros

    High profile clients and engaging projects. Cutting edge digital and creative departments. Great place for junior PR professionals to gain valuable experience.

    Cons

    Morale is extremely low – management views employees as interchangeable 'resources' to be worked into the ground. Account teams agree to insane deadlines without consulting those who will be executing the work. Managers think nothing of calling at 10pm or over weekends with the crisis du jour.

    Advice to Management

    Manage your teams. I experienced weeks where my direct manager never even spoke to me. Absent or un-engaged managers can create a volatile workplace where employees are pitted against each other and back-stabbing gets you ahead.


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