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Animalz

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Animalz

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What is the company culture at Animalz?

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Have questions about working at Animalz? Read answers to frequently asked questions to help you make a choice before applying to a job or accepting a job offer.

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.

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.

Transparency. Read More

July 7, 2021

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager (Current Employee)

September 27, 2022

Pros

You'll be surrounded by people who care about content marketing and writing. You'll be working on a 100% remote team, so you have flexible hours.

Cons

The company grew too fast and is still catching up on defining roles and developing processes-- as a result, quality and communication suffered and customers are churning in droves. The cobbled-together internal systems are breaking and you'll spend a lot of time troubleshooting. There's no investment in ongoing training and development beyond employee onboarding and senior leadership takes a top-down approach to problem-solving instead of bringing in the voices of people on the ground. All the teams work in their own siloes and it's rare to see transparency and collaboration across teams. The goalposts of what it takes to advance in your career are constantly shifting. All of this adds up to burnout.

Advice to Management

Listen to and trust the voices of the people who are on the front lines of the work: CMs, CSMs, and Team Leads. Prioritize retention and relationship development with existing customers over company growth.

as a result, quality and communication suffered and customers are churning in droves. Read More

September 27, 2022

Reviewed by: Anonymous (Current Employee)

December 13, 2022

Pros

Really strong focus on positive work culture (lovely people). Excellent opportunities for training and career growth, transparency in terms of which team members earn what salary and how to get promoted to a higher salary level. Pretty flat structure. Extremely strict and talented editors (that's a good thing), and managers who genuinely care.

Cons

Can be a heavy workload for the uninitiated, but manageable and well-compensated. Clients, as others have pointed out, could be a challenge. I found the job a bit stressful sometimes.

Advice to Management

Nothing comes to mind!

Really strong focus on positive work culture (lovely people). Read More

December 13, 2022

Reviewed by: Content Manager in Dublin, Dublin (Current Employee)

August 16, 2022

Pros

- Truly gifted editors. Working at Animalz will supercharge anyone's writing, research, and SEO chops. It's like going to college except you get paid. - The chance to work with some big brands and network with tech execs. - Diverse team - super interesting people work here from all over the world. Makes the world seem less polarized and scary. - Flexibility - you can work pretty much wherever and whenever you want as long as you can get all your work done (which brings me to the cons...)

Cons

- Animalz wants really badly to be like the tech companies they serve, so they treat their people like machines. They literally refer to what they do as a "product" instead of a service. This may seem fairly innocuous at first. It may even seem exciting, edgy, and new. But then after a few months, you'll realize that all leadership truly cares about is writers producing a ton of content for a tiny fraction of what customers pay the agency. You may develop close relationships with people at this company, but it will be done on your own time and you'll have to work for it. Otherwise, you're just a cog in the machine. - Extremely top-heavy. There are too many leaders and executives (friends of the CEO) and not enough people doing work. If you want to be talked down to and urged to constantly do more work by people with less experience in the industry than you, then maybe this is a good place. For everyone else, it's difficult to stomach. - Non-writing work is unaccounted for. Writers do much more than write - they meet with the customers (as well as their own teams), create their own briefs, research, outline, and optimize articles. They respond to customer feedback, create reports, and shepherd all their work through multiple rounds of revision and multiple steps of delivery as requested by customers, leadership, team leads, and editors. None of this work is accounted for in their workload. - Zero training for difficult subject matter. Some clients at Animalz are easy to write for, but many require technical expertise and/or a ton of research. And no one is trained on how to write on these technical topics. Leaders assume writers will just figure it out on their own time. If you fall behind on your workload, you have to make that up by working late, on weekends, or on vacation. This pace of work becomes extremely difficult to balance with the high writing standards of the agency and the high quality expectations of the clients who pay a premium price for this "product" and expect writers to deliver on promises they aren't equipped for. The result is employees burn out, and clients churn. - Low pay and few benefits for the industry. At first glance, the pay at Animalz may seem fair. But when you factor in the time and expertise required, most writers will be better off elsewhere, either as an in-house writer or a freelancer. Animalz doesn't offer retirement matching. They also recently switched to an unlimited vacation model, which will only harm people with mental health issues, family responsibilities, or difficult clients because they won't be able to take any time off if they aren't meeting production quotas. - Gaslighting is common. When people have problems or bring up a concern, they are routinely told the problem doesn't exist and no one else has that concern. - Few REAL advancement opportunities. Right now, clients are leaving. Many tech companies and startups which Animalz serves are cutting their marketing spend, and first up on the chopping block is their expensive content machine (Animalz). This reality, plus the burnout that writers constantly undergo, means that you're unlikely to meeting your production goals to warrant a promotion, and even if you ARE able to meet all your production goals, the company's revenue may not be able to support your promotion anytime soon because they are trying so hard to improve their financial situation.

Advice to Management

Start listening to the people who still work for you. Everything in this review has already been covered in existing Glassdoor reviews AND all-hands meetings. You're not a new CEO anymore, so stop using that excuse as a crutch. No one else at this company was trained on their jobs either, and yet they're still expected to DO them. So do yours.

Flexibility Read More

August 16, 2022

Reviewed by: Anonymous (Anonymous 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

Remote work with little supervision, allowing for flexibility to work basically whenever I want to. Read More

February 24, 2022

Reviewed by: Content Marketing Manager (Current Employee)

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