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Animalz

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Animalz

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Whether it's about compensation and benefits, culture and diversity, or you're curious to know more about the work environment, find out from employees what it's like to work at Animalz.

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

June 17, 2021

Pros

20-some days of paid vacation, Unlimited paid sick and mental health days, great management, great opportunities for promotion, and all of the work is remote.

Cons

From what I understand the interviewing process keeps changing, but when I did it about 4 months back, the article prep information was a bit confusing. It may have gotten better since I did the interview.

some days of paid vacation, Unlimited paid sick and mental health days, great management, great opportunities for promotion, and all of the work is remote. Read More

June 17, 2021

Reviewed by: Technical Writer in Gulfport, MS (Current Employee)

June 19, 2020

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.

There are many opportunities to expand your knowledge and learn from team members. Read More

June 19, 2020

Reviewed by: Senior Content Marketing Manager (Current Employee)

November 18, 2020

Pros

Animalz is the first place I've worked where I really feel confident in the leadership team. They're still learning, but they have a clear, competent vision for the company, and they lead with empathy. Everyone who works here is kind. I could chat with people all day in Slack. Work is intellectually challenging, and there are tons of learning opportunities. Promotions are frequent, and professional development is a priority.

Cons

It's hard to strike a work life balance when you're full-time remote. It can also be isolating. But, there is enough external pressure to keep you motivated, and employees are active on Slack and receptive if you want to schedule some 1:1 zoom time. Ramp up when you first join is also overwhelming. There's a lot of processes to learn, and a very specific way the editing team expects you to write. I'd also read some negative reviews on here that made me afraid to ask questions and really be myself. But those reviews were wrong, everyone is very kind and helpful, and the job - and Animalz way of writing - get easier. Pay can be a con, depending on where you live. If you're in NYC, for example, it's not great. If you're in Europe or middle America, it's excellent.

Advice to Management

Your goals and vision for the company are inspiring. If you stay true to what you showed us in the last All Hands, we're on a path for healthy, happy growth. Keep increasing pricing, and stick to those price points. We don't need to compromise. The demand is there because we're the best in the business.

Work is intellectually challenging, and there are tons of learning opportunities. Read More

November 18, 2020

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager in Paris (Current Employee)

February 24, 2022

Pros

- Remote work with little supervision, allowing for flexibility to work basically whenever I want to. - Onboarding is thorough and ramps up to full production slowly - Working with some of the smartest, brightest minds in content marketing, especially the Quality Team (editors) and Team Leads - If you're lucky, being assigned to write for some big-name clients and getting to exercise writing for others to gain additional practice and experience in other verticals - Working with a time-zone diverse team across the world. - Decent salary with healthcare coverage for U.S., but nothing to write home about. Management says their goal is to be above 50% of the U.S. which means pay is just slightly above average, but you'll make way more working in-house at a tech company similar to one of our clients. - Three main tracks for career development: writing, leadership (strategy), editor. You can pursue whichever one speaks to you and your career goals. - Other CMs, your Team Lead and CSM are really supportive and uplifting of each other. No work drama/favorites, and opportunities to earn public recognition for doing a great job

Cons

- Hardcore burnout. Been here for about 6 months and I've reached full production (8 article-credits) ONCE. It's a constant stressor that I'm below expectations and even though mid-management (my Team Lead) is chill about it, the company being below production goals as a whole is something that's brought up often by upper management. - Under staffed. We don't have enough CMs to manage the workload we take on, which makes it difficult to deliver on our promises to clients. We don't utilize freelancers as much as we should, which means CMs work double to make sure pieces are delivered before they go on breaks. Also understaffed on editors and copyeditors, which means when they take breaks, the rest are overworked and everyone feels bad about it. - To go with point 2, there's a hiring freeze for CMs right now, while we still see 3-6 CMs quit/fired a month. The workload is unsustainable and leading to CMs burning out to over deliver and customers churning over not meeting expectations -- or multiple CMs working hard to deliver on backlogs, which there are MORE of than not. Meanwhile, we've had so many upper management hires in the last few months - I'm not entirely sure why. The CEO talks about the org restructure, the org restructure -- but none of that is benefiting the CMs, who do the bread and butter work of Animalz: creating good content. - Comp is just okay. It's above average for entry-level/early career CMs but plateaus. No 401k match, no employer contributions for dependent coverage. PTO (20 vacation days, 5 floating holidays) is prorated based on start date, so I only had 2-3 holidays when I started in Q3 2021 - one for Thanksgiving and 1.75 for Xmas. Unlimited sick days + personal days are hard to use/justify because you have to play massive catch up when you do take them. - Learning curve is steep. Our L&D dept of one tries her best to create new resources and update old ones for us, but the processes and tools are too many and too hard to keep track of. We need a simpler content pipeline, and less shared tools. We're also expected to do things that we haven't been trained on - like ideation and content strategy, which is very, very time-consuming and difficult - You don't get to pick your clients. I was placed on a highly technical customer whose content was extremely difficult to write. Sometimes clients can be a nightmare to work with - unresponsive, demanding, nitpicky. Part of being an agency is that we're always at the beck and call of the clients. Adding CSMs to the team has mitigated the amount of context switching CMs have to do to manage clients - It's draining and time consuming to context switch. We run meetings with clients, ideate and create new content strategy AND write two articles per week. It's a lot of work and I've pulled long nights and shifts to get work done. - It's difficult to level up and promote to get salary raises. While there are paths to career development, there's really no time to work on it. Where do I find the time to work on personal development and learning the skills necessary to level up (i.e. content strategy)? - leadership says DE&I is really important but I have yet to see that really exemplified. For example, auditing our documentation for inclusive language was done on a volunteer basis - but CMs are BUSY as mentioned before. - If you want to use your experience to apply for a job elsewhere, you'll have to be creative about your portfolio because we're legally not allowed to share who our clients are, and our writing becomes the IP of Animalz/Clients. Even if you get lucky and score the big accounts, you can't mention them. Can turn your job interviews into "Source: Trust me, bro." Hopefully, the skills you hone at Animalz speak for themselves though.

Advice to Management

- Increase compensation for CMS and hire more CMs instead of allocating budget to adding new leadership roles. CMs are leaving because they can get paid way more going in-house than trying to promote to the next level in vain while hustling to deliver for our clients. - Lower workload expectations, especially for CMs with highly technical customers - Make it easier for CMs to take time off without playing massive catchup or working to find their own coverage - Do SOMETHING about burnout. It should be apparent when long-time employees mention it and change roles to try and fight the burnout. Try a 4-day workweek or taking company weeks off 2x a year? CEO has talked about the 4day workweek not being feasible for us, but one of our competitors does it. Long term, hire more CMs or make good use of our freelancer pool so the company workload is less stressful for everyone to manage. - Simplify training resources so there's not as much to sift through (especially outdated pages) - Announce employee departures sooner than the same week so we actually have a chance to say goodbye before they bounce. It comes as a big shock and seems like HR wants to sweep terminations/employee churn under the rug and move on. - Add learning opportunities + room for CMs to take those learning opps with a decrease in custom workload expectations so they're not penalized for trying to level up - If there's one leadership role to add, consider a DE&I hire. Or, hire and promote more diversely. - Clients are churning because we can't deliver on our contracts. We need more CMs and support to meet expectations. Also, our prices are too high for what our clients can get cheaper by hiring in-house; and those positions are paid better than we are, so CMs are churning too. Looking for the rest of this year, I feel like some of your best CMs will be looking to transfer to an in-house company where they can get better total comp (salary, equity, more PTO that isn't prorated by start date, more stipends). We've seen massive growth as a company, but the CMs don't see any of that. The company all-hands meetings aren't useful and packed full of unintelligible corporate jargon. I love the people who work at Animalz, and the culture, but the comp doesn't align with how burnt out I am after just 6 months here. I really want to stay and I'm sure some of the CMs who've left do too, but the burnout is a lot

No work drama/favorites, and opportunities to earn public recognition for doing a great job Read More

February 24, 2022

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager (Current Employee)

January 28, 2022

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.

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. Read More

January 28, 2022

Reviewed by: Content Manager (Former Employee)

January 20, 2022

Pros

-- Challenging work that forces you to learn and grow -- If you're ambitious and willing and open to develop your skills, then there's a lot of opportunity for internal advancement. Management seems genuinely interested in evolving the company, improving processes and promoting people who are excited about and committed to doing the same. As other reviewers have noted, there is a good amount of employee turnover, but from my perspective, a lot of that comes down to lack of fit (particularly in the case of some people staying less than a year) -- People who have moved on from Animalz have gone on to in-house jobs at great companies -- Great, supportive coworkers -- Flexible schedules -- Decent benefits

Cons

-- Content marketing is essentially a service industry, and sometimes clients can be difficult and demanding -- The team is geographically distributed, so you need to be able to handle working with people across several time zones

Advice to Management

Keep hiring smart, talented people who are a good fit for a growing company

If you're ambitious and willing and open to develop your skills, then there's a lot of opportunity for internal advancement. Read More

January 20, 2022

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager (Current Employee)

November 2, 2022

Pros

Tara the CEO is exceptional Good work/life balance Great people Good opportunities to work with really impressive clients

Cons

Very high stress CMs burn out & not enough is being done to fix it

Tara the CEO is exceptional Good work/life balance Great people Good opportunities to work with really impressive clients Read More

November 2, 2022

Reviewed by: Content Manager (Former Employee)

July 7, 2021

Pros

It's a very supportive environment. Other team members are always willing to help and onboarding process helps new hires to quickly learn internal processes. Lots of opportunities to learn and grow. There are plenty educational resources that employees can use to upskill and get promoted. Transparency. CEO and the leadership team are regularly informing employees on the latest initiatives and you can always request a 1:1 meeting with anyone to voice your concerns. Great clients. Some of the biggest names in the SaaS and tech world are working with Animalz so it's a unique opportunity to collaborate with these brands and help them with their content needs. Remote work and location-agnostic salary. Everyone gets the same pay (benchmarked against the US standards) so you can live anywhere you want in the world without worrying whether the company will cut your pay because of lower living costs. Work gets done mostly in an asynchronous manner. Also, Animalz won't ask you to work overtime and there's a good work-life balance.

Cons

Not all clients are great. Some clients are demanding and don't really know how SEO and content marketing works, which adds a level of stress. Marketers who don't like or know to write well will find it hard to work at Animalz as the company is HIGHLY demanding when it comes to this. But there are editors who work with marketers on each piece of content so it gets easier over time. Although the company invests a lot of effort in improving internal processes and tools, there is still work left to be done here.

Lots of opportunities to learn and grow. Read More

July 7, 2021

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager (Current Employee)

December 19, 2020

Pros

Intense focus on quality, and clear benefits for those who can manage multiple (random) writing/strategy assignments. Good for entry-level exposure, especially for those with a strong journalism background.

Cons

Scattered, micro-management, and obsessed with running towards endless problems rather than highlighting opportunities. Constant churn limits growth and specialization. The business model is very limiting, with little to no investment for future growth. You will operate according to current realized revenue, instead of future profit potential.

management, and obsessed with running towards endless problems rather than highlighting opportunities. Read More

December 19, 2020

Reviewed by: Content Analyst in New York, NY (Former Employee)

December 1, 2022

Pros

During my time at Animalz I learned a huge amount about content marketing and experienced significant career growth. I also worked with amazing people- writers, strategists and team leads, who supported and encouraged that growth.

Cons

Unfortunately my experience was an anomaly. Everything that made this a supportive and enriching place to work is now gone. The previous emphasis on learning and career growth has been replaced with a laser-like focus on production goals and numbers above all else... including employee's well being. Writers, editors and managers are told to meet quotas or get out, even if that means working on weekends, holidays, or during mental health emergencies. Additionally I've become increasingly concerned with the company's borderline unethical employment practices. The company is in a bad place financially and the employees lowest on the power totem pole are bearing the brunt of the pain. Half of the quality team was laid off last month. Instead of making cuts that might garner more attention or cost more in severance payouts, the current leadership seems to managing out all but the highest performing employees using performance improvement plans and other tactics to force people to quit. People are not given enough assignments work on and then guilt tripped for not completing enough work. There is currently a hiring freeze, a salary freeze, and a moratorium on bonuses or cost of living increases. As senior level people leave their roles are not backfilled, creating a power vacuum, increased confusion and general chaos. At least a dozen writers have been operating with no manager at all for several months now. Employee concerns are not addressed, and feedback to leadership is often met with anger or gaslighting. While middle management works hard and genuinely cares about the employees, the members of the current leadership team are either checked out, unqualified, or power tripping. It give me no joy to say this, as I genuinely enjoyed at least part of my time employed here, but I cannot in good conscious recommend anyone accept a job here. If you accept a job here you are signing up to work for a very expensive content mill.

Advice to Management

You have a responsibility to the people you employ, not just to pay them, but to provide psychological safety and a healthy work environment. You're falling down on this obligation badly.

The previous emphasis on learning and career growth has been replaced with a laser Read More

December 1, 2022

Reviewed by: Anonymous (Anonymous Employee)