Alpaytac, Inc. Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

Alpaytac, Inc. Chicago Reviews

9 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

2.5
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Huma Gruaz
4 Ratings

9 Employee Reviews

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  1. "A ray of light in the dark world of PR"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Contractor - Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Alpaytac, Inc. as a contractor (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Terrific training and lots of positive feedback. Management is always interested in new and creative ideas from team members, even the most junior ones. The compensation is similar to other firms of similar size. Team meetings are used for "think tank" like brainstorming sessions which might remind you why you chose this industry in the first place. Taking an actual break from your desk isn't just tolerated, it's perceived to be necessary for the creative juices to get flowing. The owner was a single mom for many years and understands the struggles involved in juggling a family and a career, so she does more than what's expected to help her staff find their own balance. I really feel like I'm part of the team and that the contribution of every member of the team is important. Everyone has bad days, but Alpaytac's supportive environment make the bad days go by easier.

    Cons

    The cons are all just about the stresses of the PR and marketing world. PR is a difficult world to work in. Client demands are seemingly non-stop and frequently urgent. The environment is very fast paced. While a good structure like the one at Alpaytac can manage the majority of client expectations during work hours, the clients' PR nightmares and emergencies aren't confined to the house of 9-5 ... if a client suddenly gets hit with a bad lawsuit or has a PR issue with a product, they can't really wait until 9 a.m. the next day to sort it out. If you're going to work in PR, however, you should definitely look at Alpaytac. My experience is that management never "dumps" the emergencies on the staff while they go on with their own day/plans. Quite the opposite. The owner and other management sacrifice their own personal life frequently to let the staff off the hook whenever possible. A few times there's been emergencies while I had important personal plans and the management and owner went out of their way to make sure I didn't have to cancel my plans. And they go out of their way to use the PR emergency situation as incredible learning opportunities for their young staff, like how to advise companies to avoid and prevent these situations in the first place. And they are very gracious when the staff steps up to the plate to help out.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing!


  2. Helpful (2)

    "A Bleak Future Lies Ahead"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Alpaytac, Inc. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I learned a lot but it had nothing to do with the people running this company. Somehow they had stellar employees even though the leadership and respect for employees was non-existent. They sometimes offer employees products from their clients which can be a nice reward.

    Cons

    The work employees contributed is grossly underappreciated by management. No matter how much you prove yourself, you won't be able to build a career. The company is not transparent with employees about new business opportunities and changes within the agency. This leads to a work environment filled with drama and tittle tattle. When someone leaves the agency, there is no replacement leaving the rest of the employees to pick up the pieces. There is little work/life balance which can lead to high levels of stress and burnout. Management did little to motivate employees. The future outlook is bleak for those that stick with Alpaytac.

    Advice to Management

    Be compassionate with your employees. They work very hard over long hours to complete their work and do the best that they can with what they are given. Appreciate, value, and compensate employees to keep them motivated.


  3. "A change in pace"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Junior Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Junior Account Executive in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    This is the type of company you want to start your career at. It's a small, fast-paced and demanding PR agency, but you're given the freedom and support to pursue your own strengths. The clientele covers a wide breadth of industries and the employees are talented and smart, making this a great environment for honing PR skills.

    Cons

    Alpaytac is undergoing the typical growing pains of a company working towards positive systemic changes. Communication has lapsed at times in the transition, but efforts have been made to institute long-term change.

    Advice to Management

    Maintain and embrace the small agency culture. Employees are invested in making the company's future a success, return the investment.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Challenging in All the Right Ways"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Alpaytac, Inc. full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This is a fast-paced, entrepreneurial work environment that focuses heavily on media relations and integrated digital and social media results. A lot of PR agencies love to spend clients' money developing strategy and holding meetings. This agency trains PR professionals how to think strategic, and actually deliver the results, too.

    Cons

    The bigger the agency, the more specialized you can be, and the less admin and task level work you will need to do as you rise in the agency. This agency builds professionals with a broad range of skills. But if you're the kind of person who thinks certain tasks are beneath you, this isn't the place to be. We all do everything, and enjoy it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep growing!


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Be wary of these reviews - 4-5* are upper management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PR Intern in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - PR Intern in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Alpaytac, Inc. (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Got much needed industry experience

    Cons

    Pay - Interns were paid $1000 a month for the first 3 months and then $1500 for the next 3. Those who survived until the end of the 6 month "internship" were then hired on WAAAAY below industry standards - especially for Chicago. Hours were 8:30-5 but workers rarely left at 5 - when you did leave at 5 you felt like others were judging you for it. No real guidance when you first start either. Turnover was atrocious; 2 of the 3 people I interviewed with were gone when I got there. Of the 15 or so people who were there when I started only about 4 of them were there 6 months later.

    Advice to Management

    Stop using the word "internship" to command almost free labor. If you're mad about turnaround start paying closer to industry standards.


  6. "Horrible Experience and Horrible Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - Intern in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Alpaytac, Inc. as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some of the staff was friendly and enjoyable to work with.

    Cons

    Where should I start. Firstly, clients are like a revolving door. They come and go quickly. Alpaytac makes promised that they cannot deliver. Upper management is awful. They lie to employees and clients. Employees are frowned upon of they decide to take lunch outside of the building. They are also expected to work rigorous hours. I understand that the pr industry is constant however there is no work life balance here. Along with ever moving clients, employees aren't there for much time either. The company hires several interns but rarely keeps any. Please avoid this company. Their pr strategies and techniques are old fashion and outdated. Your better run not walk from this company! Don't let me even get started on te CEO. What a sham!

    Advice to Management

    Fire everyone and start over, with a new name and CEO.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Whether you're a potential employee or new client: RUN"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Alpaytac, Inc. full-time

    Pros

    It would be very easy for me to say none, but I will give credit where credit is due.

    The staff (under senior management) is extremely talented and hard working. There's truly a team environment and a sense that everyone is in in together.

    You can move up the chain quickly if you're working at the company during a time of high turnover (which is always).

    There are one or two "cool" clients, and you'll occasionally get to do fun work.

    Cons

    Where to begin....

    - Senior management is absolutely terrible. They have no idea how to manage people and contribute nothing positive to client work.
    - Employees are treated worse than horribly. They are reprimanded for the smallest "error" and are not trusted whatsoever. Senior management is condescending and rude and has no respect for their time.
    - The company does not have an impressive client list - many of their clients are startups that leave very quickly. The constant rotation of clients makes it really hard to build relationships and produce solid results.
    - New business is completely out of line. Potential clients are lied to in terms of what results the team can produce and who will be working on their accounts. Senior management lies (no easy way to say it) about their capabilities and constantly "fluffs" their previous work.
    - The interns.. the poor interns. They are used for cheap labor and are treated just as badly as staff. They rarely hire interns and the decision making process behind the hiring is completely flawed.
    - There is NO work life balance. Let me be clear. I couldn't possibly count how many events I missed or how many plans I was forced to cancel due to "client emergencies" most of which were a direct result of poor time management from the C suite. When working at Alpaytac, you will frequently come in early, stay late, work over the weekends and spend 90% of your free time checking emails fearful of receiving a rude note from, again, senior management.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees, do not micromanage so much.

    Gain some respect for your team and treat them like human beings instead of work mules.

    Be more selective during the recruiting process and don't sign with just any client that knocks on your door.

    Don't lie during the new business process and promise things that the team cannot realistically achieve.

    Offer better benefits and incentives for employees.

    Recruit employees who will actually do work instead of delegate.

    Ask your current employees for areas to improve.


  8. Helpful (7)

    "Horrible Culture & Work Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Alpaytac, Inc. full-time

    Pros

    Working at Alpaytac is a huge eye-opener and a learning experience, if only for what not to look for in a company/job. There is a tremendous sense of camaraderie and support among employees because the culture fosters a "in it together" type of attitude.

    Cons

    The time I spent working at Alpaytac was some of the most stressful of my career. Employees are expected to work long hours and receive little to no benefits for doing so. Senior Management is involved in every project, not for employee growth or strategy deployment, but rather for a lack of trust. New business is a focus, but there are not enough team members to truly deliver on promised results. Tasks are doled out with no regard for employee utilization and absolutely zero support. The absolute worst thing about working there though is the treatment of employees from the C-suite. There is a utter lack of respect and even when honest discourse does take place, senior management blames all problems on the staff rather than taking a serious look at company issues.

    Advice to Management

    Trust and listen to your employees - they are on the ground level and can provide insight on much needed improvements.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "My time at Alpaytac was enlightening in many ways."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Junior Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Former Contractor - Junior Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Alpaytac, Inc. as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Learn a lot about PR
    Chance to contribute to new business proposals

    Cons

    Upper management doesn't value employees, treats them poorly.
    Overworks employess
    Pay is low.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees better, value them better to encourage them to produce their best work.


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