SmartBrief Reviews | Glassdoor

SmartBrief Reviews

Updated September 11, 2017
48 reviews

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3.1
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SmartBrief President & CEO Rick Stamberger
Rick Stamberger
21 Ratings

48 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. Helpful (3)

    "It's an okay job while you wait for your dream job to come along."

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

    I have been working at SmartBrief full-time

    Pros

    For the most part I work with some pretty cool, fun people. Hours are flexible and I can pretty much come and go as I see fit. Most people seem to be 'getting by' and working at this job to gain experience to move into a better one. The benefits are pretty good but the pay sucks. The company is in a time warp.

    Cons

    Zero room for advancement. HR department is extremely unprofessional and do not set a good example for the rest of the company. I'm actually surprised that the company hasn't been sued yet. If you are not part of the 'clique' than what you think is not important. HR department is the worst that I've seen in any company. Turnover is extremely high and all the bitching and moaning is taking a toll.

    Advice to Management

    Get a real HR department that knows how to set an example and handle issues. It's pointless to ask them any questions as they will not know the answer. Do something about your turn over rate. Has HR ever heard of employee retention?


  2. Helpful (2)

    "SmartBrief Sucks!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - In Sales in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - In Sales in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    For the most part, SmartBrief hires great people but as soon as they learn what's what and find out how much they could be getting paid elsewhere, they jump ship. Everyday I see new people in the halls and don't know if they are employed by SmartBrief or somehow mistakenly wandered in through the front door. Upper management is not to be trusted and it seems like they like to work people to death for the lowest wage and toss them out as soon as they start complaining. The benefits are pretty good and the office location is convenient.

    Cons

    All the things mentioned above and some. The smell of death is in the air. Advertising is getting harder to sell as our clients are finding little to no return on investment. Personally I think their advertising dollars are better spent elsewhere. Email is outdated and most people are deleting our briefs without reading.

    Advice to Management

    The same advise that was given to me, "get with the program."

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Beware"

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

    I have been working at SmartBrief full-time

    Pros

    Laid back, lots of young people, fun happy hours. if you just need a job for a few months while you look for something better, its not a bad place.

    Cons

    Lots of companies have layoffs or let people go. But only at Smart Brief do they fire the most productive people who work the hardest but leave the slackers and under performers. After the layoffs in December a lot of junior people started leaving on their own because tehy saw their bosses who they loved were treated so badly. Now lots of departments don't have enough people to do the work. it doesnt take a wizard to predict that more people will leave soon. And that means more work for the rest of us who stay.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have any. Its too late. Keep collecting your big checks and enjoy the downward slide.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "A sad place"

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

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

    Pros

    Great location close to many different train lines, the kitchen is bright and the patio is inviting. Free beer is great when it's actually stocked.

    Cons

    This is not a place where you go to push yourself and advance your career, this is a place where your career dies and you spend most of your time realizing why everyone leaves this place disgusted and exhausted.

    Advice to Management

    Ask your employees if they're happy.


  5. "Running backwards blindfolded."

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

    Pros

    If you want to hide behind office politics and pretend to be getting things done, it's easy. People with no real or appropriate experience will be given major responsibilities and won't have to do much to keep their job.

    Cons

    Product has not evolved in many years and has become dated to the point that advertisers are not interested. Office politics and established cliques are a huge deal and process is more important than results. SmartBrief turns over salespeople at an alarming rate and has no sense that the company may be at fault. "Because that's the way we've done it before" is a mantra.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within. Get real about the fact that no one is going to acquire you and get busy being a better company. Thinking your product and service is "good enough" is not good and is not enough.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Lots of internal issues, moving nowhere."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Services in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Client Services in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    It's an online media company; within the publishing word, online & digital media is the place to be. Whether or not email is really progressive within online/media is up to you...

    Work/life balance is feasible at SmartBrief, but only because people leave at 5pm and don't want to work late. It's not something that is really promoted but something an employee just stumbles on.

    Oh, another good thing is the awesome office manager, and there is a beer machine.

    Cons

    There is no innovation, desire to develop & compete. Management is satisfied with mediocrity, probably just enough to get the company bought (which these days is all they care about). There is absolutely NO focus on career development for individuals. The only way to move up is to make a big stink, threaten to quit or beg. Employees that have been there a while fall into the same mentality as the senior management and don't care to move the company forward.

    Advice to Management

    INNOVATE, EVOLVE, TAKE RISKS, COMPETE WITH OTHER COMPANIES OUT THERE! And try to retain your employees by listening to what they want and caring about their careers.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "SmartBrief has great potential that needs to be realized."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Flat culture
    -Nice people
    -Company does a great service and produces a quality product
    -You can innovate and push ideas forward
    -Tremendous opportunity to be highly involved at an entry level and learn from experience

    Cons

    -There is minimal development or career advancement unless one threatens to quit, has a competitive offer, or does everything themselves
    -Poor motivation/communication from leadership--there is no mission.
    -Little leadership awareness of workplace issues
    -Extremely poor top down communication skills from leadership

    Advice to Management

    -Focus on Professional Development (in education, communication about career advancement, and recruiting, ect.)
    -Hire smarter people--recruit more widely and raise bases to become competitive in the marketplace. We are losing excellent candidates we are lucky to have apply because salaries are so much lower than competitive comparisons.
    -Address workplace issues effectively and efficiently.
    -HR should read SmartBrief on Workforce

  8. Helpful (1)

    "SmartBrief is a good company with a good product, but is a very poorly managed company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very relaxed environment and a great work-life balance in terms of expectations. They have a very good benefits package there as well.

    Cons

    Poor communication from management in terms of the direction of the company. It is very easy to get lost and caught on the outside of being one of managements favorites...

    Advice to Management

    My advice would be to be more transparent to your employees and to treat all employees fair.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Nice People with No Direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Beer machine, nice/smart people, casual work environment

    Cons

    zero leadership from senior staff.

    Advice to Management

    Please understand that betting on a short term exit strategy can backfire when all long term prospects haven't been made priorities.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Disorganized environment which rarely has goals but does have talented people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun people make working at SmartBrief worthwhile. The culture is quite relaxed and most people do not take themselves too seriously yet they remain professional.

    Cons

    SmartBrief really doesn't have a business model and has little idea of how to communicate what it is attempting to accomplish both within and outside of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership at SmartBrief should really sit down and think about what the business is trying to accomplish. While working there there was rarely a sense of moving forward and it felt as if employees were simply there to get a paycheck but were never really engaged nor could they be because the company has little vision.


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