Consumer Reports – Yonkers, NY
• Graduate degree in social sciences (Ph.D. preferred) • Proficiency in survey design with one to three years experience with quantitative… Consumer Reports
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I worked at Consumer Reports full-time (more than 10 years)Pros
Mission-driven organization and recognized brand name in product and services testing and reviews, as well as consumer rights and privileges advocate lobbyist at state and Federal levels
Management makes an effort to inform employees about strategic planning even during the process.
Salary and benefits are good, not to the level they once were (benefits) but good for the current market environment.
There are some incredibly smart and engaging people working at CR that you may never have met anywhere else. The "ground level" employees are smart and dedicated to serving the consumer.Cons
Company is still having difficulty in adapting, growing and being forward thinking on how to deliver its content and information to an ever changing media audience.
The average of the age is getting older and most attempts at attracting a significant younger demographic have failed.Advice to ManagementAdvice
1, An organization that is recognized for its thoroughness in research, testing and providing information about products, services and relevant legislation should have at its heart a core of researchers able to support all of the company's activities. Expecting already overburdened test, editorial, operations and advocacy staff to follow and find significant consumer, legislative and market trends is unrealistic and potentially damaging.
2. Rewards and recognition should be given to employees throughout the organization, not just from a select few departments. After sitting through 10+ years of staff meetings, a definite pattern emerged as to the kind of employees who were publicly recognized, and from which departments employees were chosen. Public recognition for contributions should be given to employees from across the organization, or not at all.
3. The organization has lost its way and shows no sign of getting back on track anytime soon. The website is still kludgy. A lot of website content is old-these days, especially in certain categories, any information within 7-8 months of origin is considered old. The magazine has to be rethought - a total redesign is imperative in order to make it pop out at the newsstand, and to attract new readers. The other alternative is to be an online-only website, and spend all funding and initiative in that direction. You cannot grow your readership from the print products.
5. LEARN from other magazines, especially your competitors both real and potential ones. Look at what Wired does with its "What's Inside" monthly column, what the New York Times does with its weekly magazine column "Who Made That...?" Consumer Reports should OWN that type of creativity and content. People are more visual now and expect that from all the sources they rely on. There is a huge lack of content innovation.
Until 3 years before I left the company I would have, enthusiastically, given a rating of 4.5 stars (No company is perfect). However, the last few years of my employment, as well as what has been going on internally since I left led me to downgrade my rating. The only reason I gave 3 stars instead of 2 is because of the still good benefits the company gives employees, even though these have been downgraded as well.RecommendsNegative OutlookNo opinion of CEO