Waggener Edstrom Communications

www.waggeneredstrom.com
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Helpful (1)

Career Maker

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

I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (More than 10 years)

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

Pros

Great place to start a career. Waggener puts a lot of effort into developing their employees. Mid-level employees work with very senior level clients.

Good benefits.

Cons

Hard to break past the mid-career mark. Limited client base results in limited opportunities. Haven't been able to break into more avanced marketing that can add value to existing services such as analytics, mktg automation, and social marketing. Stuck in media relations. Core digital team left a few years ago.

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Really great and maddeningly frustrating at the same time.

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Earnest company with high standards and desire to be great. Many good intentions and a genuine desire to make change in the world through communications.
    Genuinely caring of employees, even if it may not always feel that way.
    Some STELLAR people here and if you work for the right ones, you will learn more than you ever thought possible. Someone should write a book about how this company has sustained the Microsoft relationship so long. It's definitely not because Microsoft has low standards!
    You can do some of the best PR work in the world here, if you're lucky.

    Cons

    -Young, beautiful women who are tough as nails are the ones who seem to excel here. There can be a highly personalized and judgmental dynamic among these sr leaders. (Except overseas, where the leadership tends to be male, and I think it is harder for women to achieve sr positions.)
    -Client management trumps people management. This means that some who have lacked people management skills are retained because they know how to manage clients. This can cause the company to appear out of integrity with itself.
    -Microsoft centricity leads some of the senior people to think that Microsoft way=PR; and so many sr managers have worked only on Microsoft that they see the world through this prism. As a result some of the agency's managers do not know what they don't know. For example, WE has consistently failed to muster a respectable effort around consumer or integrated communications. Or field a NY office.
    -Fear of failure/fear of losing a client is the driving force here, which accounts for high high standards and amazing work product; while also being a crush on creativity.
    -The agency has an idealized self-image, and sometimes this is impossible to live up to. In some ways it is too hard on itself--and this results in the feeling of it not being transparent.
    -It is sad to see some of the talented people in the digital, research and measurement teams let go or leave because the company is too driven by "retain at all costs" vs "risk to grow," or not knowledgeable enough to really guide them. In some cases, the company did not even truly understand what they were losing.

    Advice to Management

    With respect, the most sr leadership team needs to have some decisive new blood and probably a retirement or two. WE could use a president who is a PR rock star and reshapes the company. Recognize how sr managers are expected to pass a subjective conformity test, and how that is a hindrance to allowing your company to be changed by them. Place bigger bets and be more patient on the new things. Polish the image less and be vulnerable to your employees and let them help you more.


  2. Helpful (2)

    best place to begin your career but uncertain future...

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

    I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - overall, great people to work with, opportunity to make friends and find mentors
    - good at rewarding high performers on major accounts
    - some impressive leadership (although not all)
    - improving requirements for middle managers (less rewarding of bad managers who drive ok results)
    - impressive vacation package for all employees and flexible work from home polices for middle/upper management

    Cons

    - most high-level leadership is out of touch with what current employees want/need and where the PR industry is going
    - still some caustic managers that continue to thrive
    - overall culture and morale is on a decline with removal of major level bonuses, changes to healthcare options and lack of clear and realistic vision from top leadership

    Advice to Management

    - diversify client list outside of Microsoft
    - let Microsoft account staff support other accounts to build skills and provide new experiences
    - promote strong and innovative leaders from within to replace current leadership who haven't changed with the times
    - be willing to invest in smaller clients to open new opportunities
    - course correct the culture before it's too late


There are newer employer reviews for Waggener Edstrom Communications
There are newer employer reviews for Waggener Edstrom Communications

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