Vocus

www.vocus.com
Employer Engaged

Vocus Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated February 17, 2015
Updated February 17, 2015
170 Reviews
3.2
170 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Peter Granat
170 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's a work hard, play hard environment in addition to a work life balance approach (in 16 reviews)

  • Lots of young people and laid back work environment (in 27 reviews)


Cons
  • Communication from upper management need to come down the chain faster (in 16 reviews)

  • They finally started to improve the building after they hired twice the Sales reps (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

170 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Overall a great experience

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

    I worked at Vocus

    Pros

    Office culture was really welcoming, there was always someone willing to help or answer a question if needed.
    Compensation was also substantial and competitive.

    Cons

    Not much room for personal growth or development.
    Training was rather long and only consisted of learning how to utilize a database.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Awesome Work Environment, Great People, Top Notch Products, but Unrealistic Standards

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mid-Market Sales Executive in Beltsville, MD
    Current Employee - Mid-Market Sales Executive in Beltsville, MD

    I have been working at Vocus full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    For an inside sales job, this is a terrific environment to work in and the comp plans are very competitive. It's a work hard-play hard mentality. There is a full exercise facility with weights, treadmills, exercise bikes, basketball court, spa and locker private full bathrooms. Game room with everything you could desire, free coffee & soda machines, catered deli foods brought in daily, and the whole inside of the building feels like a times square. You don't feel like you're at work until you sit at your desk, but that is where you will be spending all your time, so don't let the smoke and mirrors cloud your judgement!

    Cons

    This is a comfy job until you get fired, which is inevitable for most - since the turnover is rampant! In my one year with the company, I saw 1,000 people get fired before getting my own walking papers. The company was recently acquired by investment company GTCR. They bought Vocus for it's technology and DB content, and competitor Cision for it's overseas domination in the PR arena and social media DB. Clearly, GTCR is keeping mostly Cision staff and cleaning house of Vocus. The headquarters was moved to Chicago where Cision is at, the Cision CEO took over, and at least 85% of the people at Vocus have been let go during massive downsizing. Quotas are set so unrealistically high that only 5% of the most tenured reps achieve it due to already having a pipeline, especially now that they canned the entire lead generation team that was feeding reps daily demos. Bottom Line - If you're looking for job security, this ain't the place to be! But if you're looking for short term decent pay and great experience in software sales, then this is a terrific entry level position that looks good on a resume. That would explain why most the sales force is right out of school. Considering the fact that I was hired to sell their PR software suite, the formal classroom training I received before I started selling was horrible since it was focused on their marketing product suite that has now ironically been pushed aside to Outmarket. Once they put you on the phone to sell and do demos, the on-the-job training is great because all your experienced peers and management are around you to help out.. But unfortunately, you will likely not survive long enough to prosper since they only give you around 6 months to prove yourself once you're fully ramped. Attaining quotas was much more realistic for experienced new hires prior to when they let their lead generation team go, because you were able to spend most your time selling. But with minimal quality leads now coming your way, the focus of the job is now lead generation/cold calling, and yet the quotas were not adjusted to account for the shift. This mostly impacts newer hires that don't yet have a pipeline of prospects established.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't wait until employees are fielded to finally start giving them the PR training they need to succeed, and allow a more realistic timeline to build up a pipeline before passing judgement and firing those that are newer. The nature of the job has changed, yet the quota and comp plan from the past has stayed the same. Instead of rewarding Presidents Club to the handful of folks that achieve quota, make the quotas more achievable for everyone while rewarding President's Club to those that excel far above the line as it should be. The fact that only 5% of the reps even achieve their annual quota clearly establishes a self-defeating mentality and sends the message that everyone is being set up to fail! So instead of focusing on excelling, everyone has to constantly stress out about just surviving by staying above a certain threshold on a stacked ranking report that is emailed out to everyone weekly so that all your peers know who is struggling or about to be fired! Talk about a way to ruin morale. Instead of distributing a weekly report to remind 95% of the office that they are failing, management should shift the focus to success stories and motivate the staff with more achievable goals and targets.

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

    Times have Changed

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

    I have been working at Vocus

    Pros

    I used to work for great company. Previously able to earn good money with low turnover in the account management group and good client relationships.

    Cons

    Now I do not. Changes are being made without any thought to quality or the impact long term, this is private equity buyout 101. Rather than quality the current trend seems to be just a path of least resistance to create the highest profit margin. This is extremely unfortunate since we competed and retained loyal clients from our previous competitor, now our parent company for a reason. Undermining rather than honoring those differences is not a good strategy, neither is cutting income potential of loyal staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Merge the best of both, not just take what is easiest and try to force across all units. Cision as a tool and company had weaknesses too, this is the time to do better. Vocus was known for a strong customer service experience and product support and low turnover in accout mangement. Many changes are unraveling all of that and there will be an impact.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Vocus had the best corporate culture and office you will work at.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Mid-Market Coordinator in Beltsville, MD
    Former Employee - Mid-Market Coordinator in Beltsville, MD

    I worked at Vocus full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    -People are very young and hungry to do well
    -Office looks like a town!
    -Hours

    Cons

    -Attrition: They have high standards and if you do not meet them you will be put on a plan and then potentially let go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more one day sales incentives when numbers are low.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Account Executive

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

    I worked at Vocus full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people at vocus are great, you will undoubtedly make some great friends there that will be able to help you out in your day to day.

    There's a great onsite gym, fitness classes, free soda, coffee and tea and the office itself is very interesting.

    The work culture is work hard play hard but since the "merger" it's become less that than work hard stress out about your job hard

    Cons

    Where to start? So back in July vocus was purchased by a private equity firm named GTCR and they bought a competitor of vocus' called cision. They have since "merged" the two into what they want to call a powerhouse in the PR software sector, and for the Cision side I'm sure that's true.

    Essentially Gtcr purchased vocus for their software and not their people. There have been massive layoffs and there is a tension in the air that is palpable. Everyone (even top performers) are constantly stressed out about their jobs. The reason behind this is because vocus employees are, on the whole, paid more than Cision employees and thus they are trying to slowly phase them out in one way or another to save on cost.

    With the recent "merger" avenues for advancement have severely dried up. You may get promoted once while working at vocus (IE if someone quits or gets fired) but don't expect to make it close to a management level if those are your aspirations.

    Right now the company is focused on saving money and getting through this merger as quick as possible. Upper management is nowhere near in touch with the ground level employees and that needs to change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think of people first, I understand this is a business but morale is low and people are scared. The overall ambiguity of the situation is incredibly stressful so try and create some certainty about people's livelihoods.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Ok

    Current Employee - Sales Executive in Beltsville, MD
    Current Employee - Sales Executive in Beltsville, MD

    I have been working at Vocus

    Pros

    fun work place for entry level

    Cons

    small business sales is cut throat

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you already sold the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Systems Administrator - Ops

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator in Beltsville, MD
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator in Beltsville, MD

    I worked at Vocus full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Broad range of technologies and unfettered access to learn them all.

    Cons

    Required to work 48 hour on-calls with no additional compensation
    Required to work 3rd-Shift with no differential
    Ineffective management and communication
    Unprofessional
    Different people held to different standards; no consistency in policy, process or corrective action
    High turnover
    Never back-fill open positions; lack of resources to support 24/7 production environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm not sure how you can fix a department that's been broken since it's inception with the same leadership that perpetuates the same idiocy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Not sure if good outweighs the bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Representative in Beltsville, MD
    Current Employee - Representative in Beltsville, MD

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

    Pros

    Really cool office including gym and lots of rooms where you can clear your head. Tons of free beverage choices (coffee, tea, soda fountains, etc.) Very relaxed work environment. Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    No room for growth. Lots of work outsourced to India with in-office personnel front-facing with clients. Multiple layoffs due to merger, where performance and tenure does not matter as much as favoritism. Not all managers seem to be able to manage well. Compensation less than employees are worth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut the fat, not the people who work harder than everyone else. More transparency would also be great.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    It was ok until GTCR bought us

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

    I have been working at Vocus full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    -Great staff
    -Free coffee, soda & sometimes candy
    -Work life balance

    Cons

    We were bought for our technology, not our people. When we were "merged" with Cision, 90% of all upper management and VP roles went to current Cision employees based in Chicago and Vocus employees were let go as "redundancies", or left to avoid being let go.

    It's turmoil and the communication has been very poor. They are good about announcing new acquisitions (Visible Technologies & Gorkana), new leadership structure and updates on the speed and details of the merging process, etc., but still, no one really seems to know what's happening at the details level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't choose management based on location, make those decisions based on skill level and proven ability to manage people, not just processes. Make an effort to retain your good staff members, they're all leaving.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great culture, but business upheaval

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Support Representative in Beltsville, MD
    Former Employee - Software Support Representative in Beltsville, MD

    I worked at Vocus full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    cool office with perks like a gym and free espresso machine, great benefits and pay, PTO and time-off policy was extremely forgiving, and a ton of continued training throughout the time in the position, great for recent graduates. My managers were all insanely hard working and supportive. I also really appreciated the regular check-in meetings for our department.

    Cons

    The company went through a lot of change while I was there, and many great employees got the boot when they were bought by Cision and the marketing automation side became OutMarket.

    Also, gym access is somewhat limited unless you work in sales where you can make your own schedule.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Work at Vocus? Share Your Experiences

Vocus

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.