LEWIS Global Communications Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

LEWIS Global Communications San Francisco Reviews

Updated November 30, 2017
40 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

3.5
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LEWIS Global Communications CEO and Founder Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis
23 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great co-workers and work life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • I've had a chance to try new things like social media and digital marketing skills (in 9 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "A great place to grow your career"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Generous time off
    -Flexible work from home policy
    -Energetic, hard working employees
    -Huge opportunity for growth and promotion within the agency
    -Leadership has a "door is always open" ethos
    -Relaxed, open-minded atmosphere

    Cons

    -As with any agency, work-life balance can be a bit of a struggle, especially for senior leadership
    -Issues with backfilling positions and hiring new talent


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Fast moving, entrepreneurial business. You'll need to be politically savvy to make it here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Fast moving agency with a few creative clients. Generally the team working here are fun and they have a nice location in downtown San Francisco.

    Cons

    The CEO can be a narcissistic, mercurial tyrant. Leadership is trying to change things but this company is focused on making money at the expense of its employees.

    Advice to Management

    Start valuing your employees

  3. Helpful (20)

    "Political, Combative Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digital Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Digital Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This agency offers employees the opportunity to work with large-scale multinational brands and companies. Employees are invited and encouraged to produce company sponsored media events and webinars, which is a great experience. If you land on the right team, you’ll get a chance to work on high profile projects. The growth track is fairly rapid, so if you’re bright and willing to work hard, you’ll find yourself promoted quickly. 

    Cons

    While there are growth opportunities, the San Francisco office was built by leaders who valued politics and status quo over progress and development. The office environment is chaotic and combative. Cross-functional teams are often at odds with each other, which causes perpetual project and deliverable delays. Employees are rewarded for aggressive, school-yard bullying behavior with coveted clients and projects, causing the agency to lose a lot of talented people to other companies.

    Clients are often underserved, in part due to agency in-fighting, but mostly due to poor team structure and agency budget restrictions. To save money, interns are regularly used to do the work of junior executives, and occasionally specialists (such as data scientists, or SEO experts), with devastating results.  

    Executive leadership seems detached and focused on the wrong initiatives. Instead of addressing inter-office issues head on, an employee advocacy program was launched, gently encouraging employees to leave positive agency reviews in exchange for prizes.

    Work-life balance is nonexistent (while agency work is usually more accelerated than in-house work, the environment in this agency is unsustainable): employees who choose to take advantage of the “liberal work from home policy” are often met with heavy critique from coworkers and managers. Same applies for sick time and vacation time - with the unwritten office rule stating that you must work regardless of PTO. General working hours vary from team to team, but for PR and Digital it’s easily 12 hour days Monday-Sunday, and all holidays. 

    Office ops infrastructure is insufficient at best. There is no HR on site, HR is located the on the east coast; if you have an issue, it often goes unresolved. General operations such as employee tax information, health insurance and 401k accounts are frequently riddled with administrative errors, causing immense issues for many employees come tax time. Most disheartening of all, is HR’s regular attempts at denying laid off employees’ unemployment insurance, toeing the ethics line.

    Last but not least, the pay gap is staggering in terms of fair compensation for the SF Bay Area. Expect to make 20% below market rate. 

    Advice to Management

    Take employee concerns seriously and lead by example. Take note of heavy turn-over across certain departments - this may mean the wrong people are at the helm. Consider localizing agency business structure for the US, as certain practices established in the UK create a restrictive business growth over seas. 


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Growing, rapid-fire environment"

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

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    LEWIS offers plenty of opportunity for career growth. It's culture encourages building old and new career skills and constantly tests your abilities.

    Cons

    Sometimes different projects can pull you in different directions. In crunch time, which occurs often, you can get conflicting asks with little guidance - so you'll need to be able to research, organize and generally operate on your own as soon as you join.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Complete SF Makeover"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Services in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Services in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Wow, what a year it has been in 2016. I have been with the agency for a little over a year and there has been so much change in San Francisco. Good change, well great change I should say.

    When I first started in 2015, I noticed a real disconnect in the way certain managers lead teams. It was inconsistent and there were VPs that never took initiative or volunteered to support me and my team. Because of this, I ended up working more hours only to be rejected because the idea didn’t come from them. Talking loud, collaborating openly with my team or having fun in my area was forbidden and looked down upon. I often questioned why I accepted the position in the first place.

    Needless to say, those leaders are no longer with the company and for good reason.

    We have a new management team - managers, directors and vice presidents, all of which are smart, creative and strategic. More importantly, they are open to my ideas, support me and my team, encourage and support us and also roll up their sleeves and work, when needed. It’s a breath of fresh air and this truly feels like a team.

    Everyone seems to be excited to come in to work everyday. There is an energy that is present. Our clients are happy. We are growing organically. We are hiring. We are winning new clients. The work environment has truly turned around. Sounds corny but it is inspirational and that means a lot to me and my career goals.

    Cons

    Agency life is agency life. Work life balance is at a minimum. Some clients are rude and obnoxious It goes with the territory.

    Advice to Management

    There has been a lot of change this last year. As we move in to 2017 I would suggest to keep up the momentum, support the team and continue to go with the vision that was set forth.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Director in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I've never worked with a group of people that I like and respect more.
    People are motivated and work hard and generally like each other, which is rare in my experience.

    Cons

    Work life balance is always a struggle in PR agencies. The organization is putting in a lot of effort into fixing this -- but its a continual process.

    Advice to Management

    Happy employees do go work. Good work makes happy clients. Happy clients make a profitable organization.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "I am truly inspired to work at LEWIS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Services in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Services in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I just read some of the negative reviews and I can understand why some employees (current and former) feel the way they do. There was a time when I felt the same exact way. I was one signature away from accepting an offer from another agency last year.

    That has changed and I am glad that I hung in there.

    For a long time I was unhappy but too afraid to look for a new job. I wasn't confident in myself or my skills. There were times when I would have some pretty good ideas that my clients liked but the senior leaders shot them down because it wasn’t their idea. There were promises made that were never delivered on. I saw many employees get promoted that shouldn't have. Favoritism was common among the VP ranks. They very rarely acknowledged me or members of my team. They stayed in their offices for most of the day or worked from home.

    In my opinion, the core problem was having a husband and wife in charge of the office. I think they had good intentions but it was just a weird scenario that everyone thought about and struggled with but never said anything publicly. I always thought it was a conflict of interest but what do I know? There were always “secret” meetings happening and I never knew what was going on. I was afraid to express my feelings because of the politics so I kept my mouth shut. I pretended that I was happy but always looking for other opportunities.

    That has changed. Maybe I drank the kool-aid, I don’t know. But I have seen some really good changes in the office over the last 6 months. I can be myself. There is positive energy in the office. My ideas are being heard and implemented. I am empowered to own my client relationships. I truly feel inspired to come into work everyday. It sounds corny, I know. But it’s the truth.

    I can honestly say that I love my job. I wouldn’t waste my time writing this if I didn’t.

    Cons

    Six months ago, I would have a laundry list of complaints. And while every job has its challenges, I have nothing but positive things to say about the current work situation. Well, some clients are really difficult but that’s about it. I guess that’s the nature of PR.

    Advice to Management

    Please continue to treat all team members as equals regardless of their level. It’s good to see senior team members do work. I learn that way. Keep it up. And I am really impressed with the new leaders being brought in and love the fact that they sit with us in cubicles.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Optimistic and evolving"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digital Marketing Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Digital Marketing Director in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications (More than a year)

    Pros

    Collaborative environment - coworkers are non-competitive, supportive, and always willing to help each other.

    Work-life balance is reinforced frequently - the hours are very reasonable, flexible WFH policy, and support for colleagues with family.

    Those who excel at specific activities are recognized and rewarded (in terms of spot rewards and deserved promotions). If you put in the work and passion, there's no limit to growth opportunities.

    Cons

    Every company has ups and downs, and while LEWIS is going through a period of transition with staffing and approach to accounts, I feel like the outlook is overwhelmingly positive and the changes needed to be made in order to grow.

    Advice to Management

    Keep rewarding those who work hard and providing feedback to those employees who aren't contributing at the highest level, and the rest will fall into place.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Out with the old, in with the new!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Services in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Services in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The office vibe in SF has changed and I love it. Finally we have some leaders that care for employees and actually communicate with us. Everyone is treated equal and that means a lot to me. We are definitely headed in the right direction.

    Cons

    Long hours but that's expected in any agency environment. Some clients aren't so nice either but that's also expected. Most clients are technology & B2B so it would be nice to branch out into other markets.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the change. There's a vibe and energy in the office that hasn't been around in a long time. I am excited and inspired, so please continue to do what you are doing. We see it.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "New Leadership = More Collaboration, Integration & Stronger Culture"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LEWIS Global Communications full-time

    Pros

    The new leadership in SF is dedicated to improving the work environment for all employees. It’s evident and over the last 6 months there has been tremendous (POSITIVE) change at the senior level. There is a resurgence of passion, motivation, openness, transparency and people like myself are inspired to come into work everyday. There is still work to do but we are definitely headed in the right direction.

    Cross office collaboration, which did not exist before, is now allowing us to work with new colleagues, learn new skills and we can now match the right skill sets with clients needs, without any distractions or unnecessary drama.

    Cons

    No agency is perfect and yes, there is employee turnover. It’s common. But the previous leadership did not hold team leads accountable for their work (or lack thereof). There was no accountability for losing a client. No accountability for employee turnover. No accountability for winning new business. No accountability at all. Shared decision-making and indecisiveness was common which lead to no action and failed promises.

    Additionally, several of the previous leaders did not feel like they had to “do work” because they reached a certain level in the company. That is changing. I can see it every day and it makes me happy that we are all now collaborating to do amazing work for clients - as ONE TEAM.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to build a strong, collaborative culture where “all employees” voices are heard. Focus on rewarding creativity, entrepreneurship and flawless execution for clients.


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