Participant Media Reviews | Glassdoor

Participant Media Reviews

Updated September 13, 2018
37 reviews

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2.7
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David Linde
4 Ratings

37 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Most employees deeply care about creating social change through campaigns" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Very good benefits, nice physical office, and a few remaining dedicated employees" (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • "Poor branding, no one knows of Participant" (in 4 reviews)

  • "Not enough alignment across departments" (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  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. "Good Place to start with your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Participant Media part-time

    Pros

    - You will get to learn a lot about your field.

    Cons

    - You will a career wall easily.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Participant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Participant Media full-time

    Pros

    It's a beautiful building and they do a good job of hiring an eclectic group of people throughout departments– there's decent diversity. The benefits are pretty good and they make an effort to practice what they preach in terms of sustainability and philanthropy.

    Cons

    They do not promote women, for the most part. You're made to feel that the company wants you to make your career there, but they don't promote from within. TakePart in particular offered raises to male writers and not to their female employees. This isn't just a "lean in" issue. On at least four occasions I experienced and saw women passed over for jobs they were more than qualified for and men from outside the company were offered the positions instead.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Coordinator"

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

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

    Pros

    This company definitely attracts quality people. So many join the company with the goal to effect social change and do great work that will have a measurable social impact. I’ve been able to work alongside some very bright, smart and talented people who have great ideas and have been a pleasure to work with. As a company they have good intentions. The mission is ambitious and lofty and people like myself chose to work with them because we wanted to help with making the mission a reality.

    Cons

    Although the company has a great mission, the willingness to do the work to make it a reality is nonexistent. It’s really a façade. They do just enough to get by and not publicly get called out for it. The executive team pays a lot of lip service to transparency, making a social impact and being a “family.” However, the business decisions they make are not in alignment with these goals. In fact, many of their actions undermine employee’s ability to do work towards carrying out the mission.

    During my time with the company they have never presented an overall plan that allows people to see how what they do can serve the mission. And unfortunately, the organizational culture supports this murky way of approaching business without a clearly defined, well thought out plan.

    So, even if you’re a hard worker with great ideas and the best of intentions, you have a hard time moving ahead. The organization is built for you to contribute just enough to keep things going, but not enough to where you can have opportunities for professional development and growth.

    Advice to Management

    I suggest that the executive team get clear on what they want to accomplish and what they’re willing to do to get it. The culture of any organization starts at the top and sets the tone for everything else. Have a plan and communicate it to all the departments. If you honestly don’t know how to carry out the mission of the company, then ask for the input of all of your talented, smart and bright employees who want to contribute before you lose them.


  5. "Sales"

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

    I have been working at Participant Media full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company focused on storytelling with social impact

    Cons

    Lack of commitment to business lines helping to create social impact work


  6. Helpful (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.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "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.

  8. "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.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "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


  10. Helpful (1)

    "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.


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