SmartBrief

www.smartbrief.com
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SmartBrief Reviews

Updated March 4, 2015
Updated March 4, 2015
35 Reviews
3.5
35 Reviews
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SmartBrief President & CEO Rick Stamberger
Rick Stamberger
14 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Only if you cannot find a job somewhere else

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

    I have been working at SmartBrief

    Pros

    The office is pretty cool. Upper management pacifies employees with free beer and free coffee. Everything is new, so I cannot say anything bad about the office. Most people would be cool with working in our office.

    Cons

    Poor pay, poor treatment of women, no training, and management by intimidation. You will not advance your career to the next level working here. Do not even try. Many are people talking about quitting and looking for another job. They will make you sign a non-compete so you cannot work anywhere else. Most of the people who quit have to lie and say they are going back to school just to get away from them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try talking with your employees. You might learn something.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    SmartBrief has poor benefits for women, but you get free beer!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales in Washington, DC

    I worked at SmartBrief full-time

    Pros

    Small company, so you get to know everyone. The location is in the center of the city. They have a nice outdoor balcony. There is a Starbucks next to the building so you don't have to walk that far.

    Cons

    Management does not know what they are doing. Employees receive almost no training and are expected to know what to do. If you do get hired, just plan on eating pork and beans for dinner every night, or living at home with your parents, because you will not make enough money to live.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really no benefits for pregnant women, but you serve up all the free beer anybody wants. That speaks volumes, about what you think is important. You should really be ashamed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    SmartBrief Sucks!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - In Sales in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - In Sales in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    For 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.

    Cons

    All 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 ManagementAdvice

    The same advise that was given to me, "get with the program."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at SmartBrief full-time

    Pros

    For 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.

    Cons

    Zero 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 ManagementAdvice

    Get 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?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Running backwards blindfolded.

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

    I have been working at SmartBrief

    Pros

    If you want to hide behind office politics and pretend to be getting things done, it's easy. People with no real or appropriate experience will be given major responsibilities and won't have to do much to keep their job.

    Cons

    Product has not evolved in many years and has become dated to the point that advertisers are not interested. Office politics and established cliques are a huge deal and process is more important than results. SmartBrief turns over salespeople at an alarming rate and has no sense that the company may be at fault. "Because that's the way we've done it before" is a mantra.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within. Get real about the fact that no one is going to acquire you and get busy being a better company. Thinking your product and service is "good enough" is not good and is not enough.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Entry Level Footstep

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

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

    Pros

    -Office environment is very relaxed and casual

    -Great patio

    -Good starting point for a lot of careers

    Cons

    -If efficiency, communication, and productivity are important to you, I highly advise you look elsewhere. There are some really good people at SmartBrief who can get the job done with exceptional quality. However, it always get pideon-holed at the management level and it is a miracle if anything gets done on time.

    -If opportunities for advancement are important to you, look elsewhere. Unless you're in Sales, you can expect a minimum raise annually and see your next step in the ladder filled in from the outside.

    -The turnover rates are through the roof and it's always the best talent that heads out the door. Middle management can be development hell; anything and everything that gets there will be in limbo until you're proactive and bring it up yourself. Don't expect middle management to take responsibility for their lack of awareness.

    -If a healthy salary is important to you, I HIGHLY advise you look elsewhere. Unless you're in Sales or in a management position, you can expect below average pay and above average expectations for the amount you're paid for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's plenty of good talent internally. Stop bringing in people from the outside who have no idea what SmartBrief is and give the internal candidates a chance. They've been here x amount of years more and know how the processes work. And speaking of processes, let's stop talking and actually get stuff done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Like being on drugs

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

    I worked at SmartBrief

    Pros

    Working 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.

    Cons

    Working 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 ManagementAdvice

    To 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Disorganized environment which rarely has goals but does have talented people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at SmartBrief

    Pros

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

    Cons

    SmartBrief 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 ManagementAdvice

    Leadership 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Nice People with No Direction

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

    I worked at SmartBrief

    Pros

    Beer machine, nice/smart people, casual work environment

    Cons

    zero leadership from senior staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at SmartBrief

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Poor 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 ManagementAdvice

    My advice would be to be more transparent to your employees and to treat all employees fair.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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