BuzzBee

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  buzzbee.biz

BuzzBee Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
15 Reviews
2.8
15 Reviews
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Michele Bourdon Keeffe
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Making a comeback! Good things are coming...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at BuzzBee full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The small company environment allows for flexibility, creativity, wearing many hats and an opportunity to be involved in the business at many levels. Overall, I would say pay and benefits were fair, possibly even above other agencies.

    I really enjoyed the ability to work from home and have a good work/life balance. A big pro to BuzzBee is that you get to work with the Creative Team with some of the brightest, smartest people in the business!

    BuzzBee definitely tripped, feel down, and now is back on two solid feet as new life and new clients have been acquired. I worked at the company during tough times, but it was great to see how people formed a team and were given a chance by the leadership team to perform. Acquiring new clients have helped chance the work and has allowed for a new dynamic to form (for the better).

    Cons

    I was often unsure of processes because it felt like they were changing often, but I feel that was also related to the evolution of the business.

    The Microsoft book of business can be a tough one and the clients are demanding, but I wouldn't say that is a fault of BuzzBee - just a fair warning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please buy a PM solution and management tools: please no more spreadsheets or OneNotes to house information or processes.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Don't believe the propaganda reviews

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at BuzzBee

    Pros

    Great people, but most of the good ones have left

    Cons

    No company strategy, no clear articulation of what BuzzBee does (mostly build low value marketing assets), lack of focus on clients and client needs, management's full-time focus is on $ (cost and revenue) with no appreciation for client service, BuzzBee CEO does not value employees - disposable, disregard for employee needs (ex. vacations), poor compensation package for Seattle-area 'high-tech' market

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't know where to start for advice to BuzzBee's single owner/CEO - be nice, take care of your employees (ever heard of the golden rule?), take some time to create a real vision and mission and define your services, spend more time with your clients (don't hide in the office and at home).

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

    June 5 Review Sums It Up About Right

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

    I worked at BuzzBee full-time

    Pros

    Can't speak for newer employees as I am no longer there. But, when I was there, I have to say HR and Management had a knack for bringing in really smart, creative and hardworking people. You develop great working and professional relationships while there. Also, the accounts that the company has are generally pretty cool. The clients are not the typical, stick in the muds many of us prepped for. I'd give the company a five for the people alone, but the stress that comes with the cons aren't worth it. I must say, some of my best work came out of working at BuzzBee. There is opportunity to stretch yourself and try something new.

    Cons

    I'd say refer to the June 5 review, which was spot on. If you are low on the hierarchal scale, you may be able to avoid the drama while (if you have a great manager) you were shielded from "the top." However, many of those on the lower end of the scale were scared to move up the ladder because of this. While some of us didn't run into any issues with the CEO, we were running scared due to the outbursts/repercussions we witnessed or heard about. When June 5th reviewer mentioned 9 hours, I think in this business you should expect to work more than 40 hours a week. But, what they are saying is that as you report your hours, the minimum is literally 45 hours a week. Also, the good reviews are CLEARY padded. Word of advice: if your going to post a fake review, try to balance it out. Don't go for five stars.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it professional. As for everyone else, get out while you can. It's a sinking ship and those who made it by our own devices or the unfortunate ones who were booted out to 'keep the lights on,' are very lucky and happy now. Loyalty is one thing, but your professional reputation is on the line too because industry people (and clients) are talking and these GD reviews aren't helping. Follow-up with those who are no longer there because you know we'll keep you in mind for roles at other places.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    The year of growth ... Or not.

    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at BuzzBee

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Open 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Exciting Place to Bee.....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at BuzzBee full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    With 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 ManagementAdvice

    Bringing 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great group of hard working, talented professionals!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at BuzzBee full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    At 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 ManagementAdvice

    I'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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Look elsewhere, you won't regret it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Director in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Account Director in Seattle, WA

    I worked at BuzzBee full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Large 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.

    Cons

    You 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 ManagementAdvice

    Add 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.

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

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

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

    I worked at BuzzBee full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Opportunity
    - 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 ManagementAdvice

    YOUR 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at BuzzBee full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Unlike 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.

    Cons

    So 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 ManagementAdvice

    >>>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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Not what it once was

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

    I worked at BuzzBee full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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