LocalEdge

  www.localedgemedia.com
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LocalEdge Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 115 reviews

59% Approve of the CEO

LocalEdge President, Revenue & Operations Mike Deluca

Mike Deluca

(29 ratings)

43% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • New leadership has recently implemented changes at LE(in 5 reviews)

  • Some great coworkers pretty good benefits(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Better communication is needed between customer service and product(in 13 reviews)

  • Then the sales reps mostly just lie to the customer which in turn creates huge problems/lawsuits(in 8 reviews)

115 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Moving in the right direction.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Buffalo, NY

    ProsPlenty of career opportunities as the company quickly grows and changes. Everyone I've worked with here has been great. Management is always open to good ideas. LocalEdge has recently invested in a number of industry-leading tools to further support its products.

    ConsWorkload can feel overwhelming at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork even harder to retain top talent on the IMS team. We see way too many highly-skilled people join LocalEdge and then leave after a year to start their own agencies or to work remotely for an agency across the country. Too much turnover causes sales to lose confidence, especially in the high-end products that require elite talent to succeed. It also plants thoughts of "should I be looking for a new job, too?" in the heads of everyone else on the team. Great job finding these employees, but more needs to be done to keep them at LocalEdge.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    10 people found this helpful  

    Fun Technology Stack, Mismanaged Business, Poor Products

    Senior Software Developer (Former Employee) Buffalo, NY

    ProsI was a programmer at LocalEdge and learned an incredible amount there. That was due, entirely, to the peers that I worked with. I ended up working with some of the best software developers of my career.

    The technology stack is a blast. When I was there it was largely Java, Spring, Hibernate and friends. All of this was running on Tomcat in production. Some of the tooling we used: Maven, HG, Jenkins. There was a general attitude toward improving skills and tools. We had enough latitude that we could take a step back and evaluate solutions without being forced to dive into the quickest or easiest one. We even had enough leeway to put new tools in place and change existing procedures and architectures.

    The salary and benefits were pretty decent for the area.

    ConsMy direct managers were fantastic so from this point on any reference to "management" refers to the levels above them.

    Criticism and concern is taken as negativity. If a product or feature or technical initiative is presented and you see a flaw or a way to improve and raise your concern you are viewed as difficult and negative. Perhaps even an overt trouble maker. Most catch on to this and stop speaking up, leading to low standards and stagnation and products that don't reach their potential or improve. To all the former and current salesmen reading this: we tried. Please believe me, we tried so hard to build great products.

    Culture of Expert Beginnerism. There are a group of people who have been with the company a long time and who opted out of learning a long time ago. They think technologies and business practices and product decisions that worked 15 years ago are sound today. Most get frustrated with this and eventually leave; The Dead Sea Effect. This culture causes raises and promotions to be based on time logged, not merit, which exacerbates the problem.

    Micromanagement. Most of the time things went pretty smoothly but once in a while someone from above your manager would swoop in and make your life a living hell for a few weeks. It would almost seem deliberate and bordered on harassment, sometimes crossing cleanly into it. It could be anything. Getting nitpicky about colors or layouts. This button has to move over there. Usually a lot of UI-type stuff. It could come in the form of some legacy page that no one uses any longer but which doesn't work for certain inputs. It's been unchanged for 3 years but now, because the CEO saw it, you have to drop everything, fix it, and deploy it. This one usually happened at about 5pm and would be accompanied by a, "how could you have let this happen?!" even though you never knew the code base existed before now.

    Many business and technical decisions would be based on emotion instead of logic. Usually to protect egos and make someone feel important. Sometimes out of fear for how they thought their superior wanted things to be.

    Legacy technologies. There are a lot of cool, newer technologies at LocalEdge that have become well entrenched but there are still some legacy systems and they are the biggest time sinks. There are old, home-brewed PHP applications that handle internal business concerns like ticket tracking and time keeping. There are old Java apps that never get decommissioned and are built in pure servlets or pure JSP. They are so coupled to the environment that they only run on production. There is TONS of business logic tied up in Perl and Shell scripts that run via cron jobs and interact directly with databases on various servers. This causes many, many strange bugs that are very hard and time consuming to track down.

    Effecting change was generally done dragging management along kicking and screaming. Remember above when I said there was a lot of latitude for getting things done? That was sort of true. You could eventually get your way but it could require quite a struggle or, more than likely, doing something on the sly and getting buy-in afterward or hoping that it went unnoticed. And I'm not talking about, "Wah! I want to do it THIS way!" The above-mentioned micromanagement and Expert Beginnerism had strange side-effects. Bizarre technical requirements would be baked into feature requests and user stories. It wouldn't be uncommon to see or hear, "just do this query right in the view" or "here is the SQL we want to use". Before my tenure there were JSPs that queried the db directly and performed all business logic. There were servlets that built HTML and XML for display. To start using patterns like MVC and libraries like Hibernate were a large departure as they flew in the face of such technical requirements. Often times it would go unnoticed but on more than one occasion I'd find myself defending the use of Hibernate because "where's that SQL I gave you?!" Or having to show that, even though the query isn't right next to the HTML it is, indeed, still there. Larger initiatives were also possible and met with greater skepticism. When I started, deploys were handled through a very specific IDE to a very specific container. As you can imagine this coupled the code base intimately to that environment. It also meant every dev had to use the same IDE. We did move to Maven but this took a lot of convincing and a lot of slight-of-hand; we essentially changed the build and deploy process without management knowing.

    LocalEdge struggles with Agile. They call themselves "Agile" but interpret it as, "we can ask for anything, anytime, at the last minute, without gauging the business value, and it should get done right now without impacting your velocity. And don't provide feedback or suggestions, just do it." MVP is interpreted as, "we need to have Features A-G and deploy Version 1 on the 1st of Month X." Always on the 1st. For some reason. Even if the 1st was a Sunday. There was no concept of, "what is the first thing we can do that can be delivered at the end of this iteration?" Management takes the flexible and "it depends" nature of Agile and twists it into, "we can just do whatever." On more than one occasion something along the lines of an "agile coach" would be brought in and their evaluation was always the same; the programmers seem to get it and do a decent job but management and the business are clueless. If I had to describe the methodology, it takes the tradeoffs of Agile and Waterfall and slams them together. It's lack of planning and forethought but without fast iteration and feedback. When your team got something "done" (based on meager requirements) it would sit, waiting to be looked at, for weeks or months. When it finally got looked at by project stakeholders they would want changes but want you to drop what you working on and take care of them asap. Months of nothing followed by hurry, hurry, hurry.

    Though my salary was OK it was not on the level of a company looking to become a technical leader in the industry who wanted to seek out and keep software developers to help grow the business. Asking for a raise as small as $5k was a huge deal and an attempt would be made to haggle you down. If you stuck to your guns you could get it to go through begrudgingly and it would take a looooong time. It would also be trotted out and held against you any time you asked for something. Most yearly merit increases were under 1%. At some point they did a profit sharing thing. When the plan was announced my calculations came out to around a $15k bonus if the business met their sales goals for the year. A tidy sum. Signs of a business starting to take themselves seriously. After it was launched there was fine print that made it work out to around $500.

    The outlook for this company will probably be pretty level as, historically, they find ways to chug along and succeed in spite of themselves. The products are not innovative so there is very little risk, but also, very little chance for big gain.

    LocalEdge's growth model (at least in 2013) is expanding into new markets. The lack of innovation and quality in the products make this unsustainable. Each of the new markets will eventually level off and decline as competitors and newcomers iterate faster and erode the customer base. But I have little doubt they will survive and find a new way to pivot when that deficit spending catches up.

    A lot of the reviews here on Glassdoor are, I believe, from people who worked in the many sales departments. I didn't have much interaction with them but it often sounded like hell. I strongly suspect that many of the extremely positive reviews are plants by management. Based on the writing style I could even make a pretty good guess as to who, exactly, the authors are. The fake reviews can be identified by their extremely positive nature, brevity, and lack of specificity; upon reading it's impossible to tell what department the author worked in or what they did. If there's any downside mentioned it's usually "there's some negative people who bring the whole place down" or "the company is moving so fast it's hard to keep up!" or "you really have to be a motivated sales person otherwise it's really tough". It's similar to someone realizing that overt bragging is frowned upon and so changes their tactic to, "Yeah, it was pretty hard but I managed to figure it out."

    The real shame of it is that the company went out of it's way to squash innovation and creativity. We had an incredible core of people who worked really well together, both on the technical and business side. LocalEdge explicitly halted our efforts at almost every turn because, I guess, they weren't comfortable with it. The tragedy is, had they allowed the teams to self organize and help drive product, they could be enjoying a lot more success. For free. And with increased morale as an added bonus. It might be hard to imagine for some who read this. We had developers knocking down the door, begging to create good UIs and products that would be ahead of the competition, only to be met with, "that's not how we do things. Trust me, I know best."

    My goal here is to be as transparent as possible. It's best if any candidate knows what they're getting into. I gave 2 stars because LocalEdge has some redeeming qualities. It's a great place to get your career started and on a time scale of around 6 months you probably won't notice a lot of these negative attributes. 6 months to 1 year would be completely tolerable, depending on your disposition. And if there's still some of the great people left I used to work with then you're in for a real treat. You will learn a lot. When you go in for your interview don't be afraid to ask any of the questions that you have.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThis may be a tough pill to swallow but you're not as smart as you think and your decisions are not the best. And that's OK. Your job is management. You need to hire the people who understand how to operate in today's market. You have some incredible people working for you who are up on current practices and what makes for good products. Tell them what you want, not how to do it. Trust them to do a good job and I guarantee they will not let you down.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Digital Media Executive

    Digital Media Executive (Current Employee) Erie, PA

    Pros-You can make some really good money
    -You will learn things that will help you later on in your professional career
    -Growing company w/ some untapped potential

    Cons-Awful uneducated managers
    -They will hire anyone and that makes for an unbalanced workplace. You'll have college grads mixed w/ those how clearly only graduated highschool and that creates a lot of confusion and jealous behaviors.
    - VPs lead like slum lords and their greed will be the death this company . Goals are unrealistic !
    -A lot of snakes in the management department , nobody is truly there to help you (few are) .
    - Company tries to use the "bully method" when motivating sales.
    - Management will literally sit by those they feel need help durning cold-calling but won't offer any helpful pointers . They sit there almost as if you were in 5th grade and they don't want you talking to your best friend in class . It's almost comical .
    -TOO MANY POWER TRIPPERS and not enough teachers of the products and sell tactics .
    -Products are a complete ripoff and customers could honestly get better work done by some college juniors .
    -Company really takes advantage of small business owners from smaller markets.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeeds to let go of some of the "so-called" leaders and hire those that know the products in and out. It wouldn't hurt if the company looked holding higher standards and having Sales Reps required w/ college education in their background. Always their are huge issues w/ how they pay employees . I know of a guy with a college degree making the least amount of money in his respected office and his entire office is not college educated but only him. It's hard for someone to put their all into a company when information such as this is leaked out during work-related events. The company is growing but for every step forward it seems they make 5 steps back due to poor culture throughout the office.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    6 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a place where work was enjoyable and you had time for life outside the office. Then the new guys came to town

    Digital Media Executive (Former Employee) Buffalo, NY

    ProsCompetitively priced products that under-perform for the average customer. Big customers get all the attention. The sales reps I worked with every day are mostly terrific people. Lots of contests that are mostly won by the same people over and over. If you are in the top 10% of sales reps, you will love your job. If you are in the bottom 90%, it's another story. Quotas and comp plans change every few months.

    ConsI worked at Localedge for a few years under former management. When new management came in last summer, everything changed. The new senior team (who are in New York City) came from a competitor called Yodle. They grew that company from scratch using questionable business practices. They are a bright but smug crew that think they have all the answers. They want things done in very specific ways and ignore input from everyone but their 4-person senior team.

    One of the first changes they made was to make us memorize a sales script...and this is 2014, not 1974! Every month we have new scripts to memorize and we are tested by our managers to prove we have. Sales reps are expected to push customers hard to buy on the first sales call. This often results in big gaps between customer expectations and actual results. Many of my colleagues in sales are questioning these tactics and are uncomfortable with making the claims we are expected to make. This is ultimately why I left the company.

    All reps are expected to generate their own leads, which takes a lot of time. Then we have to put them into salesforce.com and we are given 2 weeks to get an appointment or we lose the leads...that we generated ourselves!

    The successful reps fall into two categories. The long-time reps that have lots of yellow page accounts are one. The other are newer reps that live on the phone and make hundreds of cold calls a week.

    They are hiring mostly recent college grads now, and most are failing massively. Turnover among new reps is very high.

    We play manager roulette. In an average year, I get a new manager at least 2 or 3 times. You don't work for the manager that hires you, they assign you to whoever needs reps. Every time you get a new manager the rules change and you have to build a new relationship, only having to do it again in a few months. Sales managers have no time for coaching.

    Management is rapidly growing the reseller and agency programs, so we are losing more sales territory every day. When they sign a reseller (usually a newspaper) they give them exclusive territories that our reps can't call on.

    I used to make a lot of money and loved my 40 hour a week job. Since new management came in, the competition among reps is ruthless. We come in early, work late, and spend nights and weekends memorizing new scripts. Work-life balance has gone out the window...very sad.

    If you are a brilliant rep that is willing to work 60-70 hours a week and will do anything to succeed, you will make great money, go on trips and win prizes. If you are not that person, you should look for a different employer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDear Senior Management:

    I know you guys are looking to do a quick turnaround at Localedge, get a big payday from Hearst and move on to your next conquest. Having employees fear and distrust you seems to be OK with you if you get what you want. Work-life balance does not mean ping pong tables and beer on Fridays.Those are nice, but I'd rather have a life outside the office.

    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  

    Great place to work, Growing Company and Committed People

    Sales (Current Employee) Buffalo, NY

    ProsLocalEdge is great because you have the opportunity to grow with the company. No one is the true dominant player in the Digital Marketing Industry for Small to Medium size businesses. LocalEdge is in a perfect position to become that dominant player. Owned by Hearst and run by a team who has been very successful in growing companies exponentially, LocalEdge offers what others in their industry do not.

    It is also a work hard, play hard environment. Senior leaders at the company want people to enjoy their jobs. They want people to experience success and they want to do it as a team. Everything from happy hours, to reward trips, to presidents club, to middle of the winter Florida "Boot Camp". It is a fun and very competitive environment. If you are committed and great at what you do, there will be opportunities for growth.

    ConsTheir products aren't perfect, but honestly, who's is? They are very focused on bringing a great product to market that brings a great ROI for customers. They are also working through the transition of their legacy Yellow Page product as more people go online. Some people on the sales side find it hard to balance selling both print & digital products.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the great work. LocalEdge is certainly on the right path. Really enjoy your efforts to hear from people company-wide with surveys and townhalls. I also appreciate the willingness of the CEO to make quarterly commitments and then provide follow-up.

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

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    10 people found this helpful  

    Mediocrity at its finest

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Buffalo, NY

    ProsSales hit a record number again.... I enjoy the group I work with and the department I am in. My manager is a great boss and I enjoy working for them everyday. I do enjoy that our VP is here to sit with us watch, listen and help us succeed. Its great that the company can see where errors are and want to fix them. I can see the company wants to grow and our CEO and VP's want us to succeed and become a more valuable company. LocalEdge has been great to me and provided for me and my family. I would have no problem recommending this to my friends as I have already done so in the past.

    ConsInterdepartmental communication is a nightmare. Most employees are looking out for themselves and wouldn't think twice about throwing someone else under the bus to better themselves. Sales continues to improve and we hit an all time high for the last 3 consecutive months and yet the workforce will not and cannot grow because of viewpoints of SR Management. There is a common belief between others that this group SR Management is here to show a sales growth and move on. If they can save a buck here and there it will show much better numbers than if they were to hire more employees and lose money. To some it seems like their "Northstar" goal is to leave this company after showing how well they did here. We as analysts are told to shoot for a "Northstar" goal however, since the average age of employee is at a much younger age then other companies it is very challenging for us to shoot for the next position unless the employee in the position above leaves the company, and sometimes there is no position for us to move up into. Departments are changing constantly and everyday is a different task and challenge to figure out who we have to work with to get a resolution to a problem.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWe need to look at every department and see if there really is growth for all employees. We invest so much time into each and everyone of our employees however, when there is nowhere to move they leave the company. That is fine if this company wants to be a starter company for kids out of college however, if they ever want to be taken seriously we need to invest in what we have. We cannot constantly work people to death and expect them to come to work everyday happy. We always make sure that sales is happy but why not the people who are forced to work off of sales. Sales was flown down to Florida and Sheridan drive only got to hear about it. We need to look at ourselves and say could I work in their position everyday and drain myself without something nice happening to boost morale every now and then. I think we should organize and event every quarter to say thanks. It doesn't have to be big but something that is going to boost morale.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Haven't called in sick once.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Buffalo, NY

    ProsLots of career opportunities
    Growing company
    Never bored
    Great people to work with
    New Management is optimistic and improving morale
    Management open to new ideas, business strategy and ways to improve
    Opportunities for Bonus!
    So many projects so little time, we need more people!
    If you're never sick, time can be used for not sick days off
    Did I mention GREAT people to work with

    Consparking is rough but, it's not downtown!
    So many projects so little time, we need more people!
    Fall short on communication between departments

    Advice to Senior ManagementLike most companies we could improve on communication.

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

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start... not a career

    Digital Account Executive (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsBase salary is ok for entry level. Good job experience. Open office.

    ConsProducts don't work. Turn over is high. Favoritism is high. Management is always changing. No stability. Local edge is unresponsive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFind good managers that actually work their people.

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

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Products aren't great...tough sell locally

    Digital Media Consultant (Former Employee) Wilmington, NC

    ProsTraining was pretty good. Managers want you to succeed.

    ConsI was never able to "buy into" LocalEdge's products. LocalEdge is just another traditional media company trying to establish a presence in the digital world. Their digital products are sub par and cookie cutter. When

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter products!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    9 people found this helpful  

    RVPs and Directors are tired of being micromanaged, ignored and marginalized, just like everyone else at Localedge

    Senior Field Sales Management (Former Employee)

    ProsThis is a company with proud traditions dating back to 1968. While run by the Lewis family it was a great place to work, people made great money and it was a family-friendly atmosphere. When Hearst bought Localedge and installed Jeff Folckemer as CEO it provided continuity and Jeff developed some great digital products. There are still many terrific people there, but new management is working hard to push them out and install their own people.

    ConsWhen new management came in the summer of 2013, people were excited at the prospect of making this a bigger, better company.

    The new management team had worked together launching a digital advertising start-up called Yodle. They had successfully built the business using deceptive pricing; pushy, hard-sell sales tactics; and products that under-delivered the growth results customers thought they were buying. Sales reps AND customers churned like crazy, most customers didn't last more than a few months.

    But Hearst liked them because they produced big sales growth, which is what they wanted for Localedge. So they offered them huge downstream bonuses to come in and duplicate their Yodle success at Localedge. Things got interesting quickly.

    In their first 90 days, dozens of people were fired. When they fired local management, they replaced them with their own people. The culture they created is an "All In" sales-driven culture, where top sales reps are showered with awards and accolades and everyone else is left with the scraps (if that.) Being in sales management, I initially thought that would be a good thing, but how wrong I was.

    Managers and reps are forced to memorize long sales scripts and are tested or "certified" in front of peers repeatedly. Everyone is taught that there is only one right way to do anything, that is, their way. It's become a highly regimented almost military-style sales culture what with Boot Camps and Basic Training events.

    The most difficult adjustment was the new team's tone-deaf management style. They never listen...and not just to reps and other staff, they don't listen to their own local management teams, including managers, directors and even regional vice presidents. I know, I was in senior field sales management. When you make a suggestion you get shut down...hard. Everyone is learning to shut up, keep their head down, and do as they're told.

    I spent much of my time talking to sales reps in my job. Many liked some of the changes initially and were excited about making more money. But they began to realize that they were expected to come in early, work late, and spend weekends generating leads for "call blitzes". Quality of life became a thing of the past.

    Another big issue is honesty. Under former management we were told explicitly to be honest with customers about what our products can do for them. Many of my reps were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with what new management wants us to tell customers. We are supposed to make big promises about getting a search term on Google Page 1, but we don't tell them that it's search term that barely relates to their business. LocalEdge is being set up to fail, and to be sued by our customers. A terrible thing to happen to a company with a proud history of great products and customer service.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake a clean break with your past and start using ethical policies to grow the business the right way. Be honest with customers about what to expect, you'll retain more clients that way. Empower your employees. Solicit suggestions from employees and show how you're open to change. We have known for years that we need to change many policies and procedures, and we've had years to come up with great fixes, just waiting for someone to let us change. Your way isn't the only way.

    LocalEdge has a great opportunity to grow much faster than it did before you arrived like you want it to, just do it the right way. Give your sales managers the time and training to coach average reps to become great.

    When you have a great sales quarter, give everyone...the whole company (not just Sales) a bonus. Do regular reviews and raises. Stop putting so many people on warnings/PIPs, it discourages the effort you want and only makes people start looking for a new job.

    Communications is simply awful. It starts with you guys. You think that your vague and ambiguous answers to complex questions keeps things simple, but it only sows confusion and frustration. Be specific about what you want, and then let your people deliver those results their way.

    Oh and by the way, please tell the Localedge Marketing Dept. to stop writing fake positive reviews. It is obvious to anyone that they're fake, they're all short and over the top positive (e.g. "Haven't Called in Sick Once")...I mean, come on...nobody takes that seriously. You're just embarrassing yourself. Be honest, read all the reviews here and take them for what they are: informed feedback from people that want you to succeed.

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

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