Waggener Edstrom Communications

  www.waggeneredstrom.com
  www.waggeneredstrom.com
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Buildings full of smart, passionate people

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

I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

Smart, fun, wonderful, creative coworkers. Some are young and excited; others are industry veterans with a ton of awesome experience. Interesting clients. High expectations. Strong benefits.

Cons

VPs and higher-level employees can feel a bit like mean girls... they have a VP club, it seems. You might fit their mold...you might not (and if you don't, then what?) We can be hamstrung by clients who play it safe, so creativity isn't always nurtured. High expectations. Great benefits feel a bit like golden handcuffs.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Industry-leading pay may result in industry-leading work. Find a way to offer more financial incentives to all levels of employment.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

152 Other Employee Reviews for Waggener Edstrom Communications (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Excellent employer but more of a U.S. Microsoft media relations vendor than global agency

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

    I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Waggener is my third agency, including interning, and in my opinion, the best thing about us is we live and breathe treating employees like humans with lives outside of work. As one of many examples, strong, seasoned employees can work remotely for years if their spouses go to graduate schools in places we don't have an office. I generally enjoy myself while at work, and our office culture combines professionalism with a welcoming vibe.

    Our training is better than any other employer's I know of. All the time, we get free online and in-person presentations on our industry and client service, from coworkers, clients and prestigious external speakers.

    Everyone on the Microsoft account gets to work with content, spokespeople, and reporters (and analysts) that most PR professionals only dream of.

    We have a diversity problem, like all PR agencies. However, straight women, gay men and lesbians are in high-up positions almost always occupied by straight, white men at other agencies, so I feel less of a glass ceiling.

    This past fall, our CEO unveiled a new, smart roadmap for Waggener Edstrom, and progress toward it has been visible ever since. Communication between the very top and bottom of the company is more transparent than at the 20-person agency I worked at before this.

    Cons

    The best and worst thing about us is the business model is built around U.S. Microsoft. If you read Microsoft Glassdoor reviews, you'll get the idea. Unlike Edelman or Weber Shandwick, our culture prioritizes answering clients' short-term demands above keeping and growing agency revenue, staying on top of the direction our industry is headed, and promoting good employees to keep them from leaving. To their credit, our leadership knows this mentality isn't sustainable for agency revenue, but they haven't introduced the incentives (performance review criteria) to remedy it.

    Experience varies widely by team, and massive power differences exist among the Microsoft teams. I joined the agency on one of the least powerful teams, and almost a year later, even though my team leads tell me I'm an asset to the agency, I'm no closer to becoming an account executive than when I started, other than a Waggener competitor is trying to recruit me for AE positions. No one on my team has achieved many tangible results or met client campaign metrics, and I've been trying hard. The culture at Waggener dictates that this is acceptable and that in my situation, I should start my career over on another team. I would not have joined the agency via this team if I had known it was possible to have the experience I've had so far.

    Not a con for everyone, but the most universally important employee qualities seem to be sophisticated project management skills and patience, not knowledge of public relations (or related fields and skills) or technology. It will be a culture fit issue if you're more results oriented than relationship oriented.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide whether you want to grow the agency or please Microsoft in the short term, if you haven't already. You can't have both because of where Microsoft's business and the media relations industry are headed, and this contradiction demoralizes employees.

    If you want to grow the agency, overhaul the way we hire and promote to reflect that our industry is full of ambitious, millennial employees who get recruiter emails starting 2 years into our careers. Employees should be able to receive promotions at any time, not just twice a year, especially if they get an offer from another agency. Explain the long-term value of more flexible promotion timing to clients.

    If we require everyone account manager and above (because they have the client's ear and power over budget and staff distribution) to prove they know global and digital to get promoted, or hired as a new employee, we will become the industry leader. Make them go to company-wide trainings that mostly ACs and AAEs go to.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great Environment, Low Pay

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Executive leadership is very transparent about the company's directives and puts their money where there mouth is in this regard.
    Fun environment that encourages career growth
    Opportunities to explore other parts of the business

    Cons

    Pay is low given productivity expectations (much of this is client driven)
    Performance is not necessarily rewarded over seniority
    Career advancement is slow if you're wanting to stay within the same group

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue with transparent management style. Create more incentives for employees

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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