Adfero Group Reviews

Updated May 13, 2014
Updated May 13, 2014
8 Reviews

3.8
8 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Jeff Mascott
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I was pleasantly surprised at how much I love working at Adfero... it's special and not "just like any other firm".

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Adfero Group

    Pros

    Where do I start? Adfero is just all-around awesome! Everyone is empowered to really make this firm grow and to take their role within the firm where they want. There's a huge amount of openness in terms of how people can live our our Core Purpose of creating opportunities for people to do what they do best. The fact that this is our Core Purpose alone is remarkable and that our leader stands behind this in everything we do.

    Adfero has amazing camaraderie. We're all about teamwork and we mean it. I know many organizations say that but there's something different about it here. It might be due to one of Core Values -- a Swahili saying "Harambee" which means we all pull together. It might be partly due to our open environment where no one has offices from the CEO on throughout. It could be our newly created O Team (the o in Adfero) which focuses on our social, community and green activities. We have quarterly State of Adfero meetings where we're transparent and Jeff gives us a financial update on the company. We have a one for all, all for one mentality exhibited through a quarterly profit sharing bonus plan for everyone. There's a quarterly mentorship program and quarterly performance check-ins. Adfero really does a lot for its employees and in turn, employees take ownership and pride in what they are able to do at Adfero.

    It's a great place to work. The best place I've worked.

    Cons

    The only adjustment I've had in coming to Adfero is getting used to an open work environment. I can get easily distracted and need quiet to get meaty work done so that's when I will sometimes go to one of our unreserved offices to work!

    I also think that people who prefer a more structured environment have a harder time adjusting to Adfero. It's very entrepreneurial which plays to another Core Value: Be responsible for results.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing! Continue to allow the flexibility and openness on getting great work done and empowering everyone to do their best. Your career here is really what you make of it and Adfero has continued to grow and provide growth to its team. I wouldn't want Adfero to start becoming too much more structured as we grow and I don't see that happening. I'd love to see its core of the entrepreneurial spirit continue to stay alive as it grows. I feel fortunate to have found this place and thank Jeff for the vision he had to create this firm!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Account Executive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Adfero Group full-time

    Pros

    Although this experience was not a highlight of my career, there did seem to be a level of genuine camaraderie among the junior staff at the office, and many of the former higher level management team seemed truly interested in acting as mentors.

    Cons

    Discussions with the CEO are uncomfortable. The process for advancement is never laid out or discussed. There isn't much transparency regarding decision making and finances. Bad contracts are accepted without regard to the negative impact on staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If there are areas of high turnovers, those areas should be reviewed and the problem identified rather than covered up. Mass firings are deeply unsettling and somewhat frightening, particularly when a staff member is looking at future success with the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Best Place to Launch PR Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Supervisor  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Account Supervisor in Washington, DC

    I worked at Adfero Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Culture: Having been at a new company for some time now, I can say that Adfero has the best possible culture. Not only can every (good) employee recite the four core values, but they are employee-focused. It's very inclusive and open, making for happy and accountable employees.

    Career Growth: Adfero focuses heavily on individual growth from quarter to quarter and year over year. Constructive feedback is helpful, so long as you take it. I saw plenty of people over time take it personally, but for those of us who took as an opportunity to grow, we succeeded. You have measurable goals and objectives so it's truly up to you to prove yourself.

    Opportunity: Like anywhere else, opportunities are there; it's what you make of them that really define your experience at Adfero. I was constantly putting myself out there, and thus rewarded with new clients and awesome opportunities. The key was putting myself out there to prove I could keep doing more.

    Senior Management: They've grown the business tremendously, so that's saying something (both in revenue and size of staff). The people are open to feedback and most importantly, they look to the entire staff to help shape the culture, processes and experiences.

    I left the company because an amazing opportunity to work in-house somewhere popped up, and I couldn't pass it up. I left on great terms and still lean on some of the staff for mentoring, as well as keep in touch with my former mentees and supervisees.

    Cons

    Workload: It ebbs and flows just like any PR firm. Sometimes people are really overloaded, but as long as you ask for help (one of the core values is all working together in times like this), you should be fine.

    Bad eggs: In my years there, there was always a person or two who wasn't bought into the culture or didn't care to perform well. It's a client services business and that can really weigh on your experience there. They are all eventually weeded out though.

    Pay: Let me be clear - pay is on par with other PR firms. However, pay at PR firms isn't as high as other industries or for many in-house PR opportunities. It's marginal, though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep growing. Continue to focus on building a company of great people and great service. It has, and will continue to pay off.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Small Firm with Big Heart--Great Place to Grow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Adfero Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Adfero is a truly great place to learn. Because we are a small (but growing!) firm, I have had opportunities to work on projects, learn business development, and have an impact on the way the company does things that I know I would not have at a bigger agency. Our work is fast-paced and often challenging, but very rewarding. The leadership team is approachable and smart; I have learned a lot from them through informal and formal mentorships. The best part about Adfero is that I work with people who care about me personally and professionally.

    Cons

    Like most firms, it's sink or swim--people who don't fit in with our work ethic, culture, or values usually don't last long.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Upbeat, fast-growing company with unmatched culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Adfero Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I've worked in many different office environments, and I can say without hesitation that Adfero's culture is unbeatable. Our staff has doubled in the time that I've worked here, but the close-knit and highly team-oriented environment remains unchanged. Adfero leadership is committed to honing employees' skills and interests, which means regular feedback, formal (and informal) mentorship opportunities, and a generous professional development budget. Professionally and socially, this firm is characterized by strong relationships. We genuinely like each other and get along well. When I joined the firm, I couldn't believe how universally inclusive and collaborative everyone is. When I've felt overwhelmed, there is always someone to swoop in and help out, and I try to offer the same support to my colleagues (this mentality is virtually universal).

    Opportunities for growth are also abundant at Adfero. As a young(er) employee, I was usually trusted with as much responsibility as I was willing to take on. My supervisors have always been eager to provide guidance and support no matter how demanding their day-to-day responsibilities are. Firm leadership is also VERY approachable. As I mentioned, Adfero is extremely socially inclusive and employees regularly touch base with one another (across levels, across projects, etc) over coffee or lunch.

    I should also mention that our benefits are pretty stellar. As a profit-sharing firm, ALL full-time staffers receive a quarterly bonus based on our profitability. Beyond the regular health/financial benefits, Adfero donates $$ to each staffer's favorite nonprofit org around the holidays, which is very special to me. In my second year of employment, I received 15 vacation days, which is definitely more than most, particularly given my (lack of) seniority.

    Obviously, I'm very loyal to Adfero and I strongly disagree with some of the comments that have been posted here. It's an exciting time to be part of Adfero...the firm is steadily gaining notoriety in Washington and it has been interesting to watch the staff grow along with our client accounts. There's a lot to look forward to as an employee; I think Adfero's best days are yet to come.

    Cons

    Sometimes it can be challenging to stay productive in an open office environment (there are no private offices).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Perception Not Equal to Reality

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Adfero Group full-time

    Pros

    Small office allows employees to take on as little or as much responsibility as they desire, with in reason. Employees can't get "lost in the crowd."

    Mentorship program allows employees on different accounts or with different experiences to
    engage and grow.

    Communication between leadership and staff is frequent and appropriate.

    Management allows staff to "own" morale.

    Located at the intersection of 17th and K Street, the Adfero office space is centrally located and easily accessible on the Red, Orange and Blue train lines of WMATA.

    Cons

    Adfero Group salaries are not competitive with many other PR firms in the D.C. area, however, they do engage in a profit-sharing bonus program throughout the year. 401(k) matching contributions are either around or below the national average.

    For a private firm of 35 employees, 20-25 whom work on accounts, there are a high number of "titles." Account coordinator, assistant account executive, account executive, senior account executive, account supervisor, senior account supervisor, vice president and senior vice president? This doesn't take into account the various "C-level" positions, such as a partner(s), COO or CFO, HR, directors and managers of various shapes and sizes and the IT folks. It seems to be overkill for a firm that has hovered between 30 and 35 employees over the recent past, and in my opinion, a tool to spread out the firm's ability to "promote".

    While Adfero management allows staff to "own" morale, this can translate into "cheap" thrills, as the firm doesn't spend much on office activities.

    Office politics apply to a small organization like this, as it does anywhere, but with less acknowledgement, including its share of "scandal".

    Adfero has a number of "off-site" accounts, but does a poor job incorporating employees on those accounts back into the desired "Adfero culture". Beyond not effectively incorporating these employees, Adfero also failed to protect a number of employees on a difficult federal contract. Adfero team members instituted a "No Tears Tuesdays," committing to not crying on the job while dealing with the difficult federal client. If that doesn't scream "unhealthy work environment" I'm not sure what does. And despite being aware of this difficult contract and client, Adfero leadership did very little to shield its employees.

    Turn-over seems to be extremely high, arrising from a mix of personality conflicts, reactions to lack of leadership support, low/not reasonable pay levels and "busy work" which clients are billed for. Some people are "fired," "asked to leave" or leave on their own. An interesting project would be to take screen shots of Adfero's "Our Team" page to see the steady march of experienced folks out the door, replaced by relative "newbies" in the PR industry. The turn-over does affect the morale of Adfero employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Adfero management would benefit from truly working to embody the "culture" it claims to identify with. There is a sweet spot between revenue and human resources, between the needs of a contract and the needs of employees. Included in that sweet spot is fair pay for experience and performance, timely acknowledgement of good work and real promotions/bonuses, and representation of the needs of the workforce, while meeting the needs of contracts and clients. Finding this "sweet spot" will require Adfero Group leadership to be honest with itself and employees. the firm offers a great service and a good level of experience for clients, but falls short, on some level, when meeting the needs and concerns of employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Small business, lots of leadership problems.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Adfero Group

    Pros

    Good location. The building is located at 16th and K Street near two metro stops, many bus stops and bike share.

    Cons

    Poor leadership, terrible pay, back-biting, poor operations.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    Small but ambitious - your experience here is what you make of it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Adfero Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Each employee truly has control of their own destiny - you can make your own success.
    Entrepreneurial & collaborative office culture.
    The people there genuinely enjoy spending time with each other.

    Cons

    Small firm experiencing rapid growth, which can lead to some operational hiccups. Have a bit of a "figure it out as we go" mentality.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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