SmartBrief Reviews | Glassdoor

SmartBrief Reviews

Updated November 18, 2016
11 reviews

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4.0
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SmartBrief President & CEO Rick Stamberger
Rick Stamberger
3 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The culture and location of the office is very appealing to many young adults and its obvious to see why with the beer machine and ping pong tables (in 9 reviews)

  • The work/life balance here is pretty well respected (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Mis-management of entry level employees (in 4 reviews)

  • There was an obvious disconnect between senior management and what was going on in the trenches (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Practice what you preach more"

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

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

    Pros

    Great product, mostly great people, fun perks, great culture

    Cons

    managers don't always communicate effectively, pay is lower than market value


  2. "Sales and Marketing Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Sales Operations in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Sales Operations in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SmartBrief as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Depending on which of the teams you were working for, the people were knowledgeable and resourceful,l especially regarding content distribution. In the particular group, I was in, I found innovation and creativity were encouraged and we were open to sharing results and trying different methodologies to get the sales and marketing objectives met.

    Cons

    There was an obvious disconnect between senior management and what was going on in the trenches. On more than one occasion, certain projects were abandoned or delayed because communication was happening on all the right levels. Some of the people that had been there for some time were very "content" with the old way of doing things and were not necessarily interesting in exploring new strategies.

    Advice to Management

    Make a long term and short term plan and make sure that all the employees know what role they play in getting this plan accomplished.


  3. "Invaluable career experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A great culture that encourages collaboration and professional development. A great place to start for entry level positions and mid level management.

    Cons

    Getting promoted beyond the mid level management is not impossible but extremely difficult. The common turnover deals with entry level positions with a few management positions. VPs and Senior Managers tend to get hired from the outside. I'd advise a new employee to consider their time at SmartBrief to have the shelf life of 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    Open up the communication about larger goals that transcend beyond the quarterly check ins. Many managers lack true leadership to expose and guide to the larger goals at hand.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "SmartBrief...great company, great culture!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    SmartBrief delivers and excellent product for B2B advertisers that yield results. In the crowded B2B world, email is king and SmartBrief has that figured out.

    Professionally, the company has 2 high quality modern offices--DC/NY, with a great culture and a real understanding of work/life balance. Nobody is looking over your shoulder. There is an inherent trust that we are all adults and we are all self-motivated and that we want to do a good job. So if you have to stay home to meet the cable guy, that's ok. Do your job, get online and work as if you were in the office. No problem.

    Cons

    The organization is a bit too flat. It is great for young people, but hard to grow the more senior you are in title/experience. When you've gotten all you can out of the organization you need to look outside for the next opportunity. I have seen excellent talent walk out the door due to limited opportunities.

    As with many a small company, the growth opportunities are limited so you have to be prepared to check your ambitions at the door.

    Advice to Management

    Move people around. Foster talent, spread the wealth, but don't be afraid to make unpopular decisions. Ask the hard questions. Stay engaged.

    Unfortunately, SmartBrief suffers from a lack of decisiveness. For a small company decisions are not made quickly and employees suffer as a result. Further, there seems to be a small committee of a few who make all of the decisions without proper checks and balances.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "About as good a place to work as an email newsletter company could be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SmartBrief Tech in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - SmartBrief Tech in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I have coworkers I like and I work on interesting things. I dress casually and roll in around 10. I feel like my peers and superiors listen to me and value my opinions. I've been able to advance my career in a somewhat shorter period than I think I would have been able to most places. There's beer in the fridge and the office is social.

    Cons

    Email can only be so exciting, even taking into account that we do a lot of interesting stuff around it. We can be proud of the products we put out, and our customers like us, but we're not saving puppies, orphans, or the world. We're not causing any big revolutions.

    In my experience, office politics are better than they are be in other places I've worked, but it seems there are still occasional battles in the upper ranks that aren't entirely productive.

    There are no offices in Hawaii or Costa Rica.

    Advice to Management

    Come to decisions and act on them a little more quickly.

    SmartBrief's workplace culture seems to be an important reason that people stick around. Fight to keep it a positive as we grow.


  7. "Smart idea, not the smartest people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Operations in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Sales Operations in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Really interesting product
    - Intelligent leadership to grow from
    - Exposure to multiple parts of the industry
    - Good sense of corporate culture

    Cons

    - Fiscal compensation could be better
    - Gulf between employees and leadership
    - Employees lack buy in to the company's idea

    Advice to Management

    - Focus more on engaging employees
    - Corporate culture is more than parties, should be about building support for the company amongst employees
    - Better compensation


  8. "Wonderful Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Wonderful people, fun office, interesting work

    Cons

    Management sometimes unclear, can be boring


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great telework opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Freelance Writer
    Current Contractor - Freelance Writer
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SmartBrief as a contractor

    Pros

    Telework allows you to work from anywhere in the U.S., and most briefs are scheduled for morning writing. Other writing opportunities are also available, i.e., the SB Blog.

    Cons

    There are not many opportunities for advancement from the freelance position. The publishing software (Alchemy) can be really glitchy and editors communicate via the very outdated Yahoo Chat platform.

    Advice to Management

    Need to create a better environment for freelancers to advance into FT, salaried positions.


  10. "Great internship and learned a lot!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The people are great to work with!

    Cons

    Only a summer internship so not much I can say here.


  11. "Small company the is experiencing growing pains"

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

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

    Pros

    Autonomy, relaxed environment, earning potential

    Cons

    Mini-fiefdoms, departments don't collaborate, lack of communication

    Advice to Management

    Management from the top must regularly communicate the values and goals of the organization. Share the good news, spread the love.


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