LaunchSquad Reviews | Glassdoor

LaunchSquad Reviews

Updated June 6, 2017
27 reviews

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Jason Throckmorton
15 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Awesome clients, hard work, special place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Account Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    LaunchSquad is a very special company in the weird, wild universe of tech PR (mostly tech - a good mix of other clients too). It’s hard work, it’s amazing training, and it can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster, for better or for worse. But I think overall if you’re up for the challenge you can do truly awesome stuff, with a really special community of people.

    Big standouts for me were clients and people. I worked with so many crazy cool companies - self driving cars, VR, a space telescope...you name it. They’re extremely selective about clients, which is a luxury for an agency that a. lets you learn a ton about different industries, b. makes you care about your work and c. makes pitching fun and rewarding.

    The people are almost all super kind and creative and smart. You work hard and learn a ton from your coworkers. They have a no jerks policy and it shows. People truly care about you, and LS supports their employees and culture big time. Tons of team-building and employee appreciation stuff. Great perks. It’s young and fun and you’re in it together.

    Your ideas and work matter, even at the entry level. Often you're working directly with insanely smart CEOs and helping them shape strategy and branding. LS will totally empower you if you want to try something different - organize an event, pitch a new client, implement a new idea, etc.

    They have a great handle on how PR has evolved past traditional media. Social, content, video, analytics, etc. - all that stuff really shines at LS, and they're very focused on staying ahead of the curve and being innovative. Tons of opportunities to specialize and learn new stuff.

    It’s a socially conscious company that cares about working with good humans and important ideas, and making a positive difference in the world. They put their money where their mouth is on that.

    Cons

    Reading other reviews… it’s definitely not for everyone. For millennials used to constant feedback and structure (me!), yeah, you gotta speak up, request feedback, and you can feel a bit lost with multiple managers and clients. The flip side of that is if you DO speak up, ask for feedback, request types of work or clients, they’ll take it seriously and work to make it happen. And proactive self starters thrive, especially at the upper levels. But if you need detailed feedback on every project, frequent performance reviews, and a straight and narrow career path, it's probably not the place for you.

    On diversity and bro-yness. This is a major problem throughout the whole tech + PR industries (not an excuse), but my perception is that LS has woken up and are committed to this. All the company founders are men, but almost all of the next level of leadership (VPs and SVPs) are strong women leaders. There are many awesome voices for feminism and diversity, and I think leadership is looking to evolve and wants ideas - so in that sense it could be an opportunity if it's something you care about and want to work on. Aways more to do here.

    The pay starts low-ish compared to big tech companies. Although I worked for one of those companies before and took a pay cut to come to LS and it was worth it. PR is hard and can be stressful, but you get to do real stuff and not be a cog in a huge bureaucracy. If you work hard promotions and raises come quickly.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Uncomfortable Management Issues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at LaunchSquad full-time

    Pros

    - Fun clients so you get to learn a lot.
    - Great place to cut your teeth so that you can move on to bigger and better things.
    - Lunch on Mondays are a nice perk.
    - Flexible start times but expected to work late.

    Cons

    - the culture is very clique-ish and if you're not in with the "popular" crowd, then you'll get lost in the shuffle. And just like in high school, the popular crowd is bro-like guys and females they flirt with.

    - Inappropriate comments start at the top, at least from one CEO in particular. I witness multiple inappropriate comments and had at least one directed at me.

    - hours are long and managers take credit for the hard work and successful pitches AAs and AEs bring in.

    - The only performance feedback you get is during your exit interview.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to those who work their butts off and do great work, even if they aren't your best friends.

    As a PR company, you should be aware of your reputation. Avoid inappropriate conversation and comments in the workplace.

    Give regular and ongoing performance feedback to your team.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Fun, challenging work - structure needs improvement"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at LaunchSquad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -LaunchSquad has some of the coolest clients in the world -- amazing tech companies that are fun to work for.
    -Good benefits and perks - lots of time off and fully covered medical, dental, vision
    -Fun activities and group outings
    -Really good way to learn the basics of PR from some really talented PR people
    -The people are great. There's a diversity problem - it seems most people come from relatively high income backgrounds, but most people are really nice and friendly.

    Cons

    -Really long hours and demanding, taxing work. Often need to be really available during off-hours
    -In the New York office, there seemed to be a sexism problem. Male employees got away with a lot more than women did - often male AAs were held to a much lower standard than the women
    -There's a standard of perfection, and if you don't meet those criteria from the moment you set foot in the door, you won't last long
    If you don't drink the Kool-Aid you won't get respect from the senior leadership. There's a really big rah-rah attitude and the positivity can be draining


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Better than the average place, but still significant downsides"

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

    I worked at LaunchSquad full-time

    Pros

    -GREAT experience. You jump right into meaningful work right away, and get to try your hand at a variety of responsibilities and industries. This is a big investment towards your future marketability as a job seeker.
    -Work itself is pretty fun and exciting, if you like comms, PR, writing, etc.
    -Crazy smart coworkers. Some are truly phenomenal to work with and learn from.
    -Quick advancement — raises every 6 months, promotions every year
    -Exciting and diverse clients, from B2B SaaS to apparel and more
    -Good work parties
    -Big emphasis on professional development
    -Decent benefits + PTO
    -Amazing maternity benefits. Moms could take pretty much any time off that they needed after having a kid, and were allowed to regularly work from home once a week.

    Cons

    -Cliquey af. Everyone's pretty friendly on the surface, but if you don't fit in with the in-crowd you will be very aware of it.
    -Workload can be pretty insane. They talk about work-life balance and encourage you to talk to your manager if you're too busy, but with the volume of work you're expected to do (managing 4 clients on average), you just can't get it done in a 40-hour week. It was not uncommon to see people staying past 6:30, 7, 7:30.
    -Pay is not great. Entry level employees make about $39k which is really tough to make it on in the Bay Area (although the frequent raises help some)
    -No direct managers looking out for you or providing you with regular performance reviews
    -Most of the partners play favorites and are fairly bro-ish. When talking to certain people, they looked like they were just waiting for the conversation to end.
    -High turnover and clients are hit or miss, but such is agency life.

    Advice to Management

    -Consider reducing to 3 accounts per person — may initially be more difficult to balance, but quality of work WILL improve.
    -Partners, make your favoritism less obvious.
    -Increase base pay.
    -Focus on creating a more inclusive atmosphere for everyone, not just attractive young white women.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing place to learn, grow and forge your own path"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LaunchSquad full-time

    Pros

    LaunchSquad maintains an environment that allows people to take risks. If you want to try something new or have an idea you think would lend itself well to the company, you will likely have full support. People are whip smart, come from diverse professional backgrounds and care immensely about the work they do here. A fun, challenging and collaborative environment.

    Cons

    Can be challenging to receive performance feedback as the company does not have formal annual performance reviews. Have to be your own advocate to receive insight.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to start after college, with smart people from different backgrounds"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends

    Pros

    Always doing new things, always learning, opportunities to grow

    Cons

    Some busy work (but necessary to reach larger goals)


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Senior Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The partners genuinely care about employees not just on a professional level but personally as well. Senior management invests in the happiness and development of employees and everyone from interns upward has an opportunity to have a voice, take on a lot of responsibility out of the gate and build very non-hierarchical relationship with managers.

    If you're lucky you'll get to work on really cool projects for super interesting clients, although that isn't the case across the board.

    HR does a really good job of creating a lot of fun activities to make sure everyone is bonding and having a good time. Lots of perks like wine/cheese tastings in the office, fun off sites and a holiday week to end all holiday weeks.

    Everyone is made to feel valued by the company and you can generally trust that they have your interests at heart and are not taking you for granted.

    Cons

    The culture can be a bit cult-y so you need to buy into the hype to enjoy it. Your experience really depends on what clients you're on and who your managers are. While everyone is generally really nice and caring there are different management styles and you have to be willing to adapt to different expectations/approaches.

    Not all clients are going to be fun to work with and you will inevitably get stuck working on a couple of accounts that you have no interest in, but if you put in your time and have a good relationship with the partners you can have a decent amount of say in what type of clients you'll focus on.

    At the senior level, things get more stressful and I've seen some very unhealthy relationships between the partners and account managers. Sometimes promises are made to the client to keep them happy which puts internal teams under a lot of pressure and sometimes undermines bigger goals.

    You can have a work life balance but you might be made to feel guilty about it. There is a bit of an "always available" mentality so you have to check email evenings and weekends and respond in a timely manner if anything comes up.

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job of giving performance reviews as needed and in a genuine way rather than having people fill out forms that never get looked at again. Make sure people understand what their hard work is leading up to.

    Do a better job of making sure partners and VPs/account managers are on the same side, not battling against each other.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great company, awesome team, lots of growth opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at LaunchSquad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people here are truly impressive (great combo of smart, highly self-motivated, collaborative, well-rounded, creative, thoughtful and humble) and the client work is diverse, innovative and stand-out among competitors and it drives real value for these early-stage companies. The leadership team is experienced, empathetic and they genuinely care about employees, committing time and resources to help people build new skills and help grow those skills over time. The day-to-day client work is impactful and meaningful. There's a strong company culture focus on autonomy coupled with teamwork.

    Cons

    It's a growing company and an evolving business so there's a rapid pace to go along with that. To succeed here, you must be nimble, adaptable, and passionate about the work, otherwise you'll fall behind quickly.

    Advice to Management

    We know you're expanding on the existing professional development programs and developing new ways to meet individual needs, so I'd just suggest being more vocal about the areas you're currently working on so people don't get antsy and wonder "what's next for me".

    There's a flat operating structure here which means employees get to work alongside senior leaders on accounts, and there's also a big emphasis on transparent communication up and down the organization. These things are difficult for most companies to maintain as they grow, so please keep this up long term since they're both highly valued aspects of the LaunchSquad experience for employees.


  9. "Great place to learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LaunchSquad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    great people
    great office
    sometimes great clients
    lots of hands on learning opportunities

    Cons

    pay is mediocre
    partners play favorites too much

    Advice to Management

    the "rah rah" mandate is just too much sometimes.


  10. "Great Place to Grow. Great Culture."

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

    Pros

    This is a really special place to work. It's a very creative group, and the hiring team does a great job of bringing on the best folks from a diverse range of backgrounds. They have high standards. I always felt like my strengths as an employee were respected and I was able to own projects I cared about. My team members were off-the-charts creative and supportive, and I grew quickly while I was there. The management team really cares about the people—they talk a lot about LaunchSquad being like a family, and it's not just talk. They make a point to publicly acknowledge good work ,and they're unbelievably supportive during big life events (good or bad). It's a great work culture—young, smart, techy and silly. I miss the Slack channels.

    Cons

    This isn't exactly a con, but something to keep in mind: You definitely need to be a proactive person to do well at LaunchSquad. I could see how it would be difficult for someone who craves a lot of structure or constant oversight to really thrive there. People who want the freedom to manage their own work life and grow rapidly by challenging and stretching themselves will love it there.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, and continue investing in employees' growth.


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