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Animalz

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Animalz

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Animalz FAQ

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.

39 English questions out of 39

August 9, 2021

Does Animalz offer bonus pay?

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.

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.

August 9, 2021

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September 16, 2021

What are pay increases like at Animalz?

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.

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.

September 16, 2021

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October 31, 2021

What is working from home like at Animalz?

Pros

Work from home, average benefits, meet lots of great people

Cons

I was willing to leave my experiences with Animalz behind when I left the company. But I recently came across a job post for Flow Club that prominently featured Haley, Animalz COO. The job post said, “Also in 2021, the team met Haley Bryant as one of Flow Club's early members and biggest advocates. Haley joined as an angel investor and a part-time operations lead.” In the spring and summer of 2021, Animalz was having difficulty retaining employees and customers. Overly ambitious sales goals were made, experienced writers left, and Animalz hired a bunch of new, less-experienced writers. This caused customers to churn, because the quality of work was not where it should have been. At the same time, Haley was soliciting Animalz employees to learn about, sign up, and use Flow Club. As COO, an endorsement carries additional weight. Those who use it will get more time with a powerful person within Animalz. It feels awful knowing she was working to financially benefit from Flow Club while promoting the service to Animalz employees. I believe getting employees to sign up for a service in which she has financial interests (salary, gains from her investment) puts her in violation of the non-solicitation clause at Animalz. Second, Haley’s decision to be an angel investor with the Hustle Fund may be a conflict of interest. Animalz policy expressly prohibits providing work for a direct competitor, supplier, distributor, or contractor for Animalz. I would think, given the team was encouraged to use Flow Club, that they count as a supplier. And given Flow Club calls her an employee and investor, I would think that counts as “providing work.” Upper management may have known about Haley’s relationship with Flow Club, but Animalz employees did not. And that calls into question whether or not Haley has financial interests in other tools or services she promotes. Animalz has a lot of problems, and it’s surprising that the #2 leader seems to be part-timing the job (while she part-times a few other jobs.)

Advice to Management

Would it be okay for any other employee to get people to sign up for a company they work for and invest in? No. Lead this company. Lots of people and customers are counting on you.

Work from home, average benefits, meet lots of great people

October 31, 2021

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November 18, 2020

How is the work/life balance at Animalz?

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.

It's hard to strike a work life balance when you're full

November 18, 2020

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September 27, 2022

How flexible is your schedule working at Animalz?

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.

You'll be working on a 100% remote team, so you have flexible hours.

September 27, 2022

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39 English questions out of 39