Waggener Edstrom Communications

  www.waggeneredstrom.com
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155 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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Pretty decent place

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Account Executive  in  Bellevue, WA
Former Employee - Account Executive in Bellevue, WA

Pros

- Decent pay once you advance
- Good benefits
- Great clients
- Lots of exposure to press (job is what you make it)

Cons

- Too many levels of management
- Decent training, but not application of training by most
- Passive-aggressive behavior by some, but not all
- Some weird cultural things that lead to advancement

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Be more open with respect to what it takes to move up.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Other reviews for Waggener Edstrom Communications

  1.  

    Good challenge for long-timers to stay current. Some tendency to overlook experience for "new and hip." It's a balance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Portland, OR

    Pros

    Opportunities for creative thinking abound. Think outside the box, always add one ounce more of value, and you're good.
    CEO Melissa Waggener is deeply caring and committed to helping others in the world.
    Good work-life balance - but tends to be in exchange for career advancement.
    Oft-maligned Studio D team is coming into its own.

    Cons

    PR teams can be very cliquish. Less of this is seen on other businesses. In Portland and Seattle (at least), not a lot of diversity - although this doesn't seem to be intentional. Just hard for people outside the narrow norm to fit in and succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your people are amazing and care very much. Listen to them, even if what you hear is sometimes painful. Don't shoot the messenger - instead, look in the mirror.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great grounding in PR; less opportunities/support as you move up the ladder

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive  in  Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Bellevue, WA

    Pros

    Across the board, WaggEd employees are some of the absolute smartest, hardest-working professionals in the industry. Regardless of which account group you work on, the agency does a lot to create opportunities for learning and development, especially for those new to the PR field. If you happen to land on an account with good clients (i.e. those open to new ideas and less interested in heirarchy), even lower levels of account staff can cultivate strong relationships and feel like they "own" projects. If civic engagement and social accountability is important (implementing enviro sustainability policies, allowing employees time to volunteer/take part in their communities, corporate support for charitable giving, etc), Waggener Edstrom does a fantastic job. As long as you're vocal about how you want to ensure your work/life balance, most of the time managers and leadership can accomodate. A lot of cool things have been done lately to build up digital/social media and integrated communications (PR, marketing, advertising, etc) expertise across all agency roles, so there are many opportunities to grow beyond typical PR job descriptions.

    Cons

    Making the transition from entry-level employee to longtime "lifer" is difficult--there's a big dropoff of retention among those with 2-5 years of experience. The promotion cycle slows down moving people into account team "lead" levels (i.e. account manager through VP, and sometimes SAE), and many times individuals are promoted based on a single trait (client service) rather than demonstrating a full range of good managerial skills (leadership, looking out for subordinates, committment to creativity and improvement, etc.). Many times decisions are made that put the agency and its people a distant second to client wants/needs/demands--especially on the Microsoft account--so employees can end up feeling like they get stuck without a voice. Salaries aren't terrible for an agency but when people aren't getting the projects, opportunities or work/life balance they want, it's really hard to pass up better offers from competitors or go into a different aspect of the communications discipline. It IS possible to change teams if you're getting burned out, but there isn't a lot of support/information shared about how that will impact your career growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Leads need to make a committment to their own continuing education efforts and those of their employees. This should be clearly spelled out to clients so they understand they won't get the best of their agency if time for training, workshops or whatever isn't prioritized.
    -Fix Studio D's abiltiy to execute on projects (more workers, less fancy titles) or else stop pushing digital ideas on clients. If there aren't resources to actually do the work we're selling to clients, it just adds unnecessary frustration and blame.
    -Identify managers who've experienced a high turnover rate with their direct reports and take steps to either improve their skills or change their responsibilties.
    -Make team or account changes smoother and more effective. If someone is unhappy enough to proactively request a move (as opposed to being recruited), take care to place them somewhere that's a good fit--otherwise they will go from being on the fence to fully dissatisfied.
    -Prioritize Waggener Edstrom employees over clients--ESPECIALLY on the Microsoft account. Excellent client service can be delivered withouth sacrificing the health and happiness of your people.

    Approves of CEO
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