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Public Interest Communications Reviews

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14 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Depends on who you are"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Caller in Chesapeake, VA
    Former Employee - Caller in Chesapeake, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Public Interest Communications (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pay/commission can be decent if you have the talent. Free coffee is available, as are vending machines, and there is a refrigerator/freezer and microwave available if you bring your own food. You get to call people all across the country for a variety of different causes.

    Cons

    You either have the talent, or you don't. Sales aren't for everyone, and if you don't have the social savvy, the voice (e.g. hearing a teenage boy on the other end can elicit a different mood than a sweet old lady), or the assertiveness/persistence to extract donations, you won't get very high numbers. You're also at the mercy of the time of year. If you join when donations are slow, there are fewer opportunities to get the numbers necessary to become a full caller.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have much to say. It wasn't management's fault I wasn't cut out for that type of work. They actually gave me extended time to get the numbers. I suppose they could make the commission structure more attractive by adopting pay + commission instead of pay or commission. They have a competitor that does this, but I forget the name.


  2. "It's all a lie.."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Call Center Representative in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Call Center Representative in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Public Interest Communications part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You're allowed to play with your cell phone at the desk... Yes, even while handling people's private info like credit card info..which honestly I'm pretty sure is illegal..

    Cons

    They mess up your paycheck
    They feed high performance calls to their friends
    Most of the supervisors are incompitent
    They have like 7 supervisors to manage no more than 50 people
    They feed u good calls with a reasonably paced dialer when your new and then after you've been there a while they race calls, put you on projects that are impossible to make any money in and then reprimand you even though they intentionally put you on overcalled lists.
    On slow days you get sent home early
    If you call off, you have to make the day up
    They tell you you're working with non profits but fail to mention the soulless political calls they force you to make

    Advice to Management

    Stop playing basketball in the middle of the office and actually run the place. Stop promoting awful employees to supervisor positions.


  3. "Fantastic place to work. Great part time opportunity."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Caller in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Caller in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Public Interest Communications part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great non-profit clients. Supportive management. Great coworkers. Free coffee, comfortable place to learn and grow. The division directors are friendly and welcoming. The sup staff is supportive and helpful.

    Cons

    I wish they offered better shifts for full time workers. It is tough, with the shift structure, to work 40hours per week.

    Advice to Management

    Change the AM shift so it is easier to work a 40hour week.


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  5. "Telefundraising"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Caller in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Advanced Caller in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Public Interest Communications part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great co-workers. Raising funds for great organizations. Flexible schedule. Convenient location. Frequently interesting telephone conversations with people around the country. A pretty typical telefundraising call center.

    Cons

    People you're calling are frequently rude, angry and disrespectful. Automatic dialing system is old and doesn't work well. Bonus and commission structure is complex, difficult to understand and more difficult to reach than promised. Senior management is inconsistent in its treatment of employees. Unfair labor practices. High turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Low level supervisors do the best they can with limited tools, training or mentoring leadership. Senior leadership seem burnt out, disinterested in putting in the hard work necessary to maximize profitability in a declining industry. Needs to become more consistent and transparent dealing with staff. Some advancement opportunities are appropriately posted. Others are not. Incompetent people are promoted to key positions without interviews, if they have a personal relationship with senior management. This is a workplace lawsuit timebomb.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Nothing "liberal" about them.."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Falls Church, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Falls Church, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Public Interest Communications full-time

    Pros

    Easy job, thats about it. For a student or someone looking for part time work I say it is okay, outside of that find something else.

    Cons

    Incompetent managers. Lousy pay. No paid time off. No direct deposit. Nobody to talk to if you have problems there regarding anything.

    Advice to Management

    Understand that you get what you pay for. Start being more "Liberal" like you claim to be. Understand why people work.


  7. "Great place to work as a student"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible hours - great to work as a student

    Cons

    It can be tough to call and ask for contributions


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Lack of Respect for Callers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Public Interest Communications part-time

    Pros

    The hours are flexible and are good for students. Coworkers are probably the biggest pro. The people (not management) you work with are amazing. You can make life-long friends with the people you call beside.

    Cons

    This job isnt a hard job, the hard part is leaving your diginity at the door. In this company if you arent actively brown nosing you are expendable. The way the promotions are done is all by who is friends with who, it has nothing to do with the work they produce. They actually promote BAD CALLERS to become supervisors so they dont have to fire someone they "like". It is beyond an unproffessional environment. They currently have certain people mentoring new callers that have only been working in this job for less than 4 months. They are not doing the job properly and new callers are coming out with more questions. This is horrible for morale and a lot of long time employees are taking notice. The con in this company is the management and supervisors. They need to leave their friends at the door and do their jobs professionally. But i guess if you buddy up with a particular supervisor you probably will be getting more mentor bonuses and heck maybe even a promotion after 4 months.

    Advice to Management

    Treat callers with respect because in the end they are the ones doing the hard job. Treat employees fairly across the board.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Supervisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Public Interest Communications full-time

    Pros

    There really aren't any pros to being a supervisor at PIC, besides not having to be on the phone. The callers don't have it so bad, but are treated as if they don't matter and are all replaceable.

    Cons

    It is a sad fact that superior job title, "brown nosing" and backstabbing are held in higher regard at PIC above hard/quality work and intellect. Preferential treatment of supervisors who never question the directors, or stand up for themselves when attacked on a personal level is the way in which the company functions. I have never worked at business where I have been given directives that have obvious flaws and could be approached in a lot more of an effective way, that when another approach would be suggested or the initial approach questioned it would never be taken into consideration, so I and any other supervisor that would do so would then be singled out for daring to think independently and try to help on behalf of the greater good/big picture. The upper management does not take personal responsibility when things go wrong, even when it was pointed out that what was happening was going to produce poor results and probably displease the client and the folks at the top of the company. I have never worked for people that would just place blame upon those beneath them because they could and then when discussing the issues would contradicted themselves so blatantly; always denying that a better suggestion was ever made and it is all the supervisors fault. I'm sorry but it is disgraceful that the supervisors get no credit and take all of the blame. I have never worked for people that were that out of touch with the industry they work in, and that willing to lie to save face to their superiors and place the blame on others. There are a couple of supervisors who would play right along and invariably agree with the directors and would even apologize for situations that they were not responsible for and were actually instructed to do. I'm sorry but the low pay at this company is not worth my self respect and dignity. If you would like to be demoralized and blamed for the short comings and incompetence of the two directors then this is the place for you! Also, I believe that if their clients knew how the employees are treated and how carelessly their donors are handled they would be appalled.

    Advice to Management

    Take a step back and truly realize how badly that you treat people and stop diluting yourselves that there is only way to do things and any suggestion to approach things otherwise are not affronts to your authority. The way in which the directors run the company needs to change, and the President and Vice-President should be aware that facebook is more important to certain individuals than doing quality work and paying attention to what is going on in terms of results and employee behavior while working for good charities.


  10. "rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Public Interest Communications part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Calling on behalf of major national and international non-profits (i.e., Human, animal and environmental rights), political campaigns and world renowned broadcast companies and publications. Co-workers take their jobs seriously and professionally. Long term employee base.

    Cons

    A lot of first time floor Supervisors who as most first time managers, can get pretty controlling and demanding. Just ask to be placed under a different super.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doin' what you're doin'!


  11. "Good place to work and build job skills for the short term"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Public Interest Communications part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    We do fundraising calls for various non-profit organizations, so if nothing else, I usually leave work feeling good about what I've done for the day. Supervisors are generally pretty friendly, although they all get a little harsh when under pressure (from management or just general busy-ness). The female sups are usually better at keeping this frustration under wraps. The woman who does the trainings is wonderful, as are the younger male supervisors. One in particular makes things a lot of fun. Weekend shifts seem like they'd be a drag, but the supervisors make sure that we have a little fun, and since it's less busy, they can focus on improving your skills more than they might during the week. For the most part, they work hard to make sure you do well.

    There is room for advancement here; people who do well get small hourly raises and lots of bonuses, some mentor new callers, and occasionally someone gets made a substitute supervisor. If you don't have a lot of job experience or if you are looking to change fields, this is a great place to be, since you learn all kinds of skills - persuasion, customer service with a touch of conflict resolution, politics and environmental activism, and more.

    Cons

    One of the day time sups is really anal and dismissive, but he does definitely know what he's doing. One of the night sups seems like he knows the job inside and out, but he's hard to find (always outside smoking) and doesn't put much effort into helping his callers. It's like he decides early on who is good and who isn't, then ignores them for either reason (doesn't need help, or not worth helping). The director is just really strange; it's impossible to tell if he's joking or serious when he makes inappropriate remarks and innuendos. The assistant director is ok, but he can be surly. Generally it is not a very professional environment. People constantly bad mouth each other at all levels.

     Plus, the pay sucks. It's really really hard to get enough hours to make a decent living unless you are one of the best callers in the office who makes over $15/hr. There are very few who do. When there aren't a lot of campaigns, even experienced callers get sent home early, which is especially bad when you consider we only work 5 hour shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Cut down on inter-office drama and gossip. Supervisors on the floor shouldn't be badmouthing other sups or management in front of callers/subordinates. Management is guilty of this as well.

    While it's nice that it's a very relaxed environment, some kind of dress code might help with the lack of professionalism. Not that anyone needs to wear a tie to work, but fewer gym shorts and dirty ripped jeans might help.

    Callers need some additional training to reinforce skills, outside of briefings, particularly because sups are often too busy to coach everyone everyday. What if instead of sending callers home early when all the campaigns run out, they had the option to stay for a brief workshop on how to ask for monthly gifts better or something? Or a briefing for callers who don't know a lot of campaigns?



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