Participant Media Reviews | Glassdoor

Participant Media Reviews

Updated August 15, 2017
34 reviews

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2.5
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David Linde
3 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Positive Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    The HR team at Participant did an excellent job of communicating with employees and encouraging a collaborative environment and positive company culture.

    Cons

    Some former executive management leaders were a bit closed-minded to the evolving media landscape which resulted in a trickle down of limited capabilities in the marketplace.


  2. "Best Intentions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Beverly Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Director in Beverly Hills, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    At its core, Participant has a valiant, although muddled mission. Very good benefits, nice physical office, and a few remaining dedicated employees.

    Cons

    This place is rough. The CEO and senior management regularly demean more junior employees both behind their back and in front of their peers. No one is quite sure what they are doing or why they are doing it and the execution of the valiant mission is as confused as ever. The people who help develop and finance the films are terrific and very talented, but they are surrounded by consistent power grabs and navel gazing at the highest level. At the heart of the matter is the fact that Participant 'wants' to be a mini Hollywood studio so it tries to give that impression to the outside world (huge marketing team, a social impact division, etc.) but at its heart it remains a small film finance company.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with yourselves and treat your employees, regardless of their level, with decency and respect.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Looks better on paper"

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

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

    Pros

    -Great benefits
    -Amazing and smart employees
    -Produces good quality, award-winning content
    -Modern building with various fully stocked kitchens
    -Most employees deeply care about creating social change through campaigns
    -Most people get promoted within a year

    Cons

    -The majority of employees take on their position excited about working for an entertainment company that cares about creating social good in the world and usually leave after learning that it's all a facade
    -No diversity
    -Lack of transparency/communication on vision of the company often leaving staff in the dark about long-term goals
    -Poor branding, no one knows of Participant
    -Poor or no processes causing confusion
    -Turnover is very high, most staff leave after 1 to 2 years of working at the company

    Advice to Management

    -Learn to be more transparent with ALL staff
    -Don't call yourself an entertainment company "dedicated to entertainment that inspires and compels social change" when the company is always so careful about being bipartisan. In order to create social change you can't be bipartisan on every issue. That's why Deepwater was a flop.
    -Find better distributors for your documentaries. Preferably digital ones. (Hulu, Netflix, AmazonPrime, etc.) If not, the same old, white, elite will be the only ones watching your films. It's a disservice to the amazing films.


  4. "Participant cares about its people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Participant Media full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, work life balance, meaningful work.

    Cons

    Ultimately a media company, and Hollywood execs can misunderstand technology.

    Advice to Management

    Give us autonomy to build great things.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Good idea for a company, bad execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good employee benefits as others noted, but that is about it. They provide Apple laptops and nice tech for work use.

    Cons

    Doesn't "walk the walk" of social good double bottom line, which is demoralizing. Hierarchy is very prominent and bottom level employees are treated as such. Lack of transparency creates a negative and hostile environment.

    Advice to Management

    More transparency would probably increase morale


  6. "Flashy but not for the ambitious"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    • Fire benefits plan (health, dental, vision, family) and benefits admin is a savant.
    • 6% 401k match.
    • Free Wednesday lunch and monthly Thursday party.
    • Lots of snacks.
    • Free parking in protected garage.
    • Nearby gym
    • in office workout classes
    • Low stress and low demands.
    • PM is a flashy resume name that was gold when interviewing with other companies.

    Cons

    • HR department is dishonest and astoundingly inept.
    • Extremely top heavy. 1 in 3 is a VP.
    • Performance is judged on your intention and relationships; NEVER execution, results, or data.
    • Stated goals take a backseat to press release material.
    • Less of a maker, more funding arm that attaches their name which severely limiting the hands on experience for most.
    • reactive company

    I had an outstanding 580 (review) and was eligible for a promotion but "too young to make that much money" which was still below the industry average salary.

    Advice to Management

    Big talk small walk company. The dishonestly of the HR department hurts the credibility of the executives. Lose the numerous VP's/upper level managers hiring their friends and coasting. Stop giving employees who you want to quit or plan to layoff raises and title bumps because it sends a bad message to the ones who are working 12 hour days who you ask to stay.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "A Lesson is Bad HR"

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

    Pros

    There aren't many. The benefits are okay, but nothing groundbreaking.

    Cons

    From a company that allegedly does so much to make the world a better place to live in they need to put their money where their mouth is. How can you make content talking about how bad the pay is for millennials but do the same to your own hires? The hypocrisy is truly awful. How can you call for more transparency in government and corporations yet you lie to your employees, to their faces, about the status of the company and give two days notice on lay-offs? It's not that it's unheard of, but it shows that you're full of it. You're not better than any other company and frankly you need to come clean. You recruit great talent just to not listen to their ideas. Never been somewhere so tone def in my entire life. A complete failed experiment in social change.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Beverly Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Beverly Hills, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    ‌• Benefits are ridiculously great (Health Care, 401K, Paid Vacation, Weekly Lunch, Unlimited Coffee/Cliff Bars/Chobani Yogurt, etc.)
    ‌• People here are generally nice and understanding.
    ‌• Employees spoiled with technology & gadgets.
    • The founder is Jeff Skoll

    Cons

    ‌• Low morale among majority of employees due to boredom and/or stress from work.
    • High turnover
    • Management seems out of touch with employees and their feedback. Feels like the company doesn't really know its identity as a brand.
    • Lack of mentorship from managers.
    • Turning more and more corporate by the day.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. Amazing benefits can only get you so far when morale is low. Stop delegating everything to 'lower-level' employees and work with them instead.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Wasted Talent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some very caring, talented people work here. The benefits are great: fully paid health insurance, great 401K match, adequate holiday schedule. Lunch on Wednesdays and special occasions (like winning an Oscar). The company has a great mission to affect social change.

    Cons

    The management is constantly communicating that they know they have a problem with communication between departments (factions?) but they do nothing differently after they acknoweldge the problem. The company is extremely top heavy with people concerned about their careers with difficulty seeing big picture solutions or planning for the future. It is difficult to take he mission of social change/justice seriously when they pay their staff so little and they deny benefits to many by keeping them in contract status/limbo to save the company money.

    Advice to Management

    Cultivate talent (provide opportunity for advancement), pay them what they are worth, hire people instead of stringing them along, learn the value of all (the many) departments and restructure if there is no value in the departments that are not being supported.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Executive Assistant"

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

    Pros

    Work perks, increbilbe health benefits including medical, dental and vision with little to no copays, 401k program with full match of six percent

    Cons

    No upward mobility, getting a headcount was not easy, management was overbearing and it was hard to accomplish things. Management has since changed so it is possible that the scenario is different now. Pay is basically impossible to live on at that level but great benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Put the highly talented admins you have on a development track so you don't lose young talent. It would help with turnover.


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