Russ Reid Reviews in Los Angeles, CA | Glassdoor

Russ Reid Los Angeles Reviews

Updated September 21, 2017
45 reviews

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Los Angeles, CA Area

2.7
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Russ Reid President and CEO Alan Hall
Alan Hall
15 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great company, great people to work with (in 9 reviews)

  • Good culture and work/life balance (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Zero stability, low pay, chaotic working environments, unrealistic expectations for those who do stick around or aren't laid off (in 6 reviews)

  • Some highly qualified people were passed by for promotions due to office politics (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Shocked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Coordinator in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Operations Coordinator in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Helping the homeless find food and shelter during the holidays.

    Cons

    Too many politics. Many people that work there are related or referred. Poor training. I had my Employee Orientation after 2 months.

    Advice to Management

    No checks and balances on job performance. More supervisor training and evaluation by subordinate is (when under fire) needed. Unprofessional treatment of co-workers provide a stressful and hostile environment.


  2. Helpful (14)

    "Dysfunctional and horribly managed agency."

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

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

    Pros

    Working with nonprofits who want to change the world. There are also pockets of great people you'll meet and make lasting friendships with.

    Cons

    For an agency that services nonprofits, Russ Reid is dysfunctional, heartless and unethical. Steer clear of this shady, horribly managed agency that specializes in a dying medium. Russ Reid is old school and way behind on latest trends. This agency just can't seem to catch up. Ever. Russ Reid innovates at a snail's pace because the same geriatric higher ups are still calling all the same geriatric shots. Don't let their whole spiel of "50+ years experience in nonprofits" fool you. They may have 50+ years, but they have nothing to show for all those years. It's such a circus here and every SVP, VP and SP wants to be the ring leader, but none of them know what they're doing or have the slightest idea how to lead.

    The higher ups are a clique of very insecure and complacent slackers who just don't care and are waiting it out for retirement. Major inappropriate behavior from supervisors are ignored when brought to the attention of HR or management. As a result, we've seen coworkers left to struggle and suffer under bad conditions created by their bosses. Employees are also too afraid to speak up because those who have were quickly laid off. Those that keep quiet can keep their jobs...for now, but they are taken advantage of in the worst way then kicked to the curb when their time is up.

    We are also seeing upper management leave for several offsite or closed door meetings to discuss the status of the agency. After these meetings, management come back and lie to their employees about there not being any massive layoffs anytime soon. However, when these massive layoffs do happen, they are handled horribly and unprofessionally by management and HR.

    Since the right people are not in the right roles, there is a ton of insecurity, paranoia and backstabbing especially within the higher up clans. Russ Reid used to be about helping nonprofits, but the only thing that matters now is the bottom line. The agency doesn't care about their employees and this place is incredibly cheap. If they find out you have another talent, they'll exploit that and fudge it so you end up doing your normal tasks plus another job without compensating you. They follow this up by promising to invest time and money to grow their employees. Only the select "favorites" will ever get the growth they want.

    Advice to Management

    Really consider cleaning house now within your dozens and dozens of SVPs, VPs, Executives etc. (It seems like everyone and their mother's cousin is an SVP or a VP at Russ Reid.) Stop laying off employees that actually do the work just so you can keep your own cushy jobs. Trying to create efficiency also applies to upper management. You'll be amazed at how much better the agency will run when you hire the right people for upper management as well. If the higher ups are calling all the shots, but they're all idiots, then you're attempts at efficiency are pointless until you clean house.

    Think about providing adequate training for ALL employees, not just the select "favorites". Don't just throw your employees into a position without support and then stand by like idiots as you watch them drown then get rid of them once you've burned them out.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "I am glad I am no longer working here"

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

    I worked at Russ Reid as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Casual work environment.
    Most of the non-VPs are very nice and great to work with.
    Summer Fridays are nice but would be better if you could just take the entire day.
    I was on a contract so I was done with the place at the end of it.

    Cons

    Open-Office floor plan blows. Work area is LOUD and personal work space is smaller than university library cubbies. WTF?
    Management is WAY out of touch and many of them are RUDE.
    Pay is terrible and the benefits do not make up for it.
    There is no way to move up here.

    Advice to Management

    #1 there should be WAY less of you ... seriously wtf do all of you do?
    #2 Pay for parking for people coming to interview. I should have taken it as a HUGE red flag that you do not.
    #3 You work for non profits ... act like it.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Agency is a dead end"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Worked with some great people. Everyone except management and above were nice to work with.

    Cons

    Depending on your supervisor and department, you could be stuck working long hours and there is no overtime pay here if you have to work on the weekends or holidays. Half day Fridays in the summertime are not really a perk either. The agency makes you work an extra hour Monday through Thursday so you can leave by 1:30pm on Friday. "Summer hours" are the same hours as any other work week. You don't work less in the summertime, the hours are just shifted around and added to the other 4 work days. Very misleading.

    Not a lot of growth opportunity at this agency unless you're part of the club or you have a great supervisor and they take it upon themselves to mentor their employees. Russ Reid doesn't believe in any form of mentorship so if you're young and talented, but your supervisor doesn't want to mentor you or help you grow, then you're out of luck. Your best plan is to stay for 1-2 years max, learn what you can and leave for a better job. Don't get comfortable as many longtime employees do. This place is a dead end and if you stay 5+ years, you're only going to acquire obsolete "skills" that will not translate well outside of Russ Reid. Aside from no growth, there is a huge disconnect between the employees that do most of the work and those that supervise. A lot of supervisors and management just sit in meetings all day and rake in a six figure salary, while coordinators run around getting everything done and make pennies. Behind the scenes, Russ Reid treats their employees terribly. They see every employee as disposable, but they'll keep repeating the same bs about how much they value everyone. Complaints about management are ignored or employees receive responses along the lines of "oh that's just how he/she is." The agency should take the complaint of any misconduct seriously instead of brushing it off just because that manager has been with the agency for decades.

    Advice to Management

    Get a clue and stop being so lazy and out of touch. CEO: I'm not sure what you're really doing, but good leadership starts from the top. Get more involved and set an example for all the other lazy managers.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "The Writing's on the Wall"

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

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

    Pros

    The few decent people left at the agency.

    Cons

    There is no future in the fundraising world for a full-service agency, especially one located in LA where overhead is so high.

    The coming years will be marked by a constant decline in revenue and reduction of staff until it eventually dies. Success will be measured by the amount of ground lost rather than the ground gained. At this point it's a matter of limiting the hemorrhaging.

    Working there is increasingly stressful as teams get smaller and smaller. And job security is non-existent

    The future is bleak for RR and its peers. Giving behaviors are changing. Clients results are down in traditional channels, which results in more and more turnover year-over-year.

    Avoid at all costs, as this will be a joyless place to work until it inevitably goes under. Plus it's led by incredibly deceitful people, who embody untrustworthiness.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Russ Reid full-time

    Pros

    They have a good mission and some of the people are fantastic.

    Cons

    This is literally the worst place I have ever worked. Don't do what I did and try to give them the benefit of the doubt, read the rest of the reviews and take them into full consideration before accepting an offer. Management treats employees awful, yelling, talking down, trying to make you feel small. There are very few opportunities for growth, they under pay, there is a TON of work, with zero perks (except wine, if you like wine on the job and thats the minimum you require, this is a great place to be).

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the employees that leave. Stop promoting people that are cheap and milking them for all they are worth.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "The end of RR is near"

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

    I have been working at Russ Reid full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Many amazing, pleasant and interesting people from all walks of life that you will meet. Some departments are close knit, fun and promote a positive culture despite the chaotic culture that envelops the entire agency.

    Cons

    Bumbling senior management always forces a new, futile initiative that is absolutely a detriment to the culture and morale of its talent. The initiatives this year: seek the help of a process improvement group who never fully understood what RR is all about, merge with a failing, micro managing culture of a sister agency and with the recommendation of the process improvement group, adopt all of the failing company’s business practices by cutting corners and running processes on the cheap and calling it a technological advancement. There is a reason why merging agency has been failing for years!!!!

    Weak Account Management teams all around. They mostly know nothing and leave it up to the Production teams to fix their messes.

    Clicky production teams that can be difficult to work with because they look down on Account Management. They think they know it all.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with all the initiatives already, it’s very frustrating and annoying.

    Progress into the future can be achieved without the idiotic initiatives and the merger with a company who hasn’t turned a profit in years.

    Production has never been the problem so stop trying to “fix” what’s not broken.

    Bite the bullet and actually pay to hire experienced Account Managers instead of hiring straight out of college entitled kids who know absolutely nothing about fundraising in an agency atmosphere.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Doing good for others sometimes isn't enough."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fundraising for non-profits, feeling good about helping the clients, knowing you've made the world a better place. The majority of the people are very nice and hard working. When dealing with peers, it can be delightful. There are a lot of really talented people in the lower and middle management areas.

    Cons

    Depending on what department you are in, there can be terrible internal politics and a general lack of respect. Executive and senior management thinks they're cutting edge but actually sadly behind the curve, majority of "new blood" is brought into the junior accounts areas. Preference seems given to graduates of Azusa Pacific University or Westmont, neither of which are known for their stellar marketing, advertising or fundraising programs.

    The top managers who seem the most fair-minded and even-tempered, don't have that much face time with the average employee or aren't empowered to really make change. I've seen some really nasty behavior and tantrums exhibited by a handful of VPs. They undermine and contradict. Somehow the work gets done despite them, not because of them.

    There are a lot of faith-based clients, which depending on your own personal faith (or lack thereof) can make working at Russ Reid wonderfully fulfilling or very uncomfortable.

    Advice to Management

    Shopping the local Christian universities can be an asset, especially with the Missions clients. But are these the strongest candidates for the positions? Often very junior people are put in front of clients and they over promise and create a domino effect of problems. Then more experienced people are marginalized or blamed. Hiring for positions with competitive salaries, especially in technology and digital, would save a lot of turnover and upheaval. Assuming that "doing good" is someone's first priority isn't going to keep Russ Reid competitive or ahead of the competition. Also, take a closer look at some of your senior management. Many of you are personal friends which seems to fog true objectivity as to whether those people are helping or hurting the company in the long run.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Extremely Crazy Schedule, No Work/Life Balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Omnicom Agency
    AEs get up to 3 weeks PTO
    Summer Fridays

    Cons

    Underlying Christian favoritism, can't prove it- but know it's there
    Over Process Driven. To the point where it's sometimes debilitating. And doesn't render good profits
    Very heirarchial.
    Not very open to growth, unless you're some senior management's "favorite". In which case, all the doors open for you

    Advice to Management

    carefully watch the employees. they work too hard. too fast. and suffer burn-out easily.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Meaningful work, good benefits, low pay, poor balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Pasadena, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, lower employee turnover than a typical ad agency, employees are full of heart and passionate about what they do. Semi-flexible hours during the day, or ability to work from home from time to time if necessary.

    Cons

    Hectic, uneducated clients, lots of women, lots of grads from local Christian universities, poor general work/life balance amongst employees, very Christian environment--almost too much, wish the company was more creative/laid back, not cutting edge advertising, company is very process driven to a fault, insanely low pay for job responsibilities and location, but the company gets away with it because the clients are non profits. There is a large disconnect between promotions/salary increases in half of the company, and very slow promotions in the rest of the agency.

    Advice to Management

    Prove/make clear--often-- to your employees that you truly value their sacrifice and hard work for the agency. Even if it comes to spending your own money to make your colleague feel appreciated.


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