Brafton Reviews

Updated August 10, 2014
Updated August 10, 2014
85 Reviews
2.3
85 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Richard Pattinson
20 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • For those who don't there are flexible work-from-home opportunities (in 17 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 9 reviews)

  • Upper management doesn't care about its employees (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    It's a marketing agency unlike any other, and not necessarily in a good way.

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

    I worked at Brafton full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people that work at Brafton on the production side really are talented and enjoyable to work with. At times the clients and tasks really make people go crazy, so it's comforting having co-workers that know exactly what you're going through. The entire HR department (which didn't exist until last year) and some individuals on upper management are terrific too. I think a lot of them DO care about Brafton's employees, but they're just caught in this messed up business model and can't get approval to make the necessary changes to turn things around. Everyone's just struggling to survive within the territory, sadly.

    Brafton offers very good health benefits and does well with promoting its employees. Sometimes the promotions are necessary because of turnover rate, but all-in-all it's very easy to get a solid resume from working your way up in the company.

    The company's new project is holding "stakeholder groups" for specific clients. It allows everyone from the various departments to get together and help strengthen a particular client's strategy. It's a great step forward into making Brafton run more like an integrated marketing agency instead of just some SEO content farm. I hope they continue in that direction and work out the kinks because it's probably one of the only things that can save the agency.

    Cons

    Brafton salaries are embarrassingly low when compared to other agency competitors in the industry, plain and simple. For a company that has offices in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, it seems logical to pay salaries that at least try to match what would be acceptable for people to actually afford to live and work in those cities. Not the case, though.

    In my experience, there were some problems with account management (CMS team), which usually included certain account managers making promises to clients without checking with the people who would actually be doing the work to see if those deadlines were even possible. Not managing client expectations is a big flaw that some CMS's just could never do, and sometimes it would lead to arguments, nasty gchat conversations, and a negative work environment.

    There are about 4 conference rooms in Boston, making it nearly impossible to have private meetings sometimes. The company outgrew the space a long time ago, but I heard they're moving next year so that's good. Here's hoping that when they move, the new office actually looks like a cool agency. It's hard to feel creative when the space looks completely boring and uninspiring.

    Many clients have NDA's so a lot of the awesome work done for them can never be showcased. Notice how the company doesn't even share client names on its own website. Funny enough though, the client portfolio is huge. Too huge. Having around 600 clients is just ridiculous, and if you charge clients a suitable price for your services you can get rid of the bad/rude ones whose industries have no business being in content marketing in the first place. The writers, designers, video people, and social media team produce some excellent work that can go unnoticed sometimes. It'd be great if those employees got to focus more on awesome client projects that actually go somewhere instead of struggling with angry, unresponsive clients who want nothing to do with the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make employees feel proud to produce the work they do at Brafton. Be more selective of what kind of clients you take on, and actually fire clients that deserve to be fired. And finally, please stop flagging Glassdoor reviews for removal, because it's insulting to the employees that wrote them and doesn't make you look good.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Business Development Executive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development Executive  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Business Development Executive in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Brafton full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great career development paths. Sales is consistent and managers are laid back as long as you are a good sales person. No passive agreement emails, you always know where you stand. Office culture is fun - sales people are fun!

    Cons

    Writers can be a bit Hipster - but that's what makes good writers. Benefits could be better and there is no 401K match, but the majority of the people are straight out of college so not too worried about that yet.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consolidate the departments. No need to have multiple people doing 1 thing.

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

    It's a growing company with a few problems, but it's an overall good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Brafton full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Young people
    Laid back atmosphere
    ROWE style of management
    Fun and friendly if you get to know the right people

    Cons

    Rigorous timelines for writing pieces and high volume makes it difficult to produce quality content all the time.

    Also, some clients have no idea what they want and will complain no matter what.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allot more resources to the video department. They do awesome work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Easygoing work environment and relaxed pace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Brafton full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Fun office and relaxed environment as long as you meet quota. The HR staff and other employees are friendly and it's a young crowd. Subjects for different "desks" (writing teams) can be obscure or hard to follow, but teams develop resources to help new hires.

    Cons

    People who are not natural information synthesizers will have a hard time working as fast as the company demands. Some of the information on how the company works is hidden, and I was not given an opporutnity to negotiate salary based on past experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    We may have a sinking ship, captain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - News & Content Writer in Boston, MA

    I worked at Brafton full-time for less than a year

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Pay 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Heavy workload and miserable pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Brafton full-time for more than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Excessively 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 ManagementAdvice

    Value 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Run by misanthropes and idiots

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Brafton full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Fellow writers are nice
    Work from home
    Free fruit sometimes

    Cons

    Brafton exploits its writers by making it impossible to do their jobs under immense pressure, screws over its clients on a constant basis by providing shoddy content, and breaks every promise it makes. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for that first writing job. I'm just waiting for the day when I come into the office to find it stripped of everything of value and hear that the sales sector of the company has fled the country.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating writers like dirt. Follow through on your deals with clients.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Working at Brafton is a horrible experience. I wish I was able to submit this with 0 stars.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - News & Content Writer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Brafton full-time

    Pros

    Your fellow writers are nice. They really understand that you're not a negative person that complains too much, you just really work for the worst company in America.
    Every 3 months the company throws a party to try and distract you from the horrible feeling you have coming into work everyday.

    Cons

    The workload is unrealistic and only getting worse. Writers are expected to write 4000 words per day and edit content , while making a very lousy salary. Meanwhile, other employees that work in departments that are not producing content make double of what the writers earn, while doing half the work. Brafton is a flawed company that drains the life out of their employees. I used to believe that I was lucky to be employed as a writer but now I am convinced that my employment here has to be a result of bad karma.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you have these meetings asking employees for their opinions, you should really take those opinions and make changes. Sitting in a meeting with a CEO that nods his head in agreement of your concerns, and then leaving that meeting knowing nothing will come from it, is a huge waste of time. In fact, it is time that writers can spend writing our FOUR THOUSAND WORDS per day,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Overall, a pretty negative experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - News & Content Writer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Brafton full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Most 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...

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    I 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...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Hone your writing skills elsewhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - News & Content Writer  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - News & Content Writer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Brafton full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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