Business Wire Reviews | Glassdoor

Business Wire Reviews

Updated June 2, 2017
97 reviews

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Pros
  • Work/Life balance - Worked 40 hours a week (in 6 reviews)

  • Good benefits with additional perks like fitness and hobby allotments (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Negatives include - Low pay, long hours, and inexperienced management (in 9 reviews)

  • Old time Upper management does not understand that the market is changing (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Wears thin"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Editor in San Francisco, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Business Wire full-time

    Pros

    1. Your coworkers will make BW a bearable place to work. In the newsroom you'll find many creative types: People who love movies and music and books, and writers who just can't quite make a living doing what they really love.

    2. You will rarely, if ever, have to work overtime. In fact, overtime is discouraged! Unless you are a supervisor, receiving work-related calls after hours is very, very rare. This means that once your shift is over, you can leave the office and not think about work at all until your next shift begins.

    3. Overall, I'd say the benefits are good. The rundown:

    The company (at least the SF location) will reimburse part of your commute costs.

    The company offers a 401k and free access to an on-site financial advisor. They match funds and will also do profit sharing.

    They offer a few different medical insurance plans, and the deductibles/premiums seem to be in line with what other companies offer.

    They also offer vision and dental coverage, albeit not through insurance. Say you go to the dentist. Basically, you'll pay your bill upfront and the company will reimburse you a month or two later. The vision/dental allotments are generous enough that, minus a small deductible, I basically came out even. And this was after two teeth cleanings a year as well as a yearly vision exam and a year's supply of contact lenses.

    The best benefits, in my opinion, are the physical fitness allotment and education allotment. Sign up for a gym membership or take self-defense classes, and BW will cover some of the cost (for some reason the company will not cover you if you join a sports league though). And the educational allotment can be used for any sort of class. You don't have to be pursuing a degree, and the class doesn't need to be relevant to work. I've heard the educational allotment used for cooking classes, creative writing classes, acting classes, any sort of hobby.

    4. Management has begun softening the stringent black-out PTO policies mentioned in earlier reviews. I hope that's a trend.

    5. The company is run conservatively (ie, it's cheap). This is also a con, as seen below. But on the pro side, the company has been so prudent with its finances that it has doled out very few layoffs over its 50+ year history, like probably less than 20 individuals.

    6. Considering the nature of the work, I'd say the pay is fine, especially when paired with the benefits. I'd say the mean is $45k a year, along with the benefits mentioned above. I know that's not a lot for the San Francisco area, but again, considering the nature of the work...

    Cons

    1. As mentioned above, the company is cheap. Raises (if you get one) are small, maybe 2%. The company may or may not give a bonus near the end of the year, maybe two weeks' salary. Maybe a whole month, if you're considered a good employee and the company has had a good year financially. The company provides employees a water cooler, but no coffee or tea.

    2. Though your title may be "editor," and you work in a "newsroom," you aren't really doing much editing in either a journalistic or academic sense. Your duties will consist mostly of data entry, with some proofreading and customer service. If you last long enough, you may take on troubleshooting the various client- and tech-related issues that pop up day to day. If you aren't careful about finding ways to expand your duties and find your "niche," the work will become tedious, mind-numbing. If you are a creative person, you might be able to hang with this for a while, but sooner or later you're going to long for something more. Opportunities for advancement are limited, and there's not much financial incentive to climb the newsroom ranks.

    3. Now let's talk about management. BW management is feared but not respected by the little people. The CEO will send out memos that are meant to be inspiring or motivating, and the rank and file just end up mocking her. Newsroom morale is low because management does not appear to be receptive to feedback that will make the company a better place to work. Their prevailing attitude seems to be, "We are the best in the biz. If you don't like working for this gold-standard company, then get the hell out."

    Management also seems to overreact. Here's the perfect example: A while ago, an audit of internet use revealed that newsroom personnel were spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. In response, rather than just blacklisting Facebook and other social media sites and porn sites and whatnot, the ENTIRE INTERNET got blacklisted, save Yahoo! News and a handful other sites editors use to monitor press release postings. If you need to do some quick research on a client, you cannot access their website--you have to get a supervisor to do it for you. If a client wants you to check a link, you have to get a supervisor to do it for you. This is highly embarrassing and an unnecessary burden on the newsroom supervisors. Management has actually hindered their employees' ability to do their jobs.

    4. Lastly, the company needs a better vision to ensure future success. A quick overview of what Business Wire does: Say a tech company comes up with a cool, new product. Tech company needs to get their product announcement to the media. Business Wire serves as that deliveryman, delivering that product announcement to media outlets all over the world (and making a great deal of money in the process). However, with the rise of the internet and social media, this business model is in trouble. Management is either in denial of this reality or does not have a fully articulated plan to deal with it. What has management done to adjust? They've put out white papers and called attention to the few studies they believe support BW's current business model. At the same time, they are constantly forming partnerships with media companies and putting out new products in the hope that something will "stick." Seems to me that BW is fighting a losing battle on this front. Sure, the company's OK for now, but it'd better come up with something solid in a few years, lest BW go the way of the chimney sweep or elevator operator. On its present path, BW is a middleman between the content creators and the media, and the middleman seems like it’s getting cut out.

    CONCLUSION: This job is best suited for new college grads with no experience working in a professional environment, or for unambitious folks who just want a steady (if unremarkable) paycheck. If you fall outside these two categories, you’ll probably have a hard time here and end up resenting it.

    Advice to Management

    Be humble. Be willing to change. Be willing to process feedback from your rank and file. If morale is low, if the same work-related complaints pop up again and again, then maybe the problem isn't with the rank and file. Maybe it's the company's culture that needs adjusting.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Don't stay with this company more than two or three years."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Newsroom Editor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Newsroom Editor in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Business Wire full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I agree with the reviews which state that Business Wire is a good place for recent college grads to get their feet wet in corporate America. You'll definitely gain some good experience if you're willing to work nights and/or weekends, and handle a moderate to heavy amount of phone calls. Keep in mind that you will not be an "editor" in the classic sense of the word. You will perform customer service that involves light proof-reading, but you won't even be a "proof-reader" because that takes special training and certification. You'll be working alongside English and Communications majors that couldn't get jobs anywhere else. If you go to work in the newsroom you should take advantage of your schedule to further your education and expand you job skills.

    Cons

    The turnover is high in the sales departments. It seems like the sales people are always quitting or getting fired, and that's not good for company morale or maintaining the client base. Evolving technology and reporting methods are making this company a dinosaur. Business Wire likes to boast that it gives its clients more coverage for the extra money they must pay to use its services. But that extra coverage seems to amount to lots of websites and smaller news portals that aren't relevant and don't otherwise expand news distribution. The company introduces new types of news tracking services, but charges for them instead of bundling them into the already over-priced circuits it sells.

    Advice to Management

    When I worked in the newsroom the CEO was in the habit of sending out demeaning or otherwise ridiculous emails. One of the worst was the one she sent out celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, which she concluded with a quote from Ghandi. Say what you will about OBL, but I don't think death should ever be celebrated, and I could not think of a more inappropriate figure to quote after such an incident. The newsroom staff mock her mercilessly. This example epitomizes how detached from reality the management is at Business Wire.

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Good for a first job"

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

    I worked at Business Wire full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Really good for a first job (like for 1 year)
    - Regular pay
    - Good reputation (still)
    - Stable environment

    Cons

    - Low pay
    - Low to non existant benefits (depending on the office)
    - Low to non existant opportunities
    - Ridiculously old technology ... computers can be over a decade old
    - Bragging all the time about being a "gold standard" company and taking away the coffee (how cheap is that?)
    - Arrogant senior management
    - They will do absolutely nothing to keep the best employees

    Advice to Management

    If you invest in your process to make them efficient and invest on people you may be able to hold your explosive profit margin, if not, you will lose everything and Warren B won't be impressed.


  4. "Overall good company in spite of poor upper management decisions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Editorial in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Business Wire full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great pay for an entry-level editor, great health and vacation benefits, and work can be rewarding depending on personal expectations and attitude

    Cons

    As typical with most large companies, there were poor upper-management decisions, including unrealistic sales expectations, counterproductive editorial policies, and budget cuts that resulted in job losses

    Advice to Management

    Treat editorial staff like adults and give them the tools they need to fulfill their job duties in the most effective and efficient way possible


  5. Helpful (14)

    "Glutton for punishment? Here's the job for you!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Newsroom Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Newsroom Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Business Wire full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You can be out the door once your shift ends - no overtime. They give you health insurance though they've been slowly chipping away at certain benefits (namely the allotments). You'll have a job while you look for others.

    Cons

    You will never be recognized for the work you do; there is no incentive to go above and beyond. The salary is pretty laughable and the PTO policies are horrible. Earnings blackout periods basically mean that there are twenty (!) weeks a year that you cannot request time off. If you are sick, expect to hear about it in your review. Don't expect a smile or hello from upper management, but you can look forward to the sudden firing of your friends and co-workers. You will have no internet access at your desk so be prepared to explain to clients on the phone that though you allegedly work for a tech company, you cannot visit any page they may want to check. Also... if you are an editor, all you're doing is data entry, but be prepared to act as a customer service rep. You will need to deal with high volumes of irate phone calls from the truly awful people that are Business Wire clients. They will be unhappy and they will take it out on you. If you man the photo desk, you will have no idea what you're doing. You will also deal with horrible people from other offices (looking at you, SF) and higher ups will treat you like an idiot when you are just trying to get through your shift without getting yelled at. Lifers won't do any work (or even know how to do it) and you will have to do everything. New "products" will be rolled out and no one will know what they are or how to prepare them. Certain supervisors will scapegoat you to hide their own incompetence. Everyday you will feel sick to your stomach at the thought of having to go to work. Keep your head down and send out resumes every spare minute you have

    Advice to Management

    Act like human beings instead of sociopaths.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "A mixed experience after 10 years promotions, salary and career growth are few and far between."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Specialist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Product Specialist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Business Wire full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Stable work environment with little fear of job loss.

    Cons

    Management's unwillingness to move beyond the wire and invest in future industry products. Pay is horrible and the raises amount to $1800 per year.

    Advice to Management

    Pay and invest in your employees. Even a mere $20k-$30k more per year will retain many employees. And at the very least boost the lowest morale I've ever been around.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Sales job that offers security and experience....most long term employees lack motivation!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Business Wire full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    1. The people - The other sales people are honest, helpful and caring! They have a great team!
    2. The Annual Sales Meetings - My favorite week of the year! I always left motivated and excited to continue working for Business Wire.
    3. Benefits - Great vacation, health insurance, etc.
    4. Work/Life balance - Worked 40 hours a week.
    5. Direct/Regional Managers - I had a great direct manager.

    Cons

    1. Commission (very, very, very low compared to other companies in he industry) - The long term employees make a very high salary and get a lot of vacation, which creates a very unmotivated group of sales people. They need to increase incentives for the "hunters" to actually hunt.
    2. Attitudes of Executives/Managers - I have heard high level managers laugh about firing employees at Business Wire. First of all, this isn't funny and is something that you should not be bragging about to your employees. Instead of working as a team and encouraging their sales staff, management criticizes and lectures them constantly. Work together to encourage your employees - people respond to enthusiasm and positivity MUCH better than criticism and negativity.
    3. Business Development vs. Maintenance - Ask your employees what they want to do before assigning someone to a job that they don't want. There are too many maintenance personalities in Business Development or vise versa. These jobs require different personality traits.
    4. Reward your BEST sales people - I have seen too many of the top sales people leave this company because they can make more money somewhere else. Make your top talent happy or you will spend more money hiring and training someone else.

    Advice to Management

    Stop laughing in front of your employees about firing people....it creates tension and insecurity in the workplace. Work on acing like a team and encourage your employees. Ask questions about a specific situation so you can understand why something happened instead of rushing to place blame.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Good company for the right people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Business Wire full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    These comments apply to the software development side of the company; your milage may vary elsewhere.

    Business Wire is very well established in its market, with a large lucrative customer base. Benefits aren't as good as they used to be (they dropped flex spending accounts and free coffee in the last couple of years), but still better than most companies of this size. Very family friendly workplace which rarely demands overtime, and which you get paid for when it does happen.

    Opportunities for career advancement are there if you do a good job and get along with the right people, and since most of the managers came up through the development ranks they are very knowledgable and sympathetic to developers.

    Company is very family friendly and flexible with regard to time off for family illness, maternity/paternity leave, etc.

    Cons

    To be blunt, salaries are a bit below industry average, and I don't think that is going to change. A lot of very good employees have left because they got better offers elsewhere.

    Company executive leadership doesn't have a good understanding of software and significant changes generally require very extensive cost justification which can prevent much-needed maintainence work from getting done. A lot of the software in use is very old and ought to be replaced but it doesn't get done for this reason.

    Advice to Management

    Empower CTO to really run the technology side of the company, rather than constantly keeping him under the thumb of non-techology professionals


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good for those who need a low stress, 9 to 5 job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Business Wire full-time

    Pros

    Great balance between life and work
    Low-stress environment
    On-time pay
    Stable company

    Cons

    Low salaries
    Mundane projects
    Almost no opportunity to grow.
    An almost boring and dry environment.
    No free food. Not even tea or coffee. Just free water.
    Strict rules on vacation and time off.
    Huge gap between the senior management and employees.
    You conspicuously feel that they don't care about you.

    Advice to Management

    You need to value your human resources more.
    You need to give more authority to managers. Do not micromanage their simple decisions.
    Frugality is good as long as you don't lose your human assets.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Never seen so many good people leave"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Management in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Business Wire full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Not much supervision so you are no micro managed, easy to take time off for vacations

    Cons

    Sales are at an all time low, employee morals is bad..
    Most of us are unhappy and looking. We are losing business to our competitors and sales are down because we have lost a lot of money from the lengthy EDGAR filings and management is not making positive changes to reconcile this matter.

    Companies can now use social media to communicate company announcements which has had an impact on our revenue and it is here to stay. Unfortunately, our CEO is in denial!

    Management needs to make drastic changes to jump start sales if they want to turn the company around and do something to improve moral.

    I would like to leave, but fear that I would not be able to compete with other candidate since I have worked at this company for such a long time.

    Advice to Management

    Improve employee moral, ask employees for ideas, and ideas to increase sales, ideas to be a better manager and compensate your hard working staff.


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