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Patch Reviews

Updated December 14, 2017
186 reviews

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2.9
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Warren St. John
9 Ratings

186 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Freedom to work from home and out in the field (in 33 reviews)

  • Great people and funding to try and make the company a success (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance was hard to maintain (in 14 reviews)

  • Aol and upper management wer never able to crack the profitability model for all individual patches (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good place to work, but they're still figuring some stuff out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Patch full-time

    Pros

    Friendly people, always got my paycheck in on time.

    Cons

    My department was new, so none.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great idea, awful execution"

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

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

    Pros

    Working from home, while it had its downsides, really was excellent. Initially it also provided reporters the opportunity to really get to know their coverage areas. That all changed after the first couple of years, though.
    There was also great flexibility - at first - as to how we chose to cover our areas. That, too, changed after the first couple of years.
    Working at Patch also had the potential to help reporters grow their networks, both within the company and throughout the areas they covered.
    There were, to be fair, some amazing reporters and editors scattered throughout the Patch network. It was a joy to get to work with some of them.

    Cons

    Where to begin? Across the board, reporters and editors dealt with high school-esque, clique-ish behavior. With little to no oversight, that behavior had the potential to, and did at times, could become untenable.
    After the first couple of years, we began the steady move away from journalism to curated clickbait. We were told to hire "writers" from the community, many who had little-to-no journalism experience, but we couldn't afford professional freelancers, anyway.
    We were easily working 12-15 hour days regularly. If those hours had really been dedicated to journalism, I might still complain.. but I would see the value. Instead they were dedicated to creating identical, banal, vapid pieces of content dictated from HQ with no regard for the needs of our individual, local markets.
    We had no copy editors, and kids just out of college, who didn't know the difference between "its" and "it's," were editing final copy. It was a disaster, embarrassing, and worst of all, for those of us who considered ourselves journalists, we really did not have opportunity to learn or grow as professionals.

    Advice to Management

    This was a great idea that was scaled entirely too quickly. I don't know where the company stands now, but the only way to salvage it, in my opinion, would be to scrap 75 percent of the sites and work on returning to a community newspaper model, focusing on news. If no one can figure out how to monetize that, then I really don't see this as being a place for anyone interested in a journalism career.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Communication needs to be improved"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pleasant atmosphere, nice people, serious journalists. Flexible schedule and nice events and occasional free food.

    Cons

    Management disconnect with New York national desk being run from Chicago. Patch preaches coaching employees and giving them the opportunity to thrive, but some are let go suddenly with no explanation.

    No performance reviews. Anonymous 360 reviews breed paranoia.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out whether Chicago or New York is running the edit team, and once you have, let the team know. More transparency. Editor in chief is off site, and when he does visit, he is not communicative. Clean up the favoritism and cult-like focus on "Patchy" people and instead reward good work.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Sloppily managed company with poor communication skills"

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

    I worked at Patch full-time

    Pros

    The two stars are coming from the fact that this job is really flexible, which is great. It's nice to be able to work from home/be able to travel and work. I also really love the idea of hyperlocal reporting, but Patch often doesn't execute it well. The benefits were great. The writing is easy, but that's not much of a pro since it's mostly clickbait and didn't challenge me at all as a journalist (I didn't feel at all like a journalist when I was working here).

    Cons

    I have never worked somewhere with worse communication. You'd think the company would overcompensate with great comm. since everyone is working so far away from one another, but they just...don't. The most communication I'd get is a weekly call (sometimes) from my manager telling me what I did wrong that week. I'm all for constructive criticism, and take it seriously, but when you're NEVER told what's going right, or lauded for any kind of small achievement, you lose confidence that you're doing any kind of a good job. There needs to be a balance. I was routinely told that my stories weren't getting enough clicks—this is what the company is all about. Patch didn't care about quality, so long as you were churning stuff out like Buzzfeed. They made no attempt, although they claimed they did, to help me work on whatever it was that I was doing so wrong. Management is also very top-heavy for no reason. I'm really glad I was let go, because the job was a stressful, anxious half year for me.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate and find a balance between constructive criticism and what a writer is doing right.


  5. "Jr. Account Manager - Hale Patch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The culture is great, its a relaxed environment, and the people are very passionate. You learn useful skills like DFP, SalesForce, customer service for large and small scale companies, and the basics of advertising best practices. You work for and meet some of the most experienced people from a variety of industries which isn't always the case at larger or more structured companies.

    I could never work for a company wherein I don't believe in the CEO. Warren St. John is the most kind hearted and sincere leader I've ever had the pleasure of working for. He knows whats going on with everyone from the executive team all the way down to the interns. In addition, I've never met someone more excited about what they do for a living.

    The Hale Patch is nothing like what I've read about the AOL days. Charlie Hale takes a personal interest in his employees and is an exemplary business man. Every morning he comes into the office with a giant smile on his face, laughing, and lightening the mood. Throughout my time at Patch, I've seen people get hired and fired. I cannot say that anyone who was let go was unjustified, but I can say with full confidence that everyone who is hired is received enthusiastically.

    Cons

    The company is top heavy. I am one of two individuals in the Jr. AM role, yet I have to report to 3 managers directly. Ive brought that up many times and was told to think of it in a different light. Normally, there is one manager and a team of support roles. I have a team of managers and 1 coworker in my same role.

    TOO MANY MEETINGS. I cannot stress this enough as a gigantic time waster. I've attended meetings about having meetings, I've had duplicate meetings (literally two days in a row we had to regroup to discuss the same topics), I've had to attend meetings where we sit there and read a document which could have simply been distributed. I have weekly meetings with 1 manager, monthly meetings with another manager, and weekly meetings with all 3 managers.

    Advice to Management

    Cut back on the micromanagement and make a clear path to career progression. In addition, for the Jr. AM role specifically, you need to come up with a more concrete incentive rather than the nonsense I was fed. I asked about all the added responsibilities and if we would ever receive commission and was basically told my incentive should be the intrinsic value of doing my job and getting people to renew. FYI if you train us under the umbrella of sales...we are in it for the money.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Writer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Writer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Writer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free food; ability to work (like a horse) at home.

    Cons

    The constant turnover and as another put it "so many new faces in the offices" is indicative. The pay is awful and is not a living wage. Very high turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people like people.... And have some respect!


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Unclear Career Progression and Divisive Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Reporter in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Reporter in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Patch full-time

    Pros

    Casual atmosphere, lots of natural lighting generated from the numerous, large windows lining the walls.

    Cons

    Demonstrated nepotism despite, for instance, an employee exhibiting similar occupational flaws to another employee and without consideration for uneven playing field (i.e. one writer's workload or "beat" is more disadvantaged than another).

    Management will throw reporters under the bus to save their own skin.

    Lack of constructive communication. Thanklessness from management. No guidance.

    Ample overtime committed and workload increase without salary to substantiate (i.e. management will assign more work than a position contractually demands, without negotiation). This results in often-seen, severely diminished work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Realistic expectations and treating writers as humans, not workhorses.

  8. "An all new Patch"

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

    I have been working at Patch full-time

    Pros

    A fun environment and exciting company built out of the ashes of AOL. Patch is now growing fast (we just hit 28M uniques) and hiring like crazy.

    Cons

    With all the new faces in the office... trying to make sure we all work as nimble as we have been. I think we have done ok so far!

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing the boundaries. There is so much more for Patch to grow.


  9. "Great work from home opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Patch full-time

    Pros

    Had the freedom to work from home.

    Cons

    Work life balance was hard to maintain

    Advice to Management

    Since being sold, it's no longer hyper-local. Should maintain that status to be successful in communities.


  10. "The AOL version of Patch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Patch full-time

    Pros

    Great people and funding to try and make the company a success

    Cons

    Didn't have adequate business to make needed revenue

    Advice to Management

    It was sold and drastically streamlined which is likely what it needed.


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