Journal Communications, Inc. Reviews

Updated July 30, 2015
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  1. Helpful (2)

    Struggling to evolve

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Journal Communications, Inc. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They are a media partner of the Packers. No one talks in the building during the day so it is quiet

    Cons

    Morale is low. Constantly trying to overcome the newspaper is dying thing. The atmosphere in the building can be like a funeral.

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example instead of relying on former glory. Focus on the customer a lot better. Allow the work atmosphere to be fun.


  2. Approach with caution

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Franklin, TN
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Franklin, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Company consistently puts out great products and has received several rewards for their hard work. They don't skimp on equipment or computer programs. Everything that employees need to do their job well is provided to them. The company does appreciate family values and work life balance. Great place to work if you thrive in mediocre environments.

    Cons

    The company is completely divided between sales and content. It's as if two companies are being run independently. Employees fall into two groups: those with a long tenure and those that are brand new (less than three years). The company's turn-over rate is high because there is no room for career growth. Loyalty is between the long tenure group only. When traveling, employees cannot expense more than $22 per day on food (breakfast, lunch and dinner for $22 is unreasonable). If more is spent, it is not reimbursed (even $5). Traveling for any company and not being fully reimbursed for reasonable expenses is abhorrent. Oh and all billing is very very slow. Client service is a complete joke. If you think that good client service means ignoring client emails for weeks (and sometimes failing to respond at all), this is the place for you! Journal seems to enjoy telling clients no without offering an alternative option to fill their request. The photography team lacks talent and will return from a photo trip with next to nothing that can be used in the magazine. Therefore, Journal is using this as an excuse to cut costs (shocking, right?) by purchasing photos and using less of them. The magazines still turn out ok, but can seem to generic. Speaking of generic and lazy, the Business Climate division doesn't change the content plan every year. Instead, the same stories are written, but by different people. The Agriculture division is solid and growing, but the leader seems to be a control freak that is so insecure that she discourages the content team from thinking beyond the specific task at hand. It is obvious that there are favorites among her staff too (think Mean Girls). Anyone that is different, regardless of work quality, is outwardly snubbed. (There is one exception to this. Sadly, she only works part time.) There are few things less professional than feeling inadequate for doing actual work instead of sending silly emails. If your sense of humor doesn't match that of the group, you will not get the job. The content team claims to be relaxed with work start and end times. This is not so. Be prepared for mixed messages.

    Advice to Management

    The content side of the business is under appreciated when compared to the sales team. While sales is important, if the content side slacks off, the sales force will undoubtedly suffer. Please please do more with content. It might decrease the employee turnover issue. People want to be appreciated, not watch other people receive appreciation.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Run!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Journal Communications, Inc. (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very young, hip work environment on the surface, and truly talented, hardworking coworkers, albeit very few for long, so swap contact info quickly. They do a great job of hiring very talented people who continue to produce a great product for them.

    Cons

    Beware: Not much good to speak of with this company. It's all show. Very toxic, dysfunctional work environment once you get in there. They hand out great titles, make big promises, but don't let anyone actually do their job. Micromanagement at its very core here. The president doesn't trust anyone. Only he and one other person in the company make any decisions, and everyone else just runs around madly trying to implement them before they change their mind and have everyone running around redoing everything again. Then, the cycle repeats. All under the guise of being "innovative". They will demand ideas, but are only interested in their own. And, you better be too, if you want to work there. Very narcissistic leader; very demanding with a very schizophrenic leadership style. They prey on young professionals without any real life work experience, in the hopes of keeping them because they don't know any better yet. Anyone with any previous experience in an actual professional work environment doesn't put up with this long, so they continue to have a high turnover, while refusing to recognize it, or value any of the high caliber people they continually burn through. They have nice offices and a good facade, so they just go hire more. The cycle continues.

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers you can trust, then let them do their jobs. Everyone would be a lot happier and the company would progress. The president really needs to retire. He's making everyone crazy.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    The lies began from first telephone interview and if you are seeking a churn and burn, you have found one at Journal.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Integrated Media Manager in Franklin, TN
    Former Employee - Integrated Media Manager in Franklin, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Journal Communications, Inc. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are some nice people there with high integrity, they are just not in management. They offer a decent product that has great potential. The opportunity to travel for free, while earning miles is a good perk. The clients are amazing!

    Cons

    The pay is not what they promise, the bonus will never happen, if you have two successful projects they will purposely give you a historically low performing project to control your earnings. If you are a top producer, they constantly raise your goals to keep from paying you fairly. They give you no time off, however in the initial interviews they promise because you travel each week Fridays are optional. Fridays are never optional so there is never time for Doctors appointments, time to file tax's, car repairs, the basic things people need to handle in life. All of management on the sales side distrusts one another. They change the rules and the compensation daily. With excessive travel and the job taking from 6am to 11pm-12am each day to do well, it is almost impossible to achieve a healthy work/life balance. Management travels to be with their families continually and are never available to assist the sales people, yet it you request a weeks vacation in a 12 month period it is frowned upon. There is numerous employees that have excelled in their sales with no help from their managers yet once they begin to truly believe they might achieve $100,000.00 per year the rules change regarding the type of project you are assigned next or the delivery date which bumps your bonus out another year. The company shows discrimination daily regarding women versus men, employees with families versus young single professionals. They disregard the importance of client retention and ask the employees not to become to close to their clients. They raise their prices without increasing the quality of their products. Their distribution is poor and not handled properly. Most salespeople agree their is no direction. One of the managers has so many personal issues he/she is unable to focus on any training, encouragement, assistance, or basic communication. Their idea of training and staying close to their team is to take them out for drinks.

    Advice to Management

    Terminate managers that are poor examples, lack qualifications to manage and are negative. During the hiring process, stop promising a base salary plus commissions, this has been told to numerous employees and each time management states there must have been a misunderstanding. This is a 100% commission job. Be honest and explain the travel is intense. The $22.00 a day food allowance for an entire days meals is not enough. Don't teach salespeople to mislead the client in order to close the sale. The sales school in the beginning is not actually helpful. Those hours would be best spent helping the salespeople understand and learn how to handle the objections that will arise. Don't promise the pay will be 10% of your project plus an additional 4% bonus. The 4% bonus won't happen. Be open to communication. Have a round table discussion monthly and allow employees to share ideas that work. Don't let your arrogance prohibit company growth. There are numerous smart young employees in the organization, treat them with respect, they have great ideas also.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Great place to grow

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Franklin, TN
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Franklin, TN
    Recommends

    I worked at Journal Communications, Inc. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    lots of opportunities for promotion if you work hard and show your value loyal to those who are loyal to the company great place for learning respectful of the fact that you have a life outside of work staff is welcoming to newbies lots of cool, talented people laid back environment makes the fast-paced work more manageable

    Cons

    not tons of creative freedom for designers some micro-managing starting pay isn't great but if you work hard, there is definitely room to grow too many pointless meetings

    Advice to Management

    give more incentives for employees to stay - salary, more days off around holidays, show that you value their contributions


  7. It's like hosting Thanksgiving dinner. It seems like a good idea, a lot of thankless work and a relief when it's over.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    It's like a big family where everyone genuinely likes each other.

    Cons

    Poor leadership in a dying industry.

    Advice to Management

    Giving the CEO a 14% raise two months after telling everyone that the economy limits raises to 3% eroded trust in leadership. Don't get me wrong, receiving raises in a down economy was nice and the limit of 3% was justifiable and went over well. It was the self serving move by the leadership that irked everyone. That really sums up the overall experience with the company - all of the employees were team players and really supported each other. The leadership, on the other hand, always seemed at odds with the employees.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Journal is all Glitz and Glamor when you walk in because that is the perception you're "Supposed" to see!!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Integrated Media Manager in Franklin, TN
    Current Employee - Integrated Media Manager in Franklin, TN
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    If you are a "travel" animal, it's a great way to see the country, but beware, its a sales "churn and burn! You will always start out good, because that is the way the system is set up. Everyone is typically nice to you. Great company outings and the appearance of a good company to work for. Good overall products are produced. *this is a very true review, I wish I was enlightened before I started here*

    Cons

    Be careful of what you are "not" told, that is what gets you. Watch the conversation about the draws, their goal is to get you to think you will do well, and such, not "lose" any money when you don't! The back end bonuses are a fable. You are "not" given your bonuses because chances are you won't last that long. They only want you to have a few successful projects, and then, the push is for you to leave because they see that you will figure out the gimmick! If you do accept a position as an Integrated Media Manager, listen to your "customers!" They will tell you the company's communication is poor, and for the most part, they are 100% correct!

    Advice to Management

    Journal needs to communicate better with the sales organization about true expectations vs what is being told. You purposely leave things out because it's in the favor of the company and that is not ethical business practices.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Imbalance of Power

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

    Pros

    Leniency with sick days and emergency situations. Great people. Some departments have the option of working from home one day a week. This is not available in all departments. Good, caring co-workers and extremely talented people.

    Cons

    Biggest con is the imbalance of power. There is a concentration of power coming from only one area which dictates and greatly affects other departments.

    Advice to Management

    Spread the power out to include the Creative Director (who's hands are tied) and the other VPs that the company has. Properly match each VP to their respective areas of leadership and go from there. Disgruntlement and bad morale will dissipate soon after.



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