Imagination Publishing Reviews

Updated Aug 19, 2020

To filter reviews, or .
2.9
43%
Recommend to a Friend
53%
Approve of CEO
Imagination Publishing President & CEO James Meyers (no image)
James Meyers
47 Ratings
Pros
  • "Imagination is a great place to get a career going(in 8 reviews)

  • "The work environment is fast-paced and the projects allow you to work with content and strategies across media types(in 7 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great people, great culture, great work!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Imagination Publishing full-time

    Pros

    Talented, energetic people. Focus on high quality journalism and creative design.

    Cons

    No downside to working here.

  2. Helpful (4)

    "Stay Away"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Imagination Publishing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Few, if any. The vending machine is cheap. Red Bull is only 50 cents.

    Cons

    This company is drowning in debt, losing clients at a rapid pace, and firing people every few weeks. Two sets of massive layoffs have occurred recently. The people that actually know what they are doing are leaving voluntarily even in a poor economy. Employees are being elevated to positions for which they are not qualified. Employees that have done a poor job as strategists are convincing upper management they are qualified for other positions and even have been given VP titles. Upper management and the C-Suite is totally silent. No company updates other than emails reporting that employees are being let go, we can’t pay our bills or rent, so prepare for the worst.

    Continue reading

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Throwing anything against the wall to see what sticks"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Imagination Publishing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Smart, energetic coworkers You get a free day here and there when the company does well They give you cake and popcorn for their monthly meetings

    Cons

    Upper management vision is incoherent at best Keep the client happy at all costs -- even at the expense of your sanity Questionable talent in middle management Mediocre benefits and vacation policy Like at all marketing agencies, cult-like devotion to the cause

    Continue reading
  4. Helpful (6)

    "Get in and get out"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Imagination Publishing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Relaxed schedule, not stressful, friendly coworkers

    Cons

    low pay, no opportunity for growth, frustrating review process

  5. Helpful (15)

    "This has easily been my worst job to date"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Imagination Publishing

    Pros

    Lower level to mid management staff are all friendly and trying to keep afloat day to day.

    Cons

    Company has no insight into finance, utilization, client management, or staffing. Clients demand more and more work and poor leadership approves it under the impression that this is client obsession, but this leads to more profit losses, turnover, layoffs and attrition with no replacements - as a result, staffed accounts thin out and clients become increasingly unhappy and leave. This is not client obsession, this is insanity. This job has been a series of gradually increased disappointment, process is broken, employees do not have the tools they need to succeed and when clients leave, leadership does not look inward instead they turn to employees and make uneducated cuts that create massive gaps. It’s a vicious cycle.

    Continue reading
  6. Helpful (4)

    "Lots of young people, inexperienced people"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Imagination Publishing full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Junior to mid-level co-workers were nice, and a lot of them had potential. Cool, contemporary office space. Overall hip, fun vibe. You'll feel at home if you are young, since there are a lot of young people here. Not a bad place to cut your teeth on your first job.

    Cons

    I'll start with some of the things that a lot of other people have mentioned, since they're all true: The management is kind of stuck in an antiquated mentality and are not really in touch with the people working under them. Lots of turnover. Not much career guidance. There are definitely cliques here. I won't go into this stuff, since other reviewers have covered it all in detail already, but again - they're all true. Now, for some insights maybe more particular to my individual experience: The biggest issue with this place is the lack of experience. This is a small-time place doing small-time work, and I came from a big agency, where we did big campaign work for blue-chip clients, and many of my co-workers had years of experience. Here, the management's main M.O. is to hire young talent, because they don't have to pay them much (when I was there the lead developer was like a year out of school. The senior project manager was like 25). Not saying that age itself is everything, but with age comes experience, and a lot of the people here just don't have the experience to do the best work, even if they have the natural talent and could one day get there. Nor do they have the experience (aka gravitas) to effectively lead teams or handle clients. And that's not their fault - it's the managements doing, because they staffed the entire company with people who are 22-27 and then don't give them proper guidance (and that really comes down to the fact that there's no one here with enough experience to provide that). Also, management gives young people inflated titles, so people think they're better or higher up than they actually are. Now, there's nothing wrong with being young, and everyone has to start somewhere, but for me, I came in already having worked for over half a dozen years, so to come in and have all my co-workers be super green made for a challenging work environment. I'll say this - if someone who came up at this place and who had been promoted at the age of 26 to a position with the word "director" or "senior" or "lead" in it went to one of the big-league places, they'd really be out of their depth. And while I was here, I often saw 26-year-old account directors get trampled by clients who had a decade or even two of experience more than them, and I also often saw 26-year-old content directors or senior project managers unable to lead teams.

    Continue reading
  7. Helpful (15)

    "Comically terrible place to work"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Imagination Publishing full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    There are some amazing and highly talented people on the staff here.

    Cons

    Worst corporate culture I have ever experienced. It's like high school or Mean Girls or both. No one addresses problems head on, people gossip behind each others' backs... and the gossip makes it back to upper management. It would be one thing if it was just office gossip... but these whisperings affect raises/promotions/career trajectory and more. Senior staff pit co-workers against each other. New business is more important than existing client relationships. Clients are always more important than staff. IP has *many* talented people on staff, success here has nothing to do with talent. Success depends on shmoozing with the right people, and sucking up to the CEO. An example? Your first year, you are "strongly encouraged" to write a thank you note to the CEO at Christmas for the privilege of working there. Oh, and if you think "I was popular in High School, I can figure out how to make this culture work for me" ... a word of warning. IP is famous for falling in love with an employee, talking up how amazing they are, giving them public accolades, and then firing them within six months.

    Continue reading
  8. Helpful (8)

    "Great People - Lacking Strategy"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Imagination Publishing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people at Imagination are fantastic. I can honestly say I have made great lifetime friends while I worked there. There is a great energy and camaraderie that is very hard to find in a workplace. Most people are super creative, have great ideas, and they are open to change.

    Cons

    Leadership at the very top is stuck in old times. Ideas based on data are slow to evolve and often the clients have goals tied to no monetary value. As a content marketing firm they just want impressions and views and work gets stuck. Pay is often lower than similar roles at similar companies. The younger employees complain about the pay and you only get a little PTO. If you are performing poorly, not slacking but have areas of improvement, there isn't really any support or communication.

    Continue reading
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Underwhelming"

    2.0
     
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Imagination Publishing

    Pros

    Decent benefits, fairly reasonable pay.

    Cons

    Feedback isn’t provided but is used to deny advancement and promotions. Terminations without PIPs or opportunity for improvement.

    Continue reading
  10. Helpful (10)

    "I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Imagination Publishing full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I can't think of any pros.

    Cons

    There's a serious culture of fear at Imagination. Middle and upper management members bully employees. Condescending behavior from "leaders" and a work culture that is truly toxic. Absolutely no knowledge on digital, and no one seems to care. This agency is stuck in the past with magazines and other print items that no one reads in 2019. No authentic client/agency relationships, so if you think you'll be able to email, call or even talk to your clients without running it past others for "approval" first, you're mistaken. Accounts team is absurdly put on a pedestal and have the last say on all important aspects of the business. Imagination plays favorites–big time. Every step you take is being watched and/or gossiped about. I remember wondering if they had cameras/mics inside the conference rooms. I saw first-hand what this unhealthy office culture did to employees: severe anxiety, stress and even tears from at least a handful of people (including Managers and Directors) during my time there, which was not long. Turnover is extremely high as people use this place as a (very unhealthy) stepping stone and quickly move on once they see what's going on internally. I know Glassdoor reviews usually serve as a "quick check" before accepting a job offer and hope this review will help others stay away from this mediocre agency– it's not worth it. Best thing I ever did in my 10+ yr career was give my two weeks notice at Imagination.

    Continue reading
Found 72 reviews