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Animalz

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Animalz

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Animalz Culture FAQ

Read what Animalz employees think about their company culture and make sure it is the right fit for you.

Animalz has a culture and values rating of 3.4.

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

What is the company culture at Animalz?

23 English reviews out of 23

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August 11, 2021

Pros

INCREDIBLE company culture that truly encourages growth by having open conversations about struggles and working together as team to solve them. You never have to be afraid of saying "I don't know" or asking for help. The team motto is "content writing is a team sport" and at Animalz they really live this out. They also really walk the talk when it comes to work-life balance and promoting mental and physical health. People openly message their teams and say "hey I need a mental health day, be back tomorrow" and their manager will be the first to hop in and reply "Great, hope you feel better!" There is so much support here. For being a 100% remote company there is also a robust work culture with a lot of opportunities to connect with people on a personal level (they even have scheduled "watercooler talks" where you just talk with someone you don't know about life and get to know them). Their process is really driven by producing excellent content, but also cultivating excellent writers. They focus a lot on setting personal development goals and truly want to put things in place to help you get there, they actually put clearly outlined expectations and plans in place for you to get promoted and want to see you succeed. One obvious example of this is: when I applied they asked how much I wanted to make, I gave them a number and they said "cool, but we think you're worth more than that, how about $20K more?" Our CEO is also great - super approachable - and the whole leadership team really cultivates a culture of transparecy which is great.

Cons

Because it's 100% remote there are a lot of tools to acclimate to and context switching can be a challenge. I know our leadership is putting several initiatives in place to address this though.

Advice to Management

More proactive and process-driven content ideation/approval/ strategy flow for clients. From where I sit, it feels like we're shooting from the hip sometimes. Also, less tools.

For being a 100% remote company there is also a robust work culture with a lot of opportunities to connect with people on a personal level (they even have scheduled "watercooler talks" where you just talk with someone you don't know about life and get to know them).

August 11, 2021

Reviewed by: Content Manager (Current Employee)

August 11, 2021

Pros

INCREDIBLE company culture that truly encourages growth by having open conversations about struggles and working together as team to solve them. You never have to be afraid of saying "I don't know" or asking for help. The team motto is "content writing is a team sport" and at Animalz they really live this out. They also really walk the talk when it comes to work-life balance and promoting mental and physical health. People openly message their teams and say "hey I need a mental health day, be back tomorrow" and their manager will be the first to hop in and reply "Great, hope you feel better!" There is so much support here. For being a 100% remote company there is also a robust work culture with a lot of opportunities to connect with people on a personal level (they even have scheduled "watercooler talks" where you just talk with someone you don't know about life and get to know them). Their process is really driven by producing excellent content, but also cultivating excellent writers. They focus a lot on setting personal development goals and truly want to put things in place to help you get there, they actually put clearly outlined expectations and plans in place for you to get promoted and want to see you succeed. One obvious example of this is: when I applied they asked how much I wanted to make, I gave them a number and they said "cool, but we think you're worth more than that, how about $20K more?" Our CEO is also great - super approachable - and the whole leadership team really cultivates a culture of transparecy which is great.

Cons

Because it's 100% remote there are a lot of tools to acclimate to and context switching can be a challenge. I know our leadership is putting several initiatives in place to address this though.

Advice to Management

More proactive and process-driven content ideation/approval/ strategy flow for clients. From where I sit, it feels like we're shooting from the hip sometimes. Also, less tools.

and the whole leadership team really cultivates a culture of transparecy which is great.

August 11, 2021

Reviewed by: Content Manager (Current Employee)

May 24, 2021

Pros

The fast-paced environment is perfect if you're super early-career and need a quick onramp into a content marketing career. Animalz has enough cred in tech that you'll easily find work in content marketing after working there (many employees joke about how often recruiters hit them up as soon as they change over their LinkedIn current company.) The company is structured best to support very early talent who can write 12k+ words per month. If you are a fast, mechanical writer, the workload is equivalent or easier than being a full-time freelancer. Animalz attracts high-quality talent and you'll work with very capable, helpful people and leave with a great network. If you have a problem, management and leadership will at the very least hear you out. Everyone means very well -- the underlying culture isn't catty or manic like most agencies. Most of the team deeply cares about the craft of writing.

Cons

Company is rapidly scaling a credits-based business model, (unusual for content agencies of their size) in pursuit of growth at all costs -- this means that both client and employee churn is high, which affects morale. Due to the rapid growth, clients are not pre-screened well enough, which means you may end up being assigned to a nightmare client the agency is unwilling to drop. The business operations processes set in place haven't been scaling effectively to match the growth, so you'll spend a lot of time chasing down information, managing "up" and learning what to ignore in order to actually get your work done. There are no account managers or project managers -- you do both of these jobs for yourself. It's usually more difficult than it should be to take your PTO because you have to personally chase down coverage writers or disappoint a client to take a week off. The speed of production is difficult to keep up with for an average-speed writer -- I'd say a true 40-hr work week is rare, and 50-70 is the norm. For anyone mid-career or further, pay and benefits are not competitive, which is why many of the employees leave to work in-house for Animalz clients instead.

the underlying culture isn't catty or manic like most agencies.

May 24, 2021

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager (Former Employee)

May 14, 2022

Pros

As other people have written, the saving grace of Animalz is getting to work with writers and editors (and some team leads) who care deeply about doing good work and supporting each other. The high degree of editorial oversight means that even if you learn nothing else, you will walk away from the company as a better writer. Unfortunately, making genuine connections with the people you work with is extremely difficult, because everyone is overwhelmed and afraid to speak openly about any issues because of an entrenched culture of toxic positivity. It is still possible to have a good experience at Animalz if: -You have a natural ability to produce huge amounts of content every week, while managing customers, coming up with content ideas, reporting on performance, and other duties -You happen to be paired with a team lead who takes an interest in you and isn’t so completely overwhelmed that they can’t help you at all -You happen to be assigned to customers with an approach to content that makes sense, and who have reasonable expectations of you. (Because if they don’t, you should not expect support from the company in pushing back on them.) -You are capable of focusing only on your own work, and ignoring the people burning out and quitting all around you, the nonsensical proclamations from management, and the company’s increasingly dire financial straits

Cons

Animalz is in a death spiral. And even if you don’t care about the fate of the company as a whole, and you check every box in the “pros” section, you will inevitably be harmed by the experience of working at a company this grotesquely mismanaged. The company's issues with burnout, churn, and work quality have already been covered by my former colleagues eloquently and at length. So I want to focus on talking about the two things that really messed me up at Animalz: toxic positivity and gaslighting. I’m aware both of those terms have been overused and robbed of their original meanings, but we can restore them to usefulness if we simply use Animalz as the universal benchmark to which all other examples can be compared. Because seriously: the place is the dictionary definition of each. I personally mark the beginning of Animalz' descent into toxicity as the day when a member of leadership imposed the “no venting “rule. This created a company culture in which it is forbidden to acknowledge problems, or publicly admit to unhappiness or stress. The enforced and false positivity has made the experience of working at Animalz deeply isolating for people, who assume that any issues with burnout and overwhelming workloads are their personal problems and not evidence of systemic failures. On top of that, Animalz explicitly rewards people for taking on duties that are *not their jobs* without compensating them for it. Your reward will come in the form of public praise for being such a "rock star," and your peers will echo this praise out of a sense of obligation, thus endlessly perpetuating the culture dominated by fake smiles and the constant repetition that "everything is fine." Which brings us to the gaslighting. As I said before, things are not going well at Animalz. But rather than acknowledge or meaningfully address that, leadership constantly tries to paper over it, and convince you that what looks like chaos is actually growth. When four members of senior leadership departed the company in three months, the CEO addressed this in an all-hands by saying that retention isn't a priority. In the face of mounting customer churn, leadership will simply change metrics to ones that it finds more favorable, rather than address the bad numbers. Every few months, leadership announces some grand new initiative or direction for the company, but these ideas are never fully thought out before they are presented, and no one can answer any questions about *how they will work*. The company is now undergoing its second major re-organization in under a year, but there's no sense of why or what it will mean on a day-to-day basis. Concerns about slipping standards and unhappy customers have led to an announcement that we now prioritize "outcomes over articles." (This would doubtlessly come as a shock to our customers, since articles are the thing they pay us for.) Oh and we're adding new products! Including video! How, you ask? No one can tell you. But the experience of having to pretend that any of the above makes sense is exhausting and demoralizing. Prolonged exposure to that kind of dishonesty is bad for your health, and I mean that very literally, since issues with sleep, substances, and anxiety are quietly rampant among the team.

Advice to Management

This advice is not directed to senior leadership, because I don't believe they are capable of accepting advice that requires real change. My feedback is directed at the leaders in the middle, who are trying to keep their own careers intact, but in doing so, are enabling a toxic culture that is doing real damage to people's lives. To you I say: you have more power than you think. You do not have to nod along with every ridiculous proclamation from leadership, or carry out their paranoid campaigns against anything with the slightest whiff of organizing. You can band together and stand up, or you can leave. If this company is going to be saved, it will only be by people like you, blowing on the dying embers of what originally made it a success: undeniably brilliant work from people who truly believed in what we were doing. Any attempts to circumvent that through new products or cost cutting will inevitably fail. It’s already failing. And the result is not just the wreckage of a company, but the wreckage of people's careers, mental health, and perceptions of you.

Unfortunately, making genuine connections with the people you work with is extremely difficult, because everyone is overwhelmed and afraid to speak openly about any issues because of an entrenched culture of toxic positivity.

May 14, 2022

Reviewed by: Anonymous (Anonymous Employee)

July 1, 2021

Pros

Animalz hires incredible people. Current and former employees are now great friends and trusted confidantes. If you're looking for a place to start your content marketing career, Animalz could be a great fit. You'll work with knowledgable people and get a lot of experience. I think the salary is fairly competitive for a first job. I believe there are people in leadership who legitimately care about the CMs they manage. They are willing to work with you to find solutions to problems and try to support you, but I think sometimes their hands are tied and they can only do so much.

Cons

Like a lot of companies that quickly expand, Animalz is experiencing growing pains, and unfortunately, it causes stress for overworked and under-compensated CMs. Salaries are transparent, but I do not think that compensation is always competitive for CMs or always logical. New graduates may make more than employees at higher levels. People with technical skills are not compensated for their knowledge. Employees with 10+ years experience or postgraduate degrees make less than those without as much experience or education. Maybe these people are just better negotiators. It is unclear. I accepted a lower salary because Animalz promises lots of opportunities for promotion, but I finally realized that the only way to get a reasonable salary jump was to leave. (After talking to other former employees, compensation was a major motivating factor. Most everyone now makes at least $30K more and has better work-life balance.) As stated above, I had great co-workers, but I rarely felt supported as a team member. CMs have so many customers and so much work that there is no support system in place if you need help or need someone to cover for you. It was hard to take vacation because I was responsible for finding my own coverage. And it is widely accepted that you will be working hard before, during, or after your vacation to make up for it. I think there is simply too much work for each CM. It is a juggling game of keeping customers happy and continually churning out content to meet stress-inducing quotas. My team lead was so busy that they rarely had time to help me with problematic customers. There just is not enough people or time in the day to provide that support and CMs struggle because of it. I liked the culture of positivity that Animalz had when I joined, but I think it has taken a turn. Now that positivity seems somewhat toxic. Employees are even instructed not to complain or vent in Slack. Transparency is talked about a lot but practiced inconsistently. You can ask leadership anonymous questions, but they can also go unanswered. When questions are addressed, sometimes leadership is noticeably unhappy with you for asking tough questions. There is a growing sense of distrust. Why do we need to sign documentation that leadership can read our DMs? Why are employees questioned about their social media posts? Are the employee engagement surveys truly anonymous? These changes in company policy and culture left me feeling unsafe and unable to function to the best of my ability. While I appreciated working for a women-led leadership team, I do not know if they have the necessary power to make the major changes that the organization needs.

Advice to Management

Listen to what employees say in exit interviews. We want Animalz to improve because we value the people who are still there and want work life to get better for them. Act sooner rather than later. Employees are unhappy, discouraged, and burned out, and promising changes or promotions months down the line might be too late. Value employees over customers. Please put their best interests first. The incredible people you consistently hire are what can make Animalz a great place to work again.

I liked the culture of positivity that Animalz had when I joined, but I think it has taken a turn.

July 1, 2021

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager (Former Employee)

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23 English reviews out of 23