BuzzBee
2.6 of 5 14 reviews
buzzbee.biz Seattle, WA 16 to 50 Employees

BuzzBee Reviews

Updated Jun 5, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 14 reviews

                             

38% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Michele Bourdon Keeffe

(13 ratings)

43% of employees recommend this company to a friend
14 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Exciting Place to Bee.....

    Senior Account Manager (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsI used to work for an agency that had all of it's business at Microsoft and when budgets got cut so did all of our staff. BuzzBee used to be like that and we let a large part of our Microsoft team go last year. But under the direct, yet fair leadership of Michele Keeffe, the company has been able to bring on a handful of new customers -- and those accounts are growing. The company is heading in a great direction and it is exciting to be a part of it.

    Anyone who is a bit entrepreneurial and wants to know their impact every day would love it here. I know I do.

    ConsWith such a small team getting the exact time off you want can be a challenge. But we've been able to work together to make this happen. We have had several departures on the management team and it's been a bit rocky. Keep working to stabilize and retain those of us that re dedicated to BuzzBee's future.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBringing in the team building of the Rower's Code has been great and has really brought us all together. We want more of it. Keep the communication lines open and continue to create opportunities for growth. And do keep bringing in the really creative premium content work. We love it.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    The year of growth ... Or not.

    Anonymous (Former Employee)

    ProsAt times when the CEO was not present, the environment was laid back and fun. Great people, cool space, and interesting neighborhood.

    ConsThe thought process of the CEO is interesting. She is condescending and neurotic. You could often hear her yelling clear accross the office. She is constantly making people feel awful & I feel bad for the people who have stuck it out. She will soon find out that in order to retain employees, you must avoid being crazy, awful, and unpredictable.
    There are rules in place at this company I've never seen before, weird vacation schedules & 9 hour work days to name a few.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOpen your eyes & learn from your mistakes. Your company is only as good as it's employees. The people who are nice to your face also partake in talking behind your back and are just trying to avoid a 'freak out'. I'd start fresh, it's too late now.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Rough Times

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsLove the office and the people. Microsoft work is tiring but we have a couple of great new clients.

    ConsThis place is going through a rough time. We've lost a lot of great people/resources over the past year, I hear that business is tight and we spend a lot of time focusing on internal BuzzBee work. And they now tell me I can't/can go on vacation - I feel like I don't have a vacation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't forget to 'thank' the people that are doing the work. Reestablish a vacation policy that looks like everybody else in town, where you can actually take a vacation.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
  • We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great group of hard working, talented professionals!

    Director (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsThe team at BuzzBee is one of the best I've experienced in my career. It is a group of genuine, kind-hearted people that are always willing to rollup their sleeves and do great work for our clients. There is flexibility that allows you to balance work and life. Management is reasonable, and they are always willing to consider special requests and accommodate personal needs. That is one of the perks of working for a small company.

    ConsAt any agency, the pace is fast, clients have urgent needs, and we all wear many hats. Agency work is not for the faint at heart. If you thrive in this type of rewarding and exciting environment, you'll do great. If you prefer a slower pace with more predictability, an agency environment may not be right for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI've seen great strides forward in opening up communications across teams as well as up through senior management. Keep it up, and continue to find ways to open up communications channels and listen.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Look elsewhere, you won't regret it.

    Account Director (Former Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsLarge client brands - tons of opportunity to learn how larger clients work.
    Most of the people are wonderful - from the Directors down there is a sense of team.
    Good office location - Lots of new restaurants, and evening activities.

    ConsYou can never trust what CEO Michele Keeffe says - She will say one thing and then the next day do something completely different.
    You will be belittled and held down, no room for growth - There is a mean girl mentality at the office that is like no other, if you want to play the games you could do well, but only if you are bringing in revenue and the right type of revenue - which is never defined.
    Manipulation is a guiding principle for the agency.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdd a new acting CEO, or have a President who leads the firm. Let the people who were hired in showcase their talents. Don't put people into boxes that they don't know, nor want to be in. Know where the business is going - it is 2014 not 2000.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    I wouldn't take a job here... (other recent reviews are accurate)

    Account Manager (Former Employee)

    Pros- Competitive pay
    - Large clients
    - Co-workers are the most talented, fun, smart people in the industry (but paralyzed by the CEO)

    ConsOpportunity
    - BuzzBee is is lacking any opportunity for career advancement or development (the company once was about opportunity, but in my tenure, I haven't seen this). You will purely learn how to survive.
    - The company won't spend a penny investing in its employees (what the CEO claims are its most valuable assets)
    - Minimum number of hours a week is 45 (they won't tell you that until you're hired); you must bill 9 hours a day

    The Work
    - Most of the work is taking on jobs that the clients don't want to do; like PowerPoint scrubbing
    - There is no longer a "team," if you are an account manager, you will have to do everything to carry the job with little to no support from anyone else. Overall, this makes the creative suffer.

    The Crazy
    - Michele Keeffe is extremely narcissistic and is typically at her happiest when people are making her money
    - After your first week, you will never again hear the words "good job" (unless pertaining to money)
    - Michele is extremely disrespectful. You never will know what type of mood she is in so the whole office has to "walk on egg shells"
    - New processes are rolled out weekly, without any formal training, but you will be expected to fully comply with some new process communicated by email. Processes are enacted without regard to how they connect to other processes - many times sending you in circles.
    - PTO policy changes: Michele decided to change the PTO policy and force employees to use their time off during certain months - even if they don't align with your family vacation
    - Revoking PTO: Michele will "take back" your approved PTO within only a month's notice of a planned trip sending hard-working employees into an unnecessary panic

    Advice to Senior ManagementYOUR PEOPLE ARE GREAT, MICHELE! Start treating them accordingly and let them do their job, without being bullied. And, give your directors the autonomy they deserve.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into...then run like hell

    Account Manager (Former Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsUnlike the reviews on here from Jan-April of 2013, I’m going to be forthright about BuzzBee. Why? Well, for a couple reasons.

    First, I’m a firm believer in the transformative power of transparency. Like anything else in life, if no one speaks up about persistent systemic problems, those problems will never get fixed.

    Second, when someone or something (in this case a company) claims to be something, their actions need to be consistent with those claims.

    Third, I care about working-class people. In an age where diligent, hard-working individuals are being asked to work more and more for less and less...less pay, less health care coverage, less retirement help, and on and on...it’s important that people speak the truth about their employers. Whether a company is an incredible place or borderline abusive, the worker bees (no pun intended) need to know what they’re getting themselves into.

    At any rate, here’s my review of BuzzBee...the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    >>>Background
    First, a little background to put things in perspective. BuzzBee is a small company (around 25 or people during my stay). They specialize in developing marketing collateral for the technology companies like Microsoft, AMD, Intel, and a few others. I worked as an account manager at BuzzBee for several years– this is eons when one realizes that the average tenure at BuzzBee is around 6 months (and, in case you’re wondering, I left of my own accord and was not fired).

    >>>The Good
    Now here’s what’s good about BuzzBee: the employees.

    For the most part, BuzzBee has a very buttoned-down, smart culture that seems to attract like-minded individuals. Because of this, you don’t really have to deal with some of the issues that other larger companies can get caught up on such as strict job roles and overbearing bureaucracy.

    Another good thing about BuzzBee is the schedule. You can pretty much come in when you like and often have the freedom to work from home.

    ConsSo what about the bad?

    >>>The Work: In my estimation, this is where the “bad” begins. BuzzBee really has no focus in terms of what types of marketing work it can/can’t do and what types it will/won’t do. Because of this, it takes every little turd that gets lobbed its way. If you’ve ever done work with Microsoft, you know how stinky that can get.

    >>>The Hours: At BuzzBee, your base line is 45 hours...not 40. Not surprisingly, they don’t advertise this fact until after you’ve been hired. What’s 1 extra hour a week you ask? A lot. Those 5 extra hours per week translate to 240 hours per year that BuzzBee essentially gets for free. And, because BuzzBee often plays the role of a tech marketing garcon, it’s astounding how often your 45 hours turns into 55+.

    >>>The Leadership: If BuzzBee could capture 1/10 of the unmerited braggadocio and hubris from most of the upper “leadership” and convert it into clean energy, we’d have enough to power the city of Seattle for decades to come. Yep, it’s that bad.

    >>>The Compensation: On the surface, BuzzBee’s compensation package isn’t really bad, just average. When using Payscale and other comparative sites, the medical, 401K, and pay (at least for low to mid level employees) is about middle of the road when compared to other similar-sized companies. But, the compensation moves into the “bad” territory when you look at how many hours you actually have to put in to get it.

    Advice to Senior Management>>>Sadly, most of the ills of this company can be boiled down to one person: Michele Keeffe, the CEO of BuzzBee. She has a reputation (both inside and outside the company) for being mean-spirited, stingy, demeaning, arrogant, and spurious, and, as much as it pains me to say this about another human being, those titles are pretty fitting in this case. But, to be fair, she’s not always like that. But, because her mood swings are so random and drastic, everyone is always on edge. One moment, she’s treating you like you’re the best thing since ice cream and the next she’s screaming at you for making a suggestion she doesn’t agree with.

    My honest to goodness belief is that BuzzBee will only become a great company with a changing of the guards. Unfortunately, the guard owns the company and...well...we know how that story goes.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Lack of leadership, lack of direction

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsGreat people. From Account Management to Creative to Operations, BuzzBee has done a great job hiring amazing people. Pioneer Square location puts employees in the heartbeat of the city. Open, creative feeling office space makes going to work easy.

    ConsLeadership exits have left a void and lack of direction. The firm isn't adapting to changing marketing dynamics and is dependent on legacy clients. Short-term management focus saps creativity and client nurturing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake care of the firm's assets, its people. Manage for the mid- to long-term.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Not what it once was

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsCompetent people who are a joy to work with. Skill building for career newbies.

    ConsLack of focus, poor employee treatment, and erratic leadership behavior undermine the good. High expectations and scant rewards.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake care of people and value their individual contributions if you want them to thrive. Go back to being at least somewhat transparent, rather than employing fear and manipulation and playing people against each other. Listen to employees' thoughts about the strategic vision if you want them to buy in and drive it forward.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Be Careful

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsIf you like building traditional sales tools, like PowerPoint presentations and white papers, this company provides lots of opportunity to do so. They have a good set of enterprise technology clients.

    ConsThe culture is really bad. People are treated like dispensable cattle. As a result you will see good employees come and go routinely. Unchecked egos/attitudes from the top down and lack of clear processes leads to many problems.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn from your historical mistakes that lead to personnel problems. Value the skills of your employees and create processes that help people grow in their roles.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for BuzzBee? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at BuzzBee reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for BuzzBee CEO Michele Bourdon Keeffe. All 14 reviews posted anonymously by BuzzBee employees.