Airfoil Public Relations Reviews | Glassdoor

Airfoil Public Relations Reviews

Updated October 18, 2017
11 reviews

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3.5
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Lisa Vallee-Smith
11 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "A transformative professional opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Director
    Former Employee - Marketing Director
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Airfoil Public Relations full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    An expectation to continually learn, grow, improve -- and rewards for doing so
    Exceptional access to leadership
    Exposure to a wide range of super interesting and influential organizations
    Ample opportunity to perfect your craft
    A supportive, dynamic, progressive and fun culture

    Cons

    The speed-of-business sometimes means inter-agency/inter-team communication falls by the wayside

    You're surrounded by amazingly smart talent, and the pressure to be strategic and creative can send some less assertive or confident professionals (especially junior) into a panic or paralysis


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Resume builder"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Airfoil Public Relations full-time

    Pros

    You learn a lot, fast paced, build relationships with media, good resume builder, get the experience and leave. period.

    Cons

    Poor and inconsistent leadership. Managers scold you for errors you make while making the same errors. Lots of favoritism. Heavy workloads. High turnover because employees are overworked and the culture is laughable. It’s not a young and upbeat environment—the office is pretty dead most of the time—probably because management is older and just don’t understand want it takes to satisfy the younger demographic. Accept the job and you’ll see. Quit after 1-2 years. And save all your media lists if you plan to still work in PR after.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to attract millennials and keep them. You’ll learn eventually.

    Airfoil Public Relations Response

    Nov 3, 2017 – Human Resources Supervisor

    Thank you for the feedback. Our goal is to create a fun, collaborative environment that encourages employees to grow. Each year, we conduct an employee annual survey of quality which allows our team... More

  3. Helpful (1)

    "One of my greatest career moves"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Airfoil Public Relations full-time

    Pros

    You will learn PR and marketing skills from some of the smartest and most creative communications professionals in the industry. You do not have to work at a global agency to do this. In fact, the mid-sized agency environment and culture at Airfoil allowed for endless learning, growing and experimentation.

    You'll work hard. This is a good thing. You'll be out of your comfort zone most of the time. That's good too.

    Airfoil has a true commitment to professional development. Whether it be agency-wide PD sessions or individual/tailored leadership coaching, each employee had the opportunity to improve their development and Airfoil provides the resources to do it.

    Rock star client service is one of the many differentiators for Airfoil. We did great work and clients loved us for it. Knowing how to address a client's needs and guide them to the best solution (and in the most professional way) comes naturally to Airfoil.

    Most importantly, Airfoil cares for every single employee. It's in the DNA of the company and I truly felt part of the Airfoil family, even when I moved on.

    Cons

    Client management - this is difficult for all agencies as clients have a tendency to "scope creep." Based on my time at Airfoil, there was room to improve here.

    Employees were typically placed in areas of specialization (e.g. B2B or B2C) which I feel may have stumped their growth in other areas/industries. Developing employees with more well-rounded skill-sets (via exposure to a variety of accounts, industries, etc.) may also have allowed for more seamless staffing on accounts.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in Sunnyvale, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Airfoil Public Relations full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -everyone is very nice
    -always willing to listen and give advice
    -had a great snack bar and unlimited coffee
    -smart and helpful management

    Cons

    -not much room to grow


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Phenomenal experience. Stressful role."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Team Member in Southfield, MI
    Former Employee - Account Team Member in Southfield, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Airfoil Public Relations full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people. The majority of people at Airfoil are friendly and overall pleasant to work with.

    Accountability. Every employee is held accountable for their actions. If a deadline is missed, there is no mystery as to who is at fault.

    The size. Because it is a small agency, each employee can feel that they are key to the success of business.

    Learning. Oh my god, you will learn. You will be forced out of your comfort zone. You will do thing you've never done before. It might not be the most enjoyable way to learn new professional skills, but it is the most effective way.

    Results. Airfoil maps to specific goals for each account. These goals will be met, no question. These goals also require hard work from each team member. If you work hard you will generate meaningful results.

    Relationships. This is the best place to be if you want to build relationships with national and local media outlets.

    No politics. I've always avoided office politics, but I didn't find myself needing to here. Because there weren't any. The majority of Airfoil employees are empathetic and understanding when it comes to personal matters.

    Flex time. The flex time is a nice perk if you previously worked at a place that does not offer flex time.However, it is frowned upon to frequently take advantage of flex time. It's typically used for appointments and emergencies.

    The work day "officially" starts at 9:00 a.m. You'll sometimes need to come in earlier, though.

    Development. Leadership makes a conscious effort to continue the education and professional development of its employees. The quality of this education can vary, but employees are encouraged to give feedback about training programs.

    Experience. I am convinced that while work at Airfoil you WILL improve professionally in every possible way. The industry knows Airfoil turns people into supreme professionals. In the three weeks after leaving Airfoil, I've been contacted by six recruiters.

    Cons

    These are personal opinions based on my unique experience at Airfoil and should absolutely be taken with a grain of salt. Some of these cons may be your pros:

    The on boarding process for new employees is anemic. I was introduced to your new teams on day one. On day two I was expected to seamlessly integrate into these teams. It is a baptism-by-fire approach and it the least efficient way to introduce someone to a new role.

    Employees can be assigned up to six accounts (this number does not include new business accounts). This makes time management incredibly difficult, which creates a high stress environment. If your previous job was not fast-paced and guns-blazing 24/7, you will struggle to keep your head above water.

    Roles are not specialized. All employees are expected to conduct media outreach, develop pitches, write bylines, create and execute social media plans, develop weekly/monthly reports and address a variety of one-off requests, among a plethora of other tasks.

    Culturally, email and instant messaging are used more than face-to-face and verbal communication. This inevitably leads to a higher degree of depersonalization and miscommunication, especially when working with other Airfoil locations, which creates conflict among employees.

    Management seems to take a passive approach to scope creep, instead of fighting against it. In other words, if a client has an oddball request that is out of scope Airfoil may follow through on it.

    New ideas can be met with criticism or rejected immediately.

    A *very* small number of people have an inadequate understanding of professionalism. For example: arriving late to meetings. Leaving meetings early before anything was accomplished. Working on other deadlines during meetings. Demanding someone's time for an impromptu meeting. Using profanity in a non-humorous fashion at inappropriate times.

    Time entry. Each employee is expected to report their actions for every quarter-hour of the workday. This is understandable from a billing standpoint, but people tend to over or under exaggerate how much time they spend on a specific task. Example: Can you recall what worked on last week on Tuesday between 11:00 and 11:45? This goes on for every hour of every work day.

    Upward mobility. I never knew if there is opportunity to move up in the company. I would ask my supervisor and they wouldn't know. It just seems to happen based on time and/or performance. Promotion criteria was a mystery.

    Overall, Airfoil gets 3 stars. Like I said, I loved the people, the challenge and unparalleled experience, but certain negative cultural motifs unfortunately made my time at Airfoil a roller-coaster of extreme highs and extreme lows. If you want exceptional PR experience, apply here and interview them well.

    Advice to Management

    Be more aggressive when securing new business.
    Praise employees for a job well done, even for a small victory.
    You are small and scrappy. Fight against client attrition, rather than playing nice with the big guys.
    Manage new employees' expectations before their start date.
    Structure the organization. Create teams of specialized roles filled by subject matter experts.
    Expand into other industries. Having all of your eggs in one basket is a risky practice.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place for a PR Pro"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southfield, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southfield, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Airfoil Public Relations full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Innovative environment. Super smart team to work with, has a great understanding of the consumer technology industry. Great location in the center of Metro Detroit. Great incentives, technology bonus, snacks, etc. Really cares about employees

    Cons

    I would say they don't really honor their commitment to flex time and work/life balance. In addition, since the economy has recovered, the salaries aren't that competitive compared to other agencies in the area. Finally, they overload their middle management not providing the best opportunities for advancement.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing place to work. Collaborative and supportive team."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Supervisor in Southfield, MI
    Former Employee - Account Supervisor in Southfield, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Airfoil Public Relations full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Unlike many PR firms, everyone that works here has your back and genuinely wants to help you grow and succeed. Great energy, fun place to be every day with challenging work.

    Cons

    Like most PR firms, it isn't a 9-5 by any means, but you work hard and play hard.

  8. "Great company to start your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Executive in Southfield, MI
    Current Employee - Senior Account Executive in Southfield, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Airfoil Public Relations full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Exciting client work, great people

    Cons

    Growing pains are unavoidable due to the company's rapid growth yet there are limited growth opportunities at senior levels


  9. Helpful (2)

    "really deceptive leadership team... look you in the eye while they stab you in the back"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Detroit, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    lots of opportunity (to work 'til your fingertips bleed and your eyeballs dry out)

    Cons

    work 'til your fingertips bleed and your eyeballs dry out, deceptive leadership

    Advice to Management

    try injecting a bit of integrity into your operation


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Entrepreneurial atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southfield, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southfield, MI
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Airfoil provides tools, training and mentors at every level to encourage the execution of strategic programs and responsible client management.

    Cons

    There are so many great opportunities and interesting clients/campaigns, it's difficult to show restraint from wanting to be part of it all.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the tradition of excellece through your involvement and by providing tools, training and mentors at every level to encourag strategic execution.


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