Russ Reid Reviews in Pasadena, CA | Glassdoor

Russ Reid Pasadena Reviews

Updated March 28, 2017
38 reviews

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Pasadena, CA

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

38 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management can seem a bit lost (in 6 reviews)

  • very low pay (much, much lower than average in LA area) (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to work for most"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Really cares deeply about the success of the client
    Great sense of camaraderie at most levels
    Work with genuinely kind and caring people
    Truly wonderful feeling knowing that your hard work benefits the great work that clients do

    Cons

    Senior decision making is opaque
    Can feel like just waiting for the next shoe to drop
    office politics at the higher levels can be paralyzing


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Chaotic Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA

    I worked at Russ Reid (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company is helping nonprofits, which is a great thing.

    Cons

    The management style was chaotic at best. The IT department was draconian. Rude.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Account Director"

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

    I worked at Russ Reid full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Strong reputation. Leader in many areas of nonprofit marketing and historically an innovative company. Competitive benefits package and many collegial competent colleagues.

    Cons

    Weak leadership. This agency never overcame the retirement of the founder who was a brilliant and kind man. Current leadership not in the same league.

    Advice to Management

    Hire a strong competent leader with the intellect and kindness of the founder.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Layoffs abundant"

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

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

    Pros

    Smart and experienced employees, the best in the business (especially creative, digital and analytics teams.) Made great contacts during my time there.

    Cons

    Favoritism towards Christians and APU alumni. It's high school mean girls mentality- very clicky. And low pay for the hours they expect of you. They will work you to the bone.

    Advice to Management

    Stop laying off good, hardworking employees.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "The Writing's on the Wall"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "A mix of wonderful and not."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Russ Reid (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You co-workers, the people in the grind who are getting it done day-to-day, are amazing. It's cool to see results measured in lives saved and transformed.

    Cons

    Upper management can seem a bit lost. There are some brilliant people in their ranks, but overall there's an underlying fear of the new or different.

    Advice to Management

    Let your best and brightest rise to the top, both in management and in the ranks. You're losing too many smart people. The politics are a bit out of hand.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Agency is a dead end"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "I am glad I am no longer working here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Mostly wonderful folks, but the agency may be in trouble"

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

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

    Pros

    Important work: Most clients are stellar charities who do cool work.
    Kind staff: Most folks beneath director level are getting paid below the industry standard for their job titles and / or experience. This is mostly because the work is "feel-good." so it attracts delightful people. I personally adored my team and my manager.
    Ethics: I was never asked to do something outside of my ethical comfort zone. All of our ads and deliverables are non-offensive.
    Relaxed Atmosphere: The workloads are heavy, so there is plenty of work-related stress, but the dress code and general 'feel' of the office are low-key. Relaxed attitudes about food and alcohol in the office.

    Cons

    Out of Touch Within Agency: The upper echelons do not seem to have a good gauge on the daily morale and goings-on of the lower-level folks. This results in some unpopular policies.
    Pay: As noted, RR pays well below the industry standard.
    Specific Experience: Charities are risk-averse, so we don't get to do anything truly groundbreaking. RR is behind on the digital front, because nonprofits lean into print for their older demos.

    Advice to Management

    --Work harder to ensure your employees that surveys are truly anonymous (and stop sending out summative emails outlining which departments haven't completed it). This will give you more useful feedback.
    --Little things can be done to hold on to your young folks: check-in more frequently about workloads. Don't have loud parties in the shared workspace while the lower-level folks are still working hard. Don't turn off the A/C after 5p, while some folks are still working late. Distribute salaries more evenly. Provide more opportunities for ACs / AEs to explore other skils they want to develop, AND ensure that their workload allows time for exploration.


  11. "Media Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Pasadena, CA
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Pasadena, CA

    I worked at Russ Reid as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly environment. Positive vibes in terms of the how people perceived the value of their work/product. People brought in free food every once in a while. My supervisor was especially great in that she took me under her wings and actually taught me the work she does. She explained it enthusiastically and didn't treat it like a chore. The work was flexible, you could walk around the office and ask if anyone needed any help or ask to sit in on meetings to get to know the business better. In the summer, Fridays are half days!

    Cons

    No parking pass in downtown Pasadena meant looking for street parking every morning, which sucks. Also the workload levels were highly variable. Sometimes I had nothing to do all day despite checking in with my supervisor and others in the department throughout the day, so I'd read company files and listen to podcasts all day. Other days I was slammed with multiple projects and stayed a little later than 5:30, but it was pretty rare.


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