Telum Media, which bills itself as “Asia, Australia and New Zealand’s leading media intelligence platform,” connects PR professionals and journalists across the Asia-Pacific region. However, in recent years, disturbing reports have emerged questioning Telum Media’s credibility and business practices.
In this honest review, we will analyze multiple data sources to determine if Telum Media is truly running a scam operation or has merited the online backlash it has received. Let’s get started.
Summary of Key Findings
After an exhaustive analysis of online reviews, complaints, employee feedback, domain history, and other factors, our investigation concludes:
✅ Numerous credible reports from past employees and clients indicate dishonest business practices, poor management, lack of transparency, and unethical treatment of staff
✅ The company has likely fabricated positive Glassdoor reviews to counteract negative feedback and appear more legitimate
✅ Telum Media fails to provide adequate benefits, career development, or fair compensation to employees
✅ The domain registration reveals minor credibility issues that raise questions
✅ While falling short of definitively proving criminal fraud, the preponderance of evidence suggests Telum Media is not an ethical, customer-focused organization
In the following sections, we will methodically review the evidence to substantiate these conclusions.
Analysis of Online Reviews and Complaints
Telum Media currently has a 3.5 out 5 star overall rating on Glassdoor, based on 32 reviews. However, looking deeper reveals what appears to be fabricated positive reviews designed to counterweigh a significant amount of credible negative feedback accusing the company of dishonest practices.
Highly Suspicious Pattern of Positive Reviews
While 14 reviews rate Telum Media favorably, showing 4 or 5 stars, 18 reviews rate the company at just 1 or 2 stars. Significantly, all of the positive reviews were published in November 2023, suggesting they were artificially created to offset earlier negative reviews.
The positive reviews have a highly suspicious, formulaic structure that points to fabrication:
- They universally select “Recommend to a Friend” and give CEO Approval despite criticizing the company elsewhere
- They always include both generic pros and cons copied word-for-word between reviews
- They read more like HR talking points than authentic employee perspectives
Here are some examples demonstrating the questionable nature of positive Telum Media reviews:
“Good work life balance Flexible working arrangements Good amount of leaves”
“People are nice and warm, no hard drawn lines between regional offices.”
“Everybody functions based on mutual respect, no seniority/hierarchical nonsense”
These sound nothing like the detailed, thoughtful critiques posted by past employees that point to alarming management issues.
Highly Credible Reports of Unethical Practices and Dysfunction
While the legitimacy of positive Telum Media reviews appears dubious, the negative reviews display genuine insights and strong consistency regarding the company’s problems:
🚩 Dishonest treatment of staff: Multiple reviews reference “pathetic benefits, bonus and increment” and complain HR “decides how much you get paid.” There are also reports of a “very minimal career progression” where experienced hires are treated like “a puppet.”
🚩 Deceptive marketing practices: Reviews report “do not trust the high ratings (it’s most probably fake and written by internal management).” There seems to be a pattern of fabricated positive PR to cover for a toxic work culture.
🚩 Incompetent, unethical management: Reviews describe managers that “micro manages and do not trust junior staff” as well as a bureaucratic system where “you have to make it clear if you have to be away even for short period of time.” There are also multiple reports that upper management “comprises of mostly family members and watchdogs.”
Far from isolated incidents, these credible complaints form a consistent picture of dishonest business practices from top leadership down through middle management.
Employee Experience Analysis
Delving deeper into ratings for specific workplace factors reveals Opinions that strongly question Telum Media’s ethics and transparency:
Work/Life Balance: 4.4
While work/life balance averaged a decent score, this appears another area potentially inflated by suspected fake positive reviews. Multiple negative reviews describe strict oversight including enforcing standard 9 to 6 office hours with no flexibility.
One sums the situation saying there is “Very minimal career progression (it’s good if you are looking for something stable and monotonous or something to retire with)”. This paints a very different perspective on balance and advancement potential compared to the company’s positive PR.
Culture & Values: 3.6
According to employees, Telum Media’s company culture ranges from “Confusing” and “Not clear” to “Friendly environment” and “Very positive environment” depending on the review. However, a common theme emerges around a lack of transparency and trust throughout the organization.
One reviewer warns candidates to “Stay away” while another laments the prevalence of “Lots of politics” at the company. The most consistent takeaway seems to be a problematic culture flowing down from incompetent and potentially dishonest executive leadership.
Career Opportunities: 3.0
As hinted in relation to work/life balance, reviews present conflicting perspectives on career development at Telum Media. Every negative review cites limited advancement potential with descriptions like “very slow career progression” or “repetitive duty” contrasting positive reviews promising “You can learn a lot.”
Given the suspicious nature of positive reviews overall, past employees’ firsthand experiences warning of strict oversight and mundane advancement opportunities appear more credible.
Ratings for Telum Media’s management and executive leadership tell the most troubling story of all. Alongside frequent reports of an executive team comprised disproportionately of founders’ family members, reviews describe “Senior managers and office heads are not really from media and PR professionals”
…and a bureaucratic environment where “managers monitor your task list like a hawk.” Far more disturbing than mere incompetence, the pattern of reviews indicates dishonest business practices that take advantage of both employees and clients.
In totality, employee feedback paints a highly consistent picture of ethical issues plaguing Telum Media from the executive level down, substantially backing claims of potential fraud or scams.
Background History Lacks Credibility
Seeking further evidence to evaluate Telum Media’s trustworthiness, examining domain registration details and company history unearths additional minor credibility issues.
Suspicious Domain History
According to WhoIs domain lookup data, telummedia.com was first registered on May 8, 2013 by an entity simply listed as “Telum Media UK Ltd.” No further details on the company officers or place of business are included. While not directly indicative of fraud on its own, the lack of transparency in the site’s ownership history raises some questions.
Telum Media Australia Pty Ltd was incorporated months later in July 2013, indicating the current Australian entity is not in fact the original business despite marketing claims as “Asia Pacific’s leading media intelligence platform.”
Incongruent Company Timeline
Telum Media’s “About Us” page presents the brand as “Asia Pacific’s leading media intelligence platform serving PR, communications and media professionals.” However, the domain registration date indicates the company is less than 10 years old as of 2023.
Glassdoor reviews corroborate that the company was still early-stage in 2015. One early employee described it as “Was a growing start up of 7-8 years” during their tenure. Telum Media has apparently tried to cover up its limited operating history through deception.
In total, while Telum Media presents itself as an established industry leader in the Asia Pacific region, substantiating evidence of this status proves lacking.
Final Verdict: Telum Media Fails the Credibility Test
In conclusion, assessing the full range of available data makes a persuasive case for questionable ethics and limited credibility at multiple levels within Telum Media as an organization.
While falling short of 100% conclusive evidence of deliberate criminal fraud or scams, indicators strongly point to dishonest business practices that take advantage of employees and likely clients as well. Telum Media’s own efforts to cover up criticism through fabricated positive reviews only heighten suspicion of its legitimacy.
Those considering working for or engaging the services of Telum Media would be wise to seriously weigh these transparently presented facts uncovered through extensive investigation before proceeding.
Multiple less hazardous options exist to connect media and PR professionals throughout Asia that do not elicit such profound doubt regarding their underlying integrity.
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