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Animalz

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Animalz

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Animalz Benefits FAQ

Read what Animalz employees think about benefits at the company.

If you want to see a full list of benefits and perks at Animalz listed by categories, head to their Benefits page. From insurance, health and wellness to vacation and more, find out what you could benefit from when working at Animalz.

All answers shown come directly from Animalz Reviews and are not edited or altered.

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11 English questions out of 11

August 9, 2021

What is paid time off like at Animalz?

Pros

- If you like writing and editing, you will write and edit a lot. - BIG name clients. - Some (if they’re still around) of the best people you’ll ever work with.

Cons

- A relentless pursuit of growth means Animalz takes on clients it can’t handle and gives them to already overworked content managers (we’re talking 50+ hours many weeks). Clients churn and employees burn out (and eventually leave). - Animalz will sacrifice you for the client. Content managers have been verbally abused but client contracts are sacrosanct. - As of this writing, employee turnover has skyrocketed and leadership has said little more than “this is what you expect from an agency.” - Vacation is hard to take. You have to communicate far in advance and find your own coverage (typically a freelancer). More often than not, you’re working extra hard before your time off and extra hard after. - Internal tools are held together by duct tape and a prayer. Not a week goes by without something going down. - Toxic positivity has infected the company. Venting and other forms of negative talk have been strongly discouraged. - Animalz claims to be women-led but a man is at the helm (the chairman). - Animalz made a big deal about its DEI efforts but followed up months later with… a meeting. And so far, nothing else. - The company is rife with favoritism and that comes with bonuses, reduced work, and praise; it also comes with prejudice and that comes with insults, extra work, and distrust. I’ll let you guess how favoritism and prejudice break down along gender, race, nationality, and sexuality lines. - Animalz pays poorly. If you really want to work here, work here for a year, and then leverage the experience and brand to earn 30K more elsewhere while working less. - Benefits are awful. There are no paid holidays (aside from a couple of “floating holidays”), no dependent coverage, and leadership has laughed off the idea of a 401K match. End-of-year bonuses take the form of Amazon gift cards. No home office stipend. - Leadership has been “taking steps to improve things” for my entire tenure and no progress has been made. If anything, it’s gotten worse. Don’t trust them.

Advice to Management

Please stop talking about your feelings and consider, really consider, the feelings of your current (and departed) employees. The company is hanging by a thread and I don’t know if you realize that. The content managers ARE Animalz and they aren’t happy. We’re a few key employees, a few key clients, away from forever losing our (so far, great) employer brand. Once that goes, I don’t know how we’ll recover.

There are no paid holidays (aside from a couple of “floating holidays”), no dependent coverage, and leadership has laughed off the idea of a 401K match.

August 9, 2021

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January 11, 2022

Does Animalz offer relocation assistance?

Pros

Very supportive team environment; amazing coworkers! If you have questions several people will offer solutions or direct you to the right resource. Leadership values intelligence and encourages career growth. You are empowered to work independently and take ownership of your role. Transparent, clear communication. Amazing benefits package. Work-life balance is good if you're efficient at what you do. I've noted the high turnover below, but it's usually because people have learned a lot and are moving on. And the company celebrates that! This is a great place to grow your career!

Cons

Work load can be intense; leads to lots of employee turnover. Processes are great when they exist. But when a process is lacking or nonexistent, it's tough to get answers about something. (That said, process improvement is encouraged. No "we've always done it this way" mentality). No 401k match. Insurance for family members is really expensive.

Amazing benefits package.

January 11, 2022

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January 28, 2022

Does Animalz offer dental insurance?

Pros

Animalz is a perplexing animal, no pun intended. On the one hand, there are great people there who do everything in their power to make life better for their team. On the other hand, their power is limited and those with the ability to effect change have no interest in doing so. For those brand new to content marketing, or those looking to rapidly grow their portfolio, Animalz has something to offer. You will work with a wide variety of clients, likely many since churn is high. This breadth of experience is great for your portfolio, especially if you have the opportunity to work with more established clients where your work is likely to garner a nice amount of traffic or other measurable results. And for those lucky enough to work with the big flashy brands, that's something fun to stick in a cover letter. Animalz also provides the opportunity to grow your skillset, largely because you'll work with talented content managers (CMs) that are often willing to teach you a thing or two, time permitting. Animalz also changed their payscale some months ago, which for some resulted in a pay increase that put them above what many other agencies would pay. (Worth noting: the pay increase wasn't applied to everyone in a uniform manner, with many benefitting more than others.)

Cons

Unfortunately Animalz has a major churn problem, both with employees and clients. Animalz went through a period of aggressive customer growth during much of 2021, the pursuit of sales overtaking the pursuit of any meaningful change in company culture. This growth, while profitable for a select few, resulted in more work than CMs could handle, overworked editors and copyeditors, and a heavy reliance on freelance writers. Clients pay a LOT of money to work with Animalz, drawn in by promises of traffic growth, brand awareness, and above all: work done by the once-renowned Animalz staff. With customer growth outpacing all else in 2021, it became commonplace for customers to have freelance writers doing their work, unbeknownst to the client. Simply put: this is a blatant lie our customers are being sold. Imagine running a five-star burger joint and serving your customers rewrapped Big Macs. When CMs questioned upper management about the use of freelancers, the answer was often something to the tune of, "It's a temporary fix and something we don't foresee happening for long." Last time I checked, freelancer use is still commonplace for all new accounts, some having freelancers on them for months before getting a permanent CM. Training is another rough spot at Animalz. Onboarding improved over my time there, but still left a lot to be desired. Team leads are often so overworked they can't devote proper time to CMs, meaning those CMs are left trying to learn from other CMs, who are equally if not more swamped than the person trying to learn. It's a vicious cycle that leaves everyone exhausted, everyone overworked, and everyone learning on the fly (or making things up on the go). Paired with the lofty promises made to clients on sales calls, and you've got a bunch of new hires set up to fail. Speaking of training, it's worth pointing out Animalz started to pivot last year during their rapid growth and loss phase. Rather than view themselves as a content agency, they started to tell employees they were becoming a learning institution. The idea being, it's expected people join the company to learn, and then "graduate" to a better job. (The latter part is at least true for most.) There are talented people at Animalz with the capacity to educate, but those foundations weren't even in place when this messaging was used in the wake of the great employee exodus. Much like telling your passengers the sinking ship is now a swimming pool, the statement that Animalz was becoming a learning institution simply wasn't true. Maybe one day Animalz will be a learning institution, but 99% of the people at Animalz came to work at a content agency, not a content agency with so little faith in their ability to retain employees they rebrand themselves. There's also a massive issue with benefits that borders on discrimination. For those without dependents, Animalz insurance is serviceable. For those with dependents, Animalz pays none of the coverage. This means people with two or three or four dependents will easily pay upwards of $12,000 per year for insurance. If you're reading this and you have an offer from Animalz, be sure to subtract these insurance costs from anything they offer you—dependent coverage is unlikely to arrive anytime soon, if ever. (The same goes for 401k matching, which was often teased but never delivered.)

Advice to Management

Animalz had, and maybe still has, the potential to be a great agency. But, the pace at which the company is attempting to grow is rivaled only by the pace at which they're burning what goodwill they have left in the industry. If Animalz has any chance of course correcting, leadership needs to see the forest for the trees. Be brave and own up to the fact that you've prioritized profit over people, margins over mental health, and lost an exorbitant number of talented people because of burn out. Then, stop talking and start listening to your people—they have a lot to teach you.

If you're reading this and you have an offer from Animalz, be sure to subtract these insurance costs from anything they offer you—dependent coverage is unlikely to arrive anytime soon, if ever.

January 28, 2022

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June 19, 2020

Does Animalz offer a wellness program?

Pros

Team leads are dedicated to helping their team members grow and learn, balance workload, and feel valued. The everyday processes are super organized, everything is documented and much is automated. There are many opportunities to expand your knowledge and learn from team members. Benefits are unconventional and great / I made good use of the wellness stipend and allowance for lunch with a friend every month. A big focus on quality and client service means you can’t just expect to write articles. You will be expected to really learn subject matter and be given the space and tools to go so. Most weeks, my output is 2 articles, with monthly reports for clients plus research and planning for the calendar of topics, one monthly call with a client. The communication at this company is so positive. And I don’t mean in a superficial way . People are incredibly supportive of each other. They have kind things to say and there is a very generous attitude that can be felt. I adore the leadership team, and there is a genuine desire to make this a company where people will love to work.

Cons

It can be isolating. You can arrange more times to talk with coworkers and these are really fulfilling when you get to connect. But people have little motivation to interact at the company outside the Slack channels, editing feedback, and prescribed calls set in place. Most calls are 30 minutes and leave little time for spontaneous interesting discussions. So even though you now work with many of the best minds in content marketing, you may have very little direct interactions with them. This surprised me.

Advice to Management

As the company grows, continue to meet one on one with employees every week. I think Animalz is going to go through a lot of changes as it continues to grow its team. The people you hire will bring with them great ideas and experiences.

Benefits are unconventional and great / I made good use of the wellness stipend and allowance for lunch with a friend every month.

June 19, 2020

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September 16, 2021

Does Animalz offer malpractice insurance?

Pros

If you’re capable, driven, and have strong psychological stamina, you really can pretty much own end-to-end content production for some decent clients, maybe even a unicorn if you’re very lucky. “Ownership” is prized highly at Animalz, so if you’re happy taking the lead on a project from start to finish with minimal support––and I do mean minimal support––you’ll soon be able to translate that experience into a better gig at a much better company. For at least a little while longer, you can probably leverage Animalz’s formerly strong reputation into better career opportunities after you leave, though that window is closing rapidly. Same goes for your coworkers––I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the smartest, most talented people I’ve ever worked with in my career, though virtually all of them have left or been forced out by now.

Cons

Take a look at the other reviews on this page. See the ones that were obviously written under duress by junior hires, or maybe members of senior management themselves? The ones that all just happened to be published on August 11 because leadership panicked and didn’t even think to publish them over the course of a few weeks to make them seem more credible? The reviews even a child could spot as obvious fakes? That’s how stupid Animalz’s leadership thinks you are. They’re convinced you’re either too dumb or too desperate to see through their obvious lies, and make no mistake, they will lie to you––and keep lying to you––from your first day until the day you finally tire of it and quit. Animalz really could have been the very best content marketing agency in the world. They had a truly world-class team and a reputation to match. But instead of investing in that talent and building on that brand equity, they squandered it all in the name of wildly unsustainable growth for no other reason than to satisfy the founder’s greed. Everything that made this agency great has been sacrificed in the name of myopic, short-term growth, and even that has been jeopardized by senior leadership’s inability to admit they’re completely out of their depth. As other reviews have noted, churn is the only game in town at Animalz. It’s a constant race to the bottom between employee churn and client churn. Since April 2021, Animalz has steadily lost the majority of its most experienced, tenured people because the concept of retention is utterly alien to management. Burnout is endemic, and the company simply couldn’t care less. The CEO will try to tell you that the chronic staff turnover is the result of the pandemic, or “The Great Resignation,” or because “people just don’t want to work anymore,” but that’s because she’s a malignant narcissist with nothing but contempt for the people who work for her and thinks you’ll believe lazy, reductive nonsense. All but two of the companies listed in the “Work with cool buds” section of the website churned long, long ago. These days, Animalz will work with almost literally anybody willing to pay them, and is desperately leveraging what little brand equity they have left to secure new business and keep the lights on. Due to the constant state of utter chaos, clients are routinely “onboarded” without a dedicated writer. We’re not talking about tiny pre-seed startups here––we’re talking industry-leading enterprise firms with market caps of billions of dollars whose work is literally farmed out to mediocre freelancers from day one. The agency’s reliance on freelancers has become so dire that some clients have churned before a full-time content manager has even been assigned to their account because it became embarrassingly obvious that their work was being outsourced. Because they don’t understand or value editorial expertise, leadership really does believe that simplistic checklists and questionnaires––the “process” that leadership loves to talk about on podcasts––can replace genuine subject-matter expertise and editorial experience. They’ve created a revolving door of failure in which both clients and employees burn out hard, then churn. It’s completely unsustainable, and Animalz’s formerly strong reputation has sunk lower and lower as editorial standards have fallen. To say Animalz pays poorly would be a considerable understatement. For years, Animalz’s internal “development guidelines”––benchmarks that determined employees’ level and compensation––did not account for previous experience at all. Think about that for a second. You could literally be a journalist with 20 years of experience at a national publication (and we’ve had more than a couple), and you could easily be determined to be a Level 1 content manager earning $50k because you lack SEO experience. Yes, really. The company recently revised its levels system because manageent finally accepted they couldn’t attract quality candidates by asking them to literally do the jobs of three people AND pay 30-40% under market rate. Now, incoming new hires can and do earn more than multi-year veterans with significantly more experience thanks to a half-baked, discriminatory “banding” system. This was presented as an “investment in the company,” but it’s nothing more than a transparent attempt to pay new hires more money because they’re desperate to attract new people to replace the exodus of experienced people who have quit. A handful of existing staffers got modest raises when this banding system was introduced, but only the “team players”––several of our most tenured, experienced people were deliberately excluded from these raises out of spite. When pressed during a meeting, the Head of People Ops also refused to rule out the possibility of salaries being reduced under the new salary bands. The “benefits” at Animalz are pitiful. When one former colleague joined the company in 2019, the insurance offered by Animalz did not even qualify as legally acceptable healthcare coverage in that person’s state. The founder’s brilliant solution? Asking other male founders on Twitter what he should do about it, which was ultimately nothing for another year. Another colleague was paying more than $15,000 per year on insurance coverage for their family, but was told the company couldn’t offer coverage for dependents because it would cost the company a paltry $60k per year to do so. Another was unable to seek care for a medical condition that was interfering with their work at all because no reputable specialists in their state accepted Animalz’s dismal coverage. During the interview process, they might try to tempt you with “unlimited personal days” and “unlimited sick days.” In practice, as other reviewers have noted, these policies may as well not exist. Staff are responsible for sourcing their own writing coverage during periods of PTO––not their managers, for reasons which have never been explained––which typically means working a 60-hour week on either side of a five-day break because everybody is so chronically overworked that coverage simply isn’t an option. You might get lucky with freelancer coverage, but most of them will be too busy onboarding new clients. The company itself is held together with gum and duct tape. Data security and governance is a nightmare––100+ employees share a handful of unsecured Google account passwords to access critical tools and systems––and the entire company is built on a rat’s nest of random documents, misplaced spreadsheets, and broken webforms. Airtable integrations fail daily, nobody knows who should be responsible for anything, and all of this overhead is placed on a handful of already overburdened People Ops folks who keep this ship of fools running virtually single-handedly. If toxic positivity is a trigger for you, I strongly advise you to seek employment elsewhere. You’ll be gaslit over and over again by people who love to talk about “ownership” and “personal responsibility” but refuse to be held to account for the disastrous impacts of their terrible decisions. Any and all criticism––no matter how valid––is silenced. There is quite literally no forum in which any negative feedback is acceptable. Genuine criticism is dismissed as “venting” and used against people as evidence of them being “problematic.” Team leads have routinely been instructed to suppress negative feedback among their teams (including actively dissuading people from discussing unionization), and if you have a problem with anyone in a position of power, you’re literally on your own. Leadership is keenly aware of this significant power differential and frequently leverages it to avoid being held accountable. Animalz has become an increasingly authoritarian workplace over the past 18 months. Any vestiges of transparency (including salaries, which were once openly visible to everybody) is being dismantled; the CEO described salary transparency as “more trouble than it’s worth.” Decision-making processes are opaque at best, and you’ll receive simplistic, dismissive answers if you dare ask how certain decisions were made. You may be tempted to dismiss the above as nothing more than the bitterness of a former employee. Admittedly, it’s very difficult to reconcile Animalz’s former reputation in the industry with the reality of the day-to-day at the agency today, but everything above is true. Leadership’s only priority now is “controlling the narrative,” and they will do and say anything to manage the optics surrounding their failures and the deteriorating conditions at the agency as a whole. Whoever you are––whether you’re an experienced industry vet or a fresh graduate hoping to cut your teeth in an agency environment––you can do so much better. Some of us gave management the benefit of the doubt over and over again, only for our hard work and goodwill to be thrown in our faces. Please don’t make the same mistakes we did. Find a company that will truly value your skills, experience, and wellbeing, because Animalz simply won’t.

Advice to Management

Resign and pursue career opportunities that do not involve making decisions that affect other people’s lives, because it’s readily apparent you lack the maturity, emotional intelligence, and business acumen to do so. Your employees aren’t supporting characters in the novel of your life––they’re living, breathing human beings that deserve to be treated with the kind of dignity and respect of which you’re clearly incapable. Being a leader is about more than taking credit for much smarter people’s hard work on podcasts. Cut the “eat, pray, love” nonsense from company standups. It’s insulting, and the people who should be able to trust you deserve better than trite platitudes. When you hire former journalists, reporters, and industry analysts, don’t be surprised when they can see right through your pathetic attempts to dismiss valid concerns with fake smiles. You’re fooling nobody, least of all your clients. People can plainly see how much trouble the company is in, and people are talking.

Another colleague was paying more than $15,000 per year on insurance coverage for their family, but was told the company couldn’t offer coverage for dependents because it would cost the company a paltry $60k per year to do so.

September 16, 2021

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11 English questions out of 11