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SmartBrief Reviews

Updated 4 March 2015
33 reviews filtered by
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3.7
33 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
SmartBrief President & CEO Rick Stamberger
Rick Stamberger
12 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great internship and learned a lot!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at SmartBrief

    Pros

    The people are great to work with!

    Cons

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

  2. Helpful (1)

    Great Entry Level Footstep

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Office environment is very relaxed and casual

    -Great patio

    -Good starting point for a lot of careers

    Cons

    -If efficiency, communication, and productivity are important to you, I highly advise you look elsewhere. There are some really good people at SmartBrief who can get the job done with exceptional quality. However, it always get pideon-holed at the management level and it is a miracle if anything gets done on time.

    -If opportunities for advancement are important to you, look elsewhere. Unless you're in Sales, you can expect a minimum raise annually and see your next step in the ladder filled in from the outside.

    -The turnover rates are through the roof and it's always the best talent that heads out the door. Middle management can be development hell; anything and everything that gets there will be in limbo until you're proactive and bring it up yourself. Don't expect middle management to take responsibility for their lack of awareness.

    -If a healthy salary is important to you, I HIGHLY advise you look elsewhere. Unless you're in Sales or in a management position, you can expect below average pay and above average expectations for the amount you're paid for.

    Advice to Management

    There's plenty of good talent internally. Stop bringing in people from the outside who have no idea what SmartBrief is and give the internal candidates a chance. They've been here x amount of years more and know how the processes work. And speaking of processes, let's stop talking and actually get stuff done.

  3. A good place to cut your teeth in the early stages of your career; not ideal for long-term personal growth

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

    I worked at SmartBrief

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    *Relatively flat organization; people and senior leadership receptive to your ideas and suggestions.
    *Solid core product

    Cons

    *Poor communication from senior leadership downward regarding company priorities, goals, etc.
    *Bad middle managers stay there too long.
    *Could take bigger risks to evolve the business model, but needs to actually invest and see them through.

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  5. A MESS!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SmartBrief

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great work atmosphere, beer machine, flexibility is good

    Cons

    Work structure is a complete mess, no room for growth, non-sales employees completely underpaid

    Advice to Management

    Figure your structure out and pay your employees more.

  6. Awesome place to grow your career

    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SmartBrief

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Get hands on experience managing partners, launching products, and coordinating projects at a very early stage in your career.
    - Work with fun people in a great downtown location

    Cons

    - There are downsides to anything. At SmartBrief, the benefits probably could have been improved as the staff matured, and I would have loved a more structured learning & development program. But overall SmartBrief was a fantastic place for me and I would recommend it to a friend.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Felt compelled to write a review for this internship -- Web Developer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Junior Developer in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Intern - Junior Developer in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at SmartBrief as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    So many pros to be honest. Every other week during the summer we have company wide happy hour events. At 4pm the company gathered and did things like: Sang Karoake, Played Beer Pong, Raffled Prizes, Got Hypnotized by a "professional" hynotist.

    It was a really fun experience and there really are alot of great people working here right now. I can't speak for how it used to be, I saw old reviews on here that trashed the company but honest to goodness this was an incredible intern experience.

    The management style in the Tech department was really hands off and they allowed me to build a web page and helped me with making that happen, It made me want to be better and work harder knowing that gave me the respect and trust of working on my own without micro management. There are so many smart, funny, and friendly people in the Tech department, really no complaints at all.

    Can I say also that the CEO Rick Stamberger really seems like a great guy, we had an intern project we had to pitch to him and he is such an encouraging person and just wants to see you succeed, he doesn't want to pick you apart. It really rubs off and you feel compelled to work harder.

    Cons

    Ok so maybe it was a bit of a double edged sword when I said that the management was hands off, because I didn't receive alot of 'training' per say.

     This was really just due to the fact that the Tech deparment is going through a process of dealing with old legacy code and reforming their code to be more state of the art. Long story short, they are overworked it seems.

    This lead to my supervisor trying to juggle pressing issues with teaching me beginners web development. So really I was left to fend for myself, which I actually really enjoyed but I do wish they had more time for me. All in all not that big of a con and could be remedied by the time a new intern comes around and the Tech team has grown thus disributing the workload more evenly.

    Advice to Management

    Keep in the direction you are going, expand the Tech department because I feel the projects could get more ambitious and really pay off in the long run.

  8. Helpful (1)

    Positive working environment at a growing media company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at SmartBrief full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The 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).

    Cons

    It'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 Management

    More structured training around building leadership skills.

  9. Helpful (1)

    Better than it should be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This 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).

    Cons

    There 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 Management

    It'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.

  10. Fully satisfactory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SmartBrief part-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

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

    Cons

    There are not many opportunities for career growth.

  11. Invaluable career experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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.

SmartBrief Photos

Our patio for lunch and events.
Welcome to SmartBrief HQ -

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