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Animalz

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Animalz

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Employee Review

  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    The best agency I've ever worked for!

    Aug 11, 2021 - Content Manager 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    INCREDIBLE company culture that truly encourages growth by having open conversations about struggles and working together as team to solve them. You never have to be afraid of saying "I don't know" or asking for help. The team motto is "content writing is a team sport" and at Animalz they really live this out. They also really walk the talk when it comes to work-life balance and promoting mental and physical health. People openly message their teams and say "hey I need a mental health day, be back tomorrow" and their manager will be the first to hop in and reply "Great, hope you feel better!" There is so much support here. For being a 100% remote company there is also a robust work culture with a lot of opportunities to connect with people on a personal level (they even have scheduled "watercooler talks" where you just talk with someone you don't know about life and get to know them). Their process is really driven by producing excellent content, but also cultivating excellent writers. They focus a lot on setting personal development goals and truly want to put things in place to help you get there, they actually put clearly outlined expectations and plans in place for you to get promoted and want to see you succeed. One obvious example of this is: when I applied they asked how much I wanted to make, I gave them a number and they said "cool, but we think you're worth more than that, how about $20K more?" Our CEO is also great - super approachable - and the whole leadership team really cultivates a culture of transparecy which is great.

    Cons

    Because it's 100% remote there are a lot of tools to acclimate to and context switching can be a challenge. I know our leadership is putting several initiatives in place to address this though.

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    8 people found this review helpful

    Animalz Response

    CEO

    Thank you for your feedback. We are proud of our team and the support that they offer! We are constantly meeting and brainstorming ways to help our writers develop their skills, so I’m glad that our model has helped you succeed. You are right about our tools. What worked for us as a company of 50 is no longer working at 100+. We are improving our tool stack in 2022 and making other changes that I think will help with this. Please feel free to reach out to me directly (or to your manager, or People Ops if that is more comfortable for you) if you have any additional ideas or feedback!

Other Employee Reviews

  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    A great fit for me, but not perfect for everyone

    Jul 7, 2022 - Content Marketing Manager 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    A few days into my career at Animalz, I knew it was a great fit. However, because of past toxic job experiences, I was wary that I was in a "honeymoon" phase that would eventually wear off. Over a year later, it still hasn't worn off! No company is perfect, but what makes Animalz stand out is that leadership genuinely cares about their people and is working to make things better. Sometimes that progress is slow, sometimes it creates growing pains, etc. But I've been in places where no progress is made at all...so dealing with growing pains feels far better. It's a sign that they're continually trying to make things better and are always willing to admit when they're wrong and need to change direction. Agency life in general can be hard. It requires a focus on production, which can be stressful. But over the years they've reduced the number of articles to a manageable amount after listening to their employees. They're also working on ways to reduce the emphasis on production numbers. That's not an easy task in an agency environment, but they're willing to take it on for our sake. As far as workload, the expectation is 8 articles a month (on the months you don't take PTO). If you come from agency life, you know how manageable this is compared to most agencies that require you to write an article a day sometimes. The feedback process is hefty, so in general, the articles do take longer from start to finish, but it's so nice to be able to focus on quality over quantity.

    Cons

    If you haven't been in a position where you're writing full-time (or if you have no agency experience), there might be a steep learning curve to ramp up to the production required. So if you're genuinely not interested in writing full time, this probably isn't the position for you. The company is also facing growing pains right now (largely due to restructuring how teams work). This is natural with any company, but if you're easily stressed out by change then maybe consider applying 6 months from now when things have stabilized.

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    9 people found this review helpful
  2. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    A company run on cynicism

    Jan 9, 2023 - Content Manager in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    If you’re someone who’s terrific at context switching, and a very competent (and patient) writer, Animalz was once a pretty neat gig. The pay was and remains awful relative to US market rates, but the previously high-trust, low-oversight management approach meant it used to be easy for skilled people to do work and own their own calendars by-and-large. This made the place a mecca for people who worked to live, instead of those who live to work, and for people who had other projects/businesses/side-hustles to also give their attentions to. However, I am currently talking about a completely different company (the Animalz of the past) than the one I am about to talk about (the Animalz of the more-recent-past and present).

    Cons

    Animalz is an absolute textbook of mismanagement – in my time the company went from being in a position of imperious advantage through the COVID period to being in an absolute death spiral now. The company is awash in cynicism at every level. Shocking rates of pay compared to market averages. No-clue leadership team rinsing the company for massive salaries and reciting Monty Python bits during All-Hands despite catastrophic staff churn and client churn. Product announcements than come to nothing. Deafeningly insensitive attempts at DEI. If you’re a writer here you’ll pretty quickly start wondering why you’re doing a lot of customer success and strategy work, despite the fact that: there is almost certainly a CSM and a strategist on your team; they both get paid more than you; and, in the present climate, their jobs are more secure than yours. Idiotic org chart management has plagued Animalz for two years at least while prior management play-acted that the company – a standard-issue content farm – was actually a technology startup. CSMs, for instance, are redundant for a company that sells something so simple and that most clients, unfortunately, treat as a tiresome irrelevance anyway. No one in the ‘product’ division ever had a clue about product, and the Animalz array remained sadly undiversified despite the fact that the company would now be printing money if they’d invested in, say, video content during the pandemic. As with all mismanaged companies, incentives for Animalz employees are absolutely all over the place. Knowing that there’s not enough work to go around, the leadership team decided to impose production quotas. This was such a self-own that, despite the initiative ostensibly being put in place to increase output, it led to the company firing or downgrading a number of their best people just because they hadn’t been given enough work during a given month to meet quota or, as is incredibly frequently the case, because the work they’d done had been improperly billed. Animalz has no institutional memory and does not account for historical productivity; it arbitrarily assigned a uniform quota, and anyone who was below it after a couple months was sent to the slaughterhouse, irrespective of specific circumstances (including being on vacation, illness etc.). Again, these quotas are mandated despite: a) a lack of available work b) a lack of training for new CMs, several of whom I mentored and who had horrific experiences here c) imbalanced distribution of duties among the team, so that CM workloads frequently get overwhelming, while non-CMs bear no responsibility whatsoever for deliverables or performance d) the fact that you as a writer are not even going to be paid market rate for your experience or skills, while doing 2.5 jobs, at least This complete waking nightmare for writers is not made any easier by Animalz’s pointlessly over-elaborated editing schema. While individual editors here are good at what they do, the editing norms at Animalz appear to take it as given that all of the company’s writers can’t write, and that all of the readers of the company’s work aren’t bright enough to understand even the most familiar turns of figurative language. Not a good basis for getting the best possible work out of your writing stable. Training and institutional knowledge access are both non-existent. I’d be astonished if the company still exists for all intents and purposes in a year – best case scenario it will have morphed into an AI content farm (a Christmas which a great many of the more turkey-minded staff seem weirdly enthusiastic about). Plenty of other perfectly good writers will have been ground through the mill by then, whatever the outcome.

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    7 people found this review helpful

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