Rise Interactive Reviews

Updated April 29, 2015
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3.4
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Rise Interactive Founder & CEO Jon Morris
Jon Morris
28 Ratings

Pros
  • You will learn a ton about digital marketing (in 5 reviews)

  • Most of the people working in the trenches are intelligent, genuine and extremely hard-working that I would be proud to work with again (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Benefits are strictly mediocre compared to other agencies of the same size/standing in the marketplace and work/life balance (in 5 reviews)

  • All these talented people are leaving (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

48 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Executive Project Administrator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Project Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Executive Project Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Rise Interactive full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There is so much opportunity to learn. It is definitely "trial by fire" but I actually prefer that way since it weeds out those who don't want to be here. Everyone is incredibly intelligent, something that tends to be a rarity in the workplace. People work hard and are very dedicated to their craft. There is a lot of opportunity to explore other channels within the agency too. Management is determined to keep what good people they have; so if someone is unhappy in one channel, they encourage exploration and professional growth in the myriad of other channels.

    Cons

    Sometimes you have to do things that you didn't sign up for. Although I begrudged those experiences at the time, I found they helped me to develop character and added to my personal growth by going through them. My resume is not lacking for things to brag about now.

    Advice to Management

    I was nervous when I first started a year ago that we weren't choosing the right clients and when people were leaving, but your transparency and effort to change in recent months show employees the clear pathway for the organization. Because of that, I definitely see continued success in the coming years.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Internet Marketing Intern

    Former Employee - Internet Marketing Intern
    Former Employee - Internet Marketing Intern

    I worked at Rise Interactive

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great environment, cool young people, interns are really integrated into the team they are working on

    Cons

    Some teams have much more work than others, so if you end up on a team that isn't totally ready for an intern you don't have much to do for three months.


  3. Growing Company. Fast paced. Challenging Environment.

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

    I worked at Rise Interactive

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Plenty of opportunity to shine for those who can adapt to expectational ambiguity. "Start up" atmosphere is collegial. Swift career advancement for the high-performing and ambitious. Hard work, loyalty, and commitment are rewarded.

    Cons

    Company still lacks some sophistication when it comes to standardization, recruitment, internal workflows, and business processes, although a few "white knights" are actively trying to change that. Attrition rate is probably higher than normal given the cutthroat nature of the business and excessively long hours. Recent hires at the executive level weren't adequately vetted, regularly abuse power, and lack management prowess. It's an unfortunate case study in the dehumanization of working professionals, Dilbert-style.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house. Company has too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Return to the core values of delivering best-in-class service to clients and continue to take care of your employees.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    The CEO truly cares about his employees and you constantly work with other teams

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

    I worked at Rise Interactive

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Weekly workshops, Fun environment, Beer Friday

    Cons

    I can't think of anything


  6. Helpful (1)

    There Are Better Opportunities In Digital Marketing

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

    I worked at Rise Interactive

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great office location, opportunities to learn quickly, passionate and dedicated employees

    Cons

    Pay is below average and too standardized across titles, no middle management, client roster

    Advice to Management

    Middle management exists in many organizations to bridge the gap between associates and high level managers. These mid-level managers have an idea of day to day operations as well as insight into executive strategy, and is able to serve as a liaison between the two parties. This concept does not exist at Rise and lower level employees can expect some negative and confrontational interaction with executives when something goes wrong. Also, though analysis of digital marketing data is vital to a successful digital strategy, this is the sole strategy driver at Rise. This results in too much time spent on reporting that often just confuses clients and also limits overall vision and creativity.


  7. I am analytical, self motivated, and hungry to learn and I fit right in at Rise.

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

    I have been working at Rise Interactive full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great opportunity to control my own destiny as the company has big plans to grow. Smart, dedicated employees get rewarded on consistent basis. Rise is not satisfied with its current state and Leadership is committed to providing cutting edge digital marketing solutions for its clients.

    Cons

    Rise consistently hires inexperienced digital marketers who they will train. Sometimes team members are asked to do more than they are ready to do in the short run.

    Advice to Management

    Management has invested in employee engagement surveys and comp surveys. Listen to the results and things will take care of themselves.


  8. Helpful (3)

    High turnover, unhappy workers, lack of transparency in upper management

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

    I worked at Rise Interactive

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    People and company culture, snacks, free lunches here and there

    Cons

    You have no idea what upper management are up to. They are never around the office and they like to play favorites with their employees.

    The company is great at presenting itself outwards via fun Facebook pictures, publicity features, etc. etc but the people are not quite that happy to be there. Compensation is lacking and work is routine.


  9. Helpful (5)

    Senior Leadership Making Positive Changes

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

    I have been working at Rise Interactive full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Prior to joining Rise Interactive, I spent multiple years at a Fortune 50 company and time at one of the largest agency networks. This afforded me a unique perspective, providing me with experience on both the brand and agency side. I held multiple roles at these organizations and saw success and recognition throughout my career.

    I’ve been at Rise for almost a year and have been very grateful for my experience so far. I’ve come into a team and an organization that has challenged me, rewarded me, and made me grow more as a contributor than I had in the multiple years preceding this experience. I have seen the leadership team step up, take accountability, and make changes so that each employee can come into work every day and know that their opinion and their work is valued and that they are being heard. I have continually been impressed by the amount of thoughtfulness that has been put into decisions, the depth of which may not always be understood by those who haven’t had previous work experience or are new to the workforce.

    Rise is not a place for the weak-hearted, but it is a place where you are respected, valued, and rewarded if you’re a high performer. From my first interaction with Rise, to almost every day since, I am reminded that we are growing and creating and achieving remarkable things, and as our CEO says, that requires remarkable people. There is no room for complacency and I respect that transparency and candidness. Work hard, play hard rings true here. I’m surrounded by some of the smartest, hardest working people and am continuously motivated to do better for myself and for Rise. If you are intelligent, willing to work hard, and have a positive attitude, you’ll find a home here. If you’re not, or you can’t handle that, then you’ll want to pursue an alternate path.

    Cons

    You get out what you put in


  10. Helpful (3)

    Don't Waste Your Time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Channel Svcs/Accounts Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Channel Svcs/Accounts Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Rise Interactive full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Young workforce gets along well.

    Cons

    C-Level VPs are new to the company. Inexperienced and not from the industry. Revolving door.
    Interview loads of candidates just to ferret out ideas from them. Don't fall for the trap.
    As another reviewer stated - run, run, run. Don't even think twice.
    No work-life balance at all!

    Advice to Management

    Act with integrity, if you even know what that means. Don't waste people's time with your BS.


  11. Helpful (19)

    Feel treated like a resource, not an asset

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Internet Marketing Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Internet Marketing Consultant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Rise Interactive full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Coworkers
    - Casual atmosphere
    - Free snacks
    - Game room, if you're into that kind of thing
    - Solid training, I suppose, if you're new to the industry
    - Great downtown location
    - Beer Friday, but what agency doesn't have that

    Cons

    I'll admit it, when I decided to join Rise I was swayed by all the things listed above. Brand new downtown office, stocked kitchen with a regular fridge and a beer fridge, laid back atmosphere, a good set of coworkers, a chance to get valuable experience in a potentially exciting industry. I thought, eh, it might not pay that well, but maybe I won't completely hate work everyday. Maybe, if I prove my worth and stick around for a little while, I can get all these things and also get paid.

    Well, that's not exactly how it works at Rise. You see, there are two main issues with the concept above. One, you do hate going to work everyday when you work at Rise. And two, you will never be paid what you are worth.

    The Executives at Rise (aka the CEO and his buddies) like to convey a few central themes during their numerous company meetings; 1) Rise is kicking ass and taking names and everything is just dandy so no one worry about anything, 2) Everything is awesome because you employees are so awesome and talented and you work great as part of a team and you have so much room for growth within this company so let’s stick together and side by side we will win forever, and 3) We know it’s a little weird that 3 employees left in the last week but just know we care about you and want what’s best for you and you guys are the most important thing in the whole wide company, so if you ever need anything, anything at all, feel free to ask at anytime.

    The first couple of times you hear this spiel you don’t think much of it. You think, “I’m new here. I don’t know what’s really going on. People look happy. Everything is fine. I’m fine here. Everything is going according to plan.” But than it keeps coming and coming and coming, and you think, “Maybe people aren’t that happy. Something does seem a little off. All these talented people are leaving. Our clients do kind of suck. I don’t really know what the executives do with their time. I’m not making as much as I should. And I’m working way longer hours than I need to.” And finally, “Welp, I’m definitely not happy here.” Trust me, the words might be different but this happens to almost everyone. Some suck it up and keep working, others start interviewing, while many just quit to get out of there. But in reality, almost everyone who gets hired at an entry-level position goes through this at some point.

    It’s really hard to peg the nucleus of my unpleasant experience at Rise on one thing in particular, but if I had to, if there was one thing that I thought was the root of all things unpleasant about my experience, it would definitely be the executives. Broad, yes, but accurate, also yes.

    You see, the executives don’t really know what they’re doing. I’m not going to name names, so I’ll treat them all as one, but in reality some are worse than others. I understand it’s a start-up, and a lot of things are “learn on the fly” type things, but this group seems particularly bad at learning on the fly. In particular, they can’t for the life of them figure out how to make happy employees and retain their talent. They give us everything; game room, free snacks, Keurig, happy hours, beer friday, Christmas gifts. How on earth are the employees unhappy? Do they need 2 iPads each next year? Would another catered lunch do the trick?

    I’m rambling, so I think it’s time I get to the thesis. The executives don’t realize it, but they treat us like expendable resources. Sure, they put on this show that each of us is a vital asset to a successful company, but in reality they want to squeeze as much work as possible out of each of us before we inevitably leave and they hire someone new. Give employees a little more stuff, and postpone their breaking point for that much longer. Feed them a little more food, and prolong the façade that everyone at Rise is happy. As long as employee gripe is kept to a minimum, everything is fine (WARNING: when employee gripe isn’t kept to a minimum, a completely irrational and ill-advised firing may occur).

    The executives are so enamored with the idea of high employee morale, that I am sure they frequent glassdoor and monitor every review and are going to try long and hard to figure out who wrote this. They’ll certainly have the time for it, because after spending an extended period of time there I still have no clue what they do with their time, what value they bring to the table, or how they are at all qualified for the positions they are in. But bring up any issues you have with the executive team to HR, and they’ll thank you for your input and do absolutely nothing at all to change anything. Because, in the end, the executive team is the one making decisions.

    Long story short, I didn’t have a good experience at Rise. I don’t see the company going anywhere under current leadership, and I don’t see leadership changing anytime soon. If it does, that’s a different story, but based on experience, what is going to happen is your frustrations will build as time goes on and on and after a while you will realize you’ve just wasted A LOT of valuable time.

    P.S. (for the executives): I know how to improve employee morale. It’s really simple. Keep throwing stuff at them if you want, it is appreciated. But MUCH more importantly, make sure your employees feel as if they are being fairly compensated, and get rid of this whole time tracking obsession and 50/hr week standard. There is no better way to drain morale then to underpay and overwork.

    P.P.S.: I left out a lot of things. Just know that I am extremely happy with my decision to leave Rise, and everyone else I’ve talked to who has also left has said the exact same thing.

    tl (1098 words, sorry);dr – Executives are incompetent and without realizing it are creating a morale draining environment.

    Advice to Management

    - Restructure and bring in more qualified people to lead the company
    - Actually offer competitive salaries instead of just saying you offer competitive salaries when in reality you do not offer competitive salaries
    - Set the norm for employees to leave the office at 5 if they are done working for the day, instead of making them feel guilty because other employees still have work to do



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