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
in
  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Only if you cannot find a job somewhere else

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at SmartBrief

ProsThe 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.

ConsPoor 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 Senior ManagementTry talking with your employees. You might learn something.

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

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

Sales (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at SmartBrief full-time

ProsSmall 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.

ConsManagement 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 Senior ManagementReally 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.

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

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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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3 people found this helpful  

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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Running backwards blindfolded.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at SmartBrief

ProsIf 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.

ConsProduct 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 Senior ManagementPromote 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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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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3 people found this helpful  

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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1 person found this helpful  

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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SmartBrief has great potential that needs to be realized.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at SmartBrief

Pros-Flat culture
-Nice people
-Company does a great service and produces a quality product
-You can innovate and push ideas forward
-Tremendous opportunity to be highly involved at an entry level and learn from experience

Cons-There is minimal development or career advancement unless one threatens to quit, has a competitive offer, or does everything themselves
-Poor motivation/communication from leadership--there is no mission.
-Little leadership awareness of workplace issues
-Extremely poor top down communication skills from leadership

Advice to Senior Management-Focus on Professional Development (in education, communication about career advancement, and recruiting, ect.)
-Hire smarter people--recruit more widely and raise bases to become competitive in the marketplace. We are losing excellent candidates we are lucky to have apply because salaries are so much lower than competitive comparisons.
-Address workplace issues effectively and efficiently.
-HR should read SmartBrief on Workforce

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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.