SmartBrief

  www.smartbrief.com
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SmartBrief Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 29 reviews

82% Approve of the CEO

SmartBrief President & CEO Rick Stamberger

Rick Stamberger

(11 ratings)

52% of employees recommend this company to a friend
29 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    Positive working environment at a growing media company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsThe people are the best thing about SmartBrief. Everyone is enthusiastic about our products and mission. It's gratifying to work with a group of people who all believe in what we're doing. Although there isn't always another position or promotion on the horizon, there are always opportunities to do and learn more. I've held three different jobs at the company, but I've done something different almost every year I've been there. The key is to identify the opportunities you want (beyond just a title) and start working toward them. This is a company that rewards proactive and innovative thinkers if you act on your ideas. The company also offers a a considerable amount of flexibility, depending on what your job is. I particularly benefited from that flexibility when I returned to work after maternity leave (slow transition back, some regular work-from-home days, schedule shift to accommodate my child care, etc).

    ConsIt's a small-to-medium-sized company, so there isn't always another position to move into when you think you've mastered the one you're in. There aren't necessarily a lot of promotional opportunities. But because the company is always changing, there is always something new to work on. Sometimes you just have to think outside of what you're assigned. That often means working longer hours or really moving outside your comfort zone, but it's almost always worth it to work on something that challenges or engages you. No one is going to tell you what you can do to expand your opportunities for growth in the company -- you need to find it yourself. That's an idea that can be freeing to some people and daunting to others.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore structured training around building leadership skills.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    Better than it should be

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsThis is an ambitious company, both in the company-wide goals and in the day-to-day life of the employees. People who work here tend to be competitive and highly-motivated, and the management expects people to work hard and smart to succeed. This place is a meritocracy.

    What SmartBrief does (publishing enewsletters for trade associations) is fairly boring, but that doesn't seep into the workplace. The people here are energetic, the opportunities for development and advancement are plentiful, and there are tons of perks (lots of happy hours and parties, trips and events, sports teams, and the ever-publicized free beer machine).

    ConsThere are a lot of workplaces where you can "coast." This is not one of them. There are metrics on everything, and you are constantly compared both to your colleagues and to yourself (what you did last week, last month, last year).

    You won't be able to impress your friends and family with where you work, because none of them have ever heard of SmartBrief. You won't be able to brag about what you do all day, because it's universally hard to explain to outsiders.

    This doesn't seem like a company that you can grow old at. It's a small company, with a finite number of available positions, so it's hard to get promoted beyond a certain level. Even when positions are available, they tend to recruit senior-level candidates from the outside. SmartBrief loses good employees to better offers fairly often.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's obvious that there has been an effort to make improvements, especially around communicating changes and internal information, and in providing training. Don't rest on your laurels. Continue to push these efforts. There is no excuse for a company this small to do a poor job in communication, education, or integrating/orienting the workforce.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    Fully satisfactory

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSmartBrief has fantastic company culture. Senior management is brilliant and coworkers are friendly, entertaining and make the office an enjoyable place.

    ConsThere are not many opportunities for career growth.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    Invaluable career experience

    Manager (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

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

    ConsGetting 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 Senior ManagementOpen 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    Sales

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThis is the best time ever to be selling digital advertising and SmartBrief is great in the sense that you get an unprecedented amount of responsibility so early on in your career-- if you work hard, it will pay off and there is uncapped commission which really is rare these days. We are working among some extremely talented people and everyone should take advantage of their willingness to be a mentor-- especially recent grads- you'll learn a lot.

    The office environment is great- everyone really gets along and recently SmartBrief started a softball team so it's a great way to spend more time with people in other departments. This summer each department has been hosting their own happy hour for the rest of the company, which has been a lot of fun.

    It's disappointing to see so many complaints about HR- it seems like some people forget that as we expand into a larger organization, we also have to go through some learning curves. In the past year HR has brought on an incredible talent team, and it is amazing to watch the change in how we go about bringing on new talent, as well as developing the talent already here at SmartBrief. Whether you take advantage of it, that is up to you.

    ConsThere is low pay for entry level positions until you get promoted into an AE role and can start making commission- but if you bust your ass for a year then it's totally worth it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart being harder on people who don't make their quotas-- there should be no excuse, since they set them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    SmartBrief...great company, great culture!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) New York, NY (US)

    ProsSmartBrief 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.

    ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementMove 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Keep on doing what you are doing

    Sales (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsSmartBrief is a great company that is moving from a start-up atmosphere to a maturing organization. I see lots of growth and development opportunities for myself and others in the future.

    ConsManagement has been too patient with poor performers. I am writing because some recent reviews here are totally unfair. I recgonize the people who wrote some of them; they were poor performers who were dragging down the rest of us and are now anonymously griping about a really good company and raising issues that don't exist. Why don't you take a look in the mirror instead of lying?

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of the dead wood faster. We're behind you.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    Best Company That I Ever Worked For

    Account Director (Current Employee) New York, NY (US)

    ProsAmazing place to work, phenomenal culture, flat organization where your ideas get heard and your work contributes directly to a growing company. Right product, right time. Employees genuinely care about one another to the point where it feels like your colleagues are extended family.

    ConsCan't really think of any cons. Great benefits and tons of perks. If I had to pick something they could add, offer gym memberships for all employees, but that's far down on my list.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the great work.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great for new grads, not for long-term employment.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSmart people, fun culture, good life/work balance.

    ConsDisorganization, incredibly high turn-over rate, compensation not equal to work load.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHR - start doing exit interview to find out how to reduce turn-over rate! Incessant turn-over makes everyone's job harder and less pleasant.

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Only if you cannot find a job somewhere else

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe office is pretty cool. Upper management pacifies employees with free beer and free coffee. Everything is new, so I cannot say anything bad about the office. Most people would be cool with working in our office.

    ConsPoor pay, poor treatment of women, no training, and management by intimidation. You will not advance your career to the next level working here. Do not even try. Many are people talking about quitting and looking for another job. They will make you sign a non-compete so you cannot work anywhere else. Most of the people who quit have to lie and say they are going back to school just to get away from them.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry talking with your employees. You might learn something.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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