SmartBrief Reviews | Glassdoor

SmartBrief Reviews

Updated May 18, 2017
47 reviews

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3.1
StarStarStarStarStar
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SmartBrief President & CEO Rick Stamberger
Rick Stamberger
20 Ratings

47 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. "Great!"

    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

    Pros

    Great place! Fun environment, hands on learning

    Cons

    hard to get promoted but nothing really that bad


  2. "Indifferent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very easy going environment
    Can work remotely
    Good start to learning sales

    Cons

    Pay is not good at all
    Misleading about chances to move up
    Very repetitive each day

  3. "happy contractor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - HTML Coder in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - HTML Coder in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at SmartBrief (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fantastic office culture and co-workers

    Cons

    I can't think of any


  4. "Practice what you preach more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  5. "Intern Perspective"

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

    Pros

    Great environment and even better people! Flexible hours, external work bonding events. Ability to travel.

    Cons

    Lack of diversity in the workforce.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "SmartBrief struggles with lack of strategic direction, management challenges"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of hardworking employees, particularly at the lower level. Great and capable tech and content teams. Good and interesting product. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    There is a severe dearth of leadership at the company that translates through every level of the organization. Bad management at the middle manager level compounds this problem, meaning turnover is high. Some teams offer too liberal an interpretation of work/life balance, meaning there is flexibility in terms of working hours but too little accountability when it comes to deliverables and goals.

    Advice to Management

    Fire incompetent employees, particularly those at the management level. Emphasize the importance of good management and provide training for employees that have recently been promoted to a managerial role Create clear, transparent growth tracks for all departments and teams.


  7. "Go unnoticed until you make a mistake"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart and savvy coworkers who care about writing.

    Cons

    Good luck getting a raise.

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are your best asset. Act like it.

  8. "Okay culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    Pros

    Managers are firm but fair and helpful. Performance reviews are actually used to help people get better at what they do. And I've never had any problem when asking for time off.

    Cons

    Pay is low for freelancers.


  9. 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.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Going sideways. Very slowly."

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SmartBrief full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I loved the people I worked with. SmartBrief is a good place to work as an entry- and mid-level employee. Because it operates in so many different industries it offers a unique, high-level overview of the mechanics behind various industries and types of businesses. The motto, "save busy professionals time and keep them smart" may not be an earth-shattering aspiration, but it affords a nice sense of contributing positively to the world. The core product is a good one.

    Cons

    As one gets closer to senior management, dysfunctional aspects of the leadership structure become apparent. The CEO and CFO are co-founders, and it's not clear who is in charge. The CFO is hands off. I'm not confident he understands the needs of the business in an era of tough competition. The CEO is largely hands off, but will occasionally involve himself--often after the fact--in lower-level decisions like the design of marketing collateral and entry-level hiring. The CEO's behavior is generally inconsistent. He seems to change his mind repeatedly about small things, which causes an unhelpful amount of confusion and factionalism in the management ranks.

    If there is a larger strategy for growth and innovation, other than "do what we're doing, but more of it," it has not been fully communicated.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look around at the pockets of excellence in the company: who is hitting the goals they've set for themselves? Who is assisting in their colleagues' success? Who is ensuring that the various types of clients and partners are served? Invest in those people.

    Also look at pockets of resistance: where does momentum go to die? Where do projects stall out? Who consistently says, "we can't do that?" Make sure those folks aren't empowered to get in their colleagues' way.

    Delegate authority, for real, and hold people accountable.


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