Brafton
2.3 of 5 79 reviews
www.brafton.com Boston, MA 150 to 499 Employees

Brafton Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.3 79 reviews

                             

25% Approve of the CEO

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Richard Pattinson

(16 ratings)

28% of employees recommend this company to a friend
79 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "For those who don't there are flexible work-from-home opportunities"
    in 15 reviews
  • "Open door policy with upper management"
    in 6 reviews
Cons:
  • "No work life balance, unless your life is all about work that doesn't pay"
    in 8 reviews
  • "More recognition and upper management attention for non-revenue producing teams"
    in 11 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Good for experience, bad for almost everything else

    News and Content Writer (Current Employee)
    Boston, MA

    ProsResume builder
    Good location
    Great co-workers

    ConsPoor pay
    Heavy workload

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart valuing your writers more

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    We may have a sinking ship, captain

    News & Content Writer (Former Employee)
    Boston, MA

    Pros- Positive relationships among co-workers - the work can be tolerable if you get on the right team
    - Opportunity for gaining professional experience

    Cons- No work-life balance - management's M.O. is to grind out as much labor as possible for the dollar in all branches, but it is especially bad with editorial. Expect to work more than 8 hours per day on a regular basis with little to no time for a lunch break, unless you can write at breakneck speed. Also note that success results in more work - whenever I demonstrated strong skills or performed exceptionally well, I was rewarded with more work. Less competent laborers could get off the hook with lower expectations. On the other hand, I did get more experience at the cost of higher stress.

    - Upper management doesn't care about its employees. Turnover is awful, and not only due to the excessive workload (I saw more than one dozen people leave during my 9-month tenure, many after less than a year of employment). Management routinely pays lips service to workers, promising change, but does nothing. For example, after presenting a "concrete" for decreasing writers' workloads to a reasonable volume, one of the writers I was replaced with (June 2014) was already brought to the same volume that was supposed to change.

    - Low standards - the high volume demanded of writers inevitably results in sub-par writing. Even the best writers eventually (and often quickly) burnout and simply leave or give way to the demands of the company and write crappier material. You can build your writing skills to a point, but after that it is downhill, as you routinely need to abandon the best practices you are trained on to meet volume and with it - I might argue - your dignity and integrity as a writer.

    - The client is always right, even when they are wrong. Clients routinely shoot themselves in the feet content-wise, but Brafton must help them do so in order to prevent lost clients. Prepare to deal with irrational, frustrating and occasionally rude clients. Some are never happy, and you have to deal with it. As a result, some writers end up having to write more than their daily volume in rewrites because their clients are never satisfied. Rather than seeing this as a net liability in lost production volume, management just tacks it on the writer, effectively accelerating burnout.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to employee needs - they are human beings, not mere workhouses to be wrung for labor. Investing more time in developing writers and decreasing volume demands would result in a better product as well as happier employees. That is, focus on quality rather than quality. Also, genuine transparency would help boost employee morale and instill faith that management is not just trying to exploit them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Heavy workload and miserable pay

    News & Content Writer (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsWriting experience for the ol' resume
    Pretty good health insurance
    Great coworkers

    ConsExcessively heavy workload of at least 4,000 words per day plus editing (this is the starting volume, which gets continually higher)
    Not compensated for meetings, which are held often (an hour-long meeting means you just have to work an extra hour that day)
    Work is based on volume rather than quality of content
    Content is very boring

    Advice to Senior ManagementValue your employees more with higher salaries, smaller editorial teams and a smaller workload.
    Do not threaten writers by telling them they are lucky to have writing jobs in this current video-focused marketing world.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    6 people found this helpful  

    Overall, a pretty negative experience

    News & Content Writer (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsMost of the people I worked with were great, including my managers. They were friendly, understanding and I did learn a little from them as well.
    Office in the Haymarket.
    A staff that did seem to care about each other and employees needs outside or work.
    You can work from home as often as you like.
    A good resume booster... depending on a few things...
    .. I had a lot other post-college work experience and mostly needed Brafton to add some marketing exp. Brafton helped me get my next job - which is a normal workload, fun experience and a 15K pay increase (plus actual R&B) - but I wouldn't even had been considered were it not for other work history. So, I can't promise the same experience if you're the fresh-out-of-college, first-job meat that Brafton usually employs.

    For me.. I intended when I was hired at Brafton to quickly springboard to something better where I would stay for 5 plus years, and I accomplished that, but it was a stressful ride...

    ConsThe workload, compensation and incredible boredom certainly outweigh the fact that the co-workers are nice people. For one thing, it's easy to like people when you only speak with them for about 30 seconds a day. At Brafton, you will work more than 8 hours a day pretty much every day and probably on the weekend from time to time as well. You eat lunch at your desk or in 5 minutes in the break room. You spend everyday writing 4,000 words on the most niche topics on earth, posing as an expert and trying to "source" other articles without just plagiarizing. You have no variety to your workload. No brainstorming meetings, little client contact and almost no work with the other people who manage the account. I had no communication with the CMS or client on the majority of my accounts and I was writing all the copy!

    The funniest thing was that most clients knew how pointless daily content is. Out of ten, I had maybe two that actually posted a story everyday. Most just let them build up and are never posted them (or maybe the client was saving them for when they canceled, I don't know). Brafton is contractually obligated to supply story, whether the client wants it or not.

    I found the work boring but also extremely stressful at the same time. It didn't have to be that way, if stories weren't daily and the workload was more manageable (or possible, even). I have also never seen turnover like that at Brafton. I was there less than a year and know of at least 7 people who left, most without one year's experience - some even without having other work lined up. That's just who I knew personally, there were plenty of other new faces that lasted, it seemed, just a few months. A number of people also left without giving two weeks notice.

    Yes, there are people who can complete their work with ease (well, within 8 hours anyway), but they were the extreme minority. Those who stayed were usually the ones who managed to move to an editor position within the first few months, before becoming totally burned out on writing crap content day after day. However, editors did not have it easy either, and overall, the average tenure was quite short, even for a company staffed by millennials. There were a number of very smart and hardworking people who will have great careers elsewhere, but could not handle the daily workload and boredom. Brafton actually loses a ton of good talent, and that will keep them a lower-tier company for some time.

    I currently have, and have in the past had jobs where I enjoyed or was at least indifferent on my way work to in the morning. Brafton was not this way. After the first 3 months I hated nearly every minute. I dreaded having to drudge through another identical day of the exact same content and a horrific workload that would just reset again the next morning. The workload at Brafton was like bailing water out of a sinking ship with a shot glass. You could never keep up and for many people it made more sense to just scuttle the boat and move on.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI believe Brafton has the creative talent and vision to be a much better company. I heard a lot of talk but saw little movement in a meaningful direction. It seems that working writers to the bone (a requirement to turn a profit at Brafton) will remain the norm. Also, stop posting fake reviews - they are glaringly obvious (and insulting) to anyone has worked there. At least work on making them more believable...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Hone your writing skills elsewhere

    News & Content Writer (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsThe opportunity to work from home if you hit your 4,000 word a day quota, which, if you are new to writing is extremely difficult to maintain.
    Everyone is young, but if you are more than three years out of college you will feel like a fossil.

    ConsNo work/life balance whatsoever.
    No training provided, just criticism.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOffer training for writers who are new to the industry. Don't tear them down in pointless meetings, give them guidance on how to get better.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    8 people found this helpful  

    First job out of college, not very good at preparing me for the real world.

    Editorial (Former Employee)
    Boston, MA

    ProsMy coworkers at Brafton were generally very friendly, smart people, and that includes some (but not all) upper management.

    Bring able to work from home was nice.

    ConsThere are many, but the first is the smoke and mirrors act that is performed by upper management, including fake employee reviews. Let's look at the most recent one, which I have quoted below.

    "Outstanding company culture - Brafton is a place that allows you to be yourself, think freely, and incorporate your ideas into actual strategy."

    Let me be very clear - there is no company culture at Brafton. Donuts on Wednesdays are the only perk I ever received. Thinking freely is not allowed - as a writer, you are forced to churn out identical articles, and if you even dare to break the mold and try and get creative, you will get shut down by either your CMS or upper management. And as for "actual strategy," 99% of writers have no idea how their content is performing, or if they do, why it is performing the way it is.

    "Work-Life Balance - If there has ever been a company that I worked for that understood this notion, it's Brafton." "They are always willing and able to accommodate you for any personal issues that come up that require time off. As long as you get your work done, you can have flexible hours and really maintain a healthy work-life balance."

    "As long as you get your work done" is the key phrase/threat at Brafton. They pawn off flexibility as a perk, such as "you can take as long as you want for lunch." However, the workload is impossible, which is why most writers' lunches are spent at their desks, if they have time at all. Accommodating? While I worked there, one of my writers had a death in his immediate family, and upper management explained that bereavement leave was unpaid, and he would have to make up any work he missed while away. God forbid you are ever sick, or even take vacation - your workload will be distributed to the rest of the team, and they will all hate you for it.

    "Career Growth - Brafton has really allowed me to grow professionally, and start to shift my focus into other areas that I want to explore. There are always open lines of communication and transparency that allow you to understand where you are, and ultimately how to get to where you want to be."

    What does this even mean? Classic example of the content Brafton produces - it all "sounds" good, but nothing is based in fact, and when you actually read it thoroughly, you realize it's just meaningless words. "Shift my focus into other areas" - what areas? "Grow professionally" - how? "Get to where you want to be" - where is that? I learned nothing about the content marketing industry as a writer and editor at Brafton - all I learned was how to churn out garbage 200, 400 and 600 word articles under an incredible amount of pressure.

    Again, during my 2 years at Brafton, I saw the CEO twice, for his Kool-Aid yearly speeches. The management I worked with had no communication or transparency, and decisions were made arbitrarily or not explained at all.

    Finally, compensation rated at 4 stars? Starting salary for a writer is 28K a year, non-negotiable - let that sink in for a moment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI have no advice. I would say increase compensation, treat long-term employees with respect and change your whole quantity over quality business model.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    6 people found this helpful  

    Garbage tier company

    Writer (Former Employee)
    Boston, MA

    ProsGreat office location in downtown Boston

    ConsTerrible pay. Institutionalized dismissiveness toward clients and colleagues. Toxic work environment. Writers are worked to the bone. Editors are undertrained and apathetic. Clients are routinely ignored or confused and cancel frequently. Turnover is horrendous.

    One other note - Brafton insists that it has cornered the market on content marketing. That is bull. They have cornered the market on cheap and outsourced editorial labor. And that's partly because the economics of this type of business make no sense. They entice tons of clients because of their absurdly low cost (their cost per article is far cheaper than what a PR firm or a freelancer would charge for similar services). To balance things out they can't afford to pay their creatives a livable wage. However I have known former Brafton clients who have found it more economical and worthwhile to pay a decent freelancer who can write a good blog for a few bucks more rather than the crap Brafton writers are forced to spew out at volume.

    Real actual content marketing is happening elsewhere in the industry. Brafton has no vision and there is no value to their services.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGo back to management school

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Great culture and smart people make Brafton a great place to work!

    Account Management (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsLogging onto Glassdoor and reading all of the blatant false reviews of Brafton has irritated me so much that I must now write my own review, with my own experiences.

    I had been searching for a job for quite some time that met all of my high standards, and I can say confidently that Brafton meets all of the criteria - let me lay a few of them out:

    1. Outstanding company culture - Brafton is a place that allows you to be yourself, think freely, and incorporate your ideas into actual strategy. I don't only consider my colleagues co-workers, but as friends. Besides the standard company perks you would expect out of an innovative digital marketing company such as Brafton (company outings, etc), the people at Brafton really make it a wonderful place to work.

    2. Work-Life Balance - If there has ever been a company that I worked for that understood this notion, it's Brafton. Besides being able to work from home at least once per week, they are always willing and able to accommodate you for any personal issues that come up that require time off. As long as you get your work done, you can have flexible hours and really maintain a healthy work-life balance.

    3. Career Growth - Brafton has really allowed me to grow professionally, and start to shift my focus into other areas that I want to explore. They are always open to hearing ideas, and helping you achieve the level of professional growth you are looking to achieve. There are always open lines of communication and transparency that allow you to understand where you are, and ultimately how to get to where you want to be.

    ConsThe only negative I can think of is the training process, which can be fragmented at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you're doing!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great people

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI must say if it wasn't for the people who work there, i would give a rating of 1 star. Everybody is bright, intelligent, and friendly. It is a laid back environment.

    ConsCompensation is not great at all, be ready to put in extra hours at work if you are on the commercial side. It is expected you will be given goals at every work place but just ask around how many workers there actually stay longer than a year or two.

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    5 people found this helpful  

    The worst place you could ever work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsNone (well- besides the fact it's a job)

    ConsBrafton is the type of place that makes grand promises and never keeps them. The reviews littered on this page don't lie, and if you are a potential employee take heed and LEAVE. I worked there as a minority, and it was clear that if I didn't fit into the mold or culture that Brafton has created for themselves then it was going to be a rough ride. Take for instance- I do not like racist jokes, and within this organization they are thrown around on the daily. It makes it extremely uncomfortable to work, and adds to the already insane pressure of pleasing clients who have essentially signed up for a large scam. The smoke and mirrors of the company is very clear to all employees, and to keep us quiet they throw beer and parties at us (but only at the end of a quarter when they can breathe that their clients haven't figured out how much they are being scammed). All in all run far away from this place- especially if you are one with pigmented skin.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContent needs to be high quality- reformat the company.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Brafton reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Brafton CEO Richard Pattinson. All 79 reviews posted anonymously by Brafton employees.