SmartBrief
3.0 of 5 28 reviews
www.smartbrief.com Washington, DC 50 to 149 Employees

SmartBrief Reviews

Updated Apr 1, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 28 reviews

                             

80% Approve of the CEO

SmartBrief President & CEO Rick Stamberger

Rick Stamberger

(10 ratings)

50% of employees recommend this company to a friend
28 Employee Reviews
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  • Culture & Values
         
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  • Approves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Like being on drugs

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at SmartBrief

ProsWorking at SmartBrief is like being on drugs. It's fun, especially if you're younger. The people are genuinely nice and hang out together, the office is pretty, there's free beer, and the CEO can be quite inspiring, actually. Also, to stay there, all you really need to do is just go along with the program (not so terrible, really, not like they're manufacturing anthrax or something); you don't really need to try very hard. If having an easy, pleasant, work environment is more important to you than making money, it's a good place to be.

ConsWorking at SmartBrief is like being on drugs. It's bad for you, especially if you're older, and really, you probably shouldn't do it. Telling other people about your experiences doing it makes them bored, at best, and respect you a little less, at worst. It feels bad to stop doing it, but after a day or two you realize your life is better for it. After I left, I discovered a lot of my more casual acquaintances had thought that I had been working for a non-profit. Must've been the "working for the experience, not the paycheck" vibe that I was giving off. If you prefer making money, building your resume, and accomplishing difficult tasks to having an easy time at work, and you could care less about having free beer at work (not at all a shameless ploy to make recent college grads work for less money, right?), maybe you should look elsewhere.

SmartBrief is a real businessman's business (not necessarily a "Con", depending on who you are). It is very much a marketing and sales organization. Let's face it, E-mail newsletters for trade associations are boring. This is good if you're a businessman, because you have less competition. But do you really want to just write summaries of others' articles if you want a career in journalism? Do you really want to just work with e-mail and websites if you love technology? This doesn't mean it's a terrible place, it just means that senior management does best what it knows best.

Advice to Senior ManagementTo be honest, watching management in action was one of the highlights of working at SmartBrief for me, because I would probably do some of the same things they do if I were to start my own business. They certainly know how to get good value for the talent they acquire. Also, SmartBrief seems like a solid business. But hey, so is Starbucks; just because I want to be a shareholder doesn't mean I want to work there.

So, the advice: I think the majority of SmartBrief employees are vaguely dissatisfied, but are comfortable enough that they don't want to bother finding something else. Some like their jobs, but not as many as you seem to think. Maybe more really liked their jobs in the past? Was there a great start-up culture that isn't surviving big business bureaucrats moving into management positions? I'm not sure. I think maybe SmartBrief tries to hire ugly ducklings, and I think maybe, deep down, the CEO thinks everyone has a bit of the ugly duckling inside them. But what if they're mostly just ducks after all? Then you end up with a duck pond, not Swan Lake.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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SmartBrief

Developer (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at SmartBrief full-time for more than a year

ProsUnbeatable location in the heart of downtown DC, very friendly community, beer machine, interesting challenges

ConsIncredibly sales focused atmosphere leaves little room for modernization or innovation

Advice to Senior ManagementDetermine and focus more on long-term goals and don't sacrifice progress towards them for quick cash infusions.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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SmartBrief Sucks!

In Sales (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at SmartBrief full-time for less than a year

ProsFor the most part, SmartBrief hires great people but as soon as they learn what's what and find out how much they could be getting paid elsewhere, they jump ship. Everyday I see new people in the halls and don't know if they are employed by SmartBrief or somehow mistakenly wandered in through the front door. Upper management is not to be trusted and it seems like they like to work people to death for the lowest wage and toss them out as soon as they start complaining. The benefits are pretty good and the office location is convenient.

ConsAll the things mentioned above and some. The smell of death is in the air. Advertising is getting harder to sell as our clients are finding little to no return on investment. Personally I think their advertising dollars are better spent elsewhere. Email is outdated and most people are deleting our briefs without reading.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe same advise that was given to me, "get with the program."

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

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It's an okay job while you wait for your dream job to come along.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at SmartBrief full-time

ProsFor the most part I work with some pretty cool, fun people. Hours are flexible and I can pretty much come and go as I see fit. Most people seem to be 'getting by' and working at this job to gain experience to move into a better one. The benefits are pretty good but the pay sucks. The company is in a time warp.

ConsZero room for advancement. HR department is extremely unprofessional and do not set a good example for the rest of the company. I'm actually surprised that the company hasn't been sued yet. If you are not part of the 'clique' than what you think is not important. HR department is the worst that I've seen in any company. Turnover is extremely high and all the bitching and moaning is taking a toll.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet a real HR department that knows how to set an example and handle issues. It's pointless to ask them any questions as they will not know the answer. Do something about your turn over rate. Has HR ever heard of employee retention?

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Disorganized environment which rarely has goals but does have talented people

Intern (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at SmartBrief

ProsFun people make working at SmartBrief worthwhile. The culture is quite relaxed and most people do not take themselves too seriously yet they remain professional.

ConsSmartBrief really doesn't have a business model and has little idea of how to communicate what it is attempting to accomplish both within and outside of the organization.

Advice to Senior ManagementLeadership at SmartBrief should really sit down and think about what the business is trying to accomplish. While working there there was rarely a sense of moving forward and it felt as if employees were simply there to get a paycheck but were never really engaged nor could they be because the company has little vision.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Nice People with No Direction

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at SmartBrief

ProsBeer machine, nice/smart people, casual work environment

Conszero leadership from senior staff.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease understand that betting on a short term exit strategy can backfire when all long term prospects haven't been made priorities.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Fun, interesting place to work, but needs more transparency, organization, increased salary

Tech (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at SmartBrief

ProsSmart, friendly and motivated people who genuinely like each other. No lack of challenging projects and problems to solve. Encouragement to go off and investigate new technologies and areas of interest. Massive growth in recent months and more planned for the future.

ConsSmartbrief has existed for 10+ years. Time to give up the casual dot com environment and start structuring things. There is no formal process for yearly evaluations to get raises. No performance reviews. Salaries are not competitive. Terrible company-wide turn over rate. No transparency in career progression process. No 401k matching. Not enough vacation time.

Advice to Senior ManagementEmployees are learning whats happening within senior management through gossip. We have little idea where the company is headed. Increase salaries and you'll decrease the massive turnover rate. From the outside we are simply a company that sends email... lets innovate on that before email dies. I am putting "no opinion" for the following question because I have no idea how the CEO is leads SmartBrief.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great people and a good atmosphere

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at SmartBrief

ProsThe management and people around you make your job easier and make the office a great place to be. The compensation above fair.

ConsWish there was more mingling between different departments more frequently.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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About as good a place to work as an email newsletter company could be

SmartBrief Tech (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at SmartBrief

ProsI have coworkers I like and I work on interesting things. I dress casually and roll in around 10. I feel like my peers and superiors listen to me and value my opinions. I've been able to advance my career in a somewhat shorter period than I think I would have been able to most places. There's beer in the fridge and the office is social.

ConsEmail can only be so exciting, even taking into account that we do a lot of interesting stuff around it. We can be proud of the products we put out, and our customers like us, but we're not saving puppies, orphans, or the world. We're not causing any big revolutions.

In my experience, office politics are better than they are be in other places I've worked, but it seems there are still occasional battles in the upper ranks that aren't entirely productive.

There are no offices in Hawaii or Costa Rica.

Advice to Senior ManagementCome to decisions and act on them a little more quickly.

SmartBrief's workplace culture seems to be an important reason that people stick around. Fight to keep it a positive as we grow.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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SmartBrief is a good company with a good product, but is a very poorly managed company

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at SmartBrief

ProsVery relaxed environment and a great work-life balance in terms of expectations. They have a very good benefits package there as well.

ConsPoor communication from management in terms of the direction of the company. It is very easy to get lost and caught on the outside of being one of managements favorites...

Advice to Senior ManagementMy advice would be to be more transparent to your employees and to treat all employees fair.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at SmartBrief reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for SmartBrief CEO Rick Stamberger. All 28 reviews posted anonymously by SmartBrief employees.