Waggener Edstrom Communications
3.2 of 5 142 reviews
www.waggeneredstrom.com Bellevue, WA 500 to 999 Employees

Waggener Edstrom Communications Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 142 reviews

                             

74% Approve of the CEO

Waggener Edstrom Communications President and CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin

Melissa Waggener Zorkin

(107 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend
142 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "impressive vacation package for all employees and flexible work from home polices for middle/upper management"
    in 12 reviews
  • "The company is very committed to work/life balance"
    in 8 reviews
Cons:
  • "Zero Work Life Balance: With paying for your internet/mobile, you are expected to be on call 24/7"
    in 22 reviews
  • "Long hours and unclear and inconsistencies on expectations for what it takes to keep moving up"
    in 10 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

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

    Senior Account Executive (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    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 Senior 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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Stagnation amidst serious layoffs and butchering of healthcare

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Lake Oswego, OR

    ProsThey're really trying to incorporate strategy that isn't outdated, such as digital and social media, but don't quite understand how or what they want to do with it.

    There is a work/life balance, contrary to other reviews. Expect to work during the busy season and have relaxed days during the off season. Note that this depends on which team you're a member of.

    There are some truly fantastic leaders within the organization. Middle management isn't great, though.

    ConsThere was recently a 50-person layoff during the Microsoft reorganization. WE is far too dependent on Microsoft for success, as the vast majority of its revenue comes from MSFT's pockets.

    Employee healthcare was recently butchered.

    Advancement and success seems heavily dependent on one's ability to take and follow orders, rather than make an impact with coverage, thinking, etc.

    Very, very patterned campaigns. Days focus largely on protocol. Change seems to frighten most.

    Though I wasn't caught in the layoffs, recent changes have revealed that the North America practice isn't healthy.

    There's no culture or life in this place. My goodness.

    WE tends to hire a specific person: women fresh out of the sorority factory.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn the digital landscape for yourselves, so that you may understand how best to incorporate it. Take time to review your middle management from the ground up, not from the sky down. Hire people that have life experience outside of PR/ad.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, but needs to make changes if they want to keep them.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsGreat people to work with and I always loved my managers.

    ConsLow pay. Not a great company structure, too many upper level managers. Set in their old ways, say they want to evolve but never saw action.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore visibility. It's one thing to say you're visible but another thing to actually be visible. Don't have team leads live in different cities and rarely visit the office. And when they do visit the office make sure they say hi to their team. Don't try to spin the staff. I went to way too many meetings where I listened to PR spin. Just give it to us straight.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Employees are disposable

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsOpportunities to advance and learn a lot. Very smart and dedicated people.

    ConsIt's a sink or swim atmosphere - not a lot of support for true learning. You either get it or you don't. Successes are far too briefly celebrated leaving employees wondering why they work such long, hard hours for little gain or respect. Leadership is intimidating and can be very difficult to work with. Always a threat of layoffs.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in improving management skills.

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great for many years. Now losing its edge.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood place to start one's career. Good benefits, flexibility to work from home, many excellent and committed employees. Chance to work with smart colleagues and clients.

    ConsWaggener Edstrom was a top notch company for many years and still has many good people in junior and middle levels. Senior management is out of touch and doesn't want to hear negativity, which puts pressure on managers to overestimate during planning cycles, whiToo many in senior management have never worked anywhere else and many don't have business experience, resulting in short-sighted decisions. Recent round of layoffs were handled badly and hurt morale.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your people, don't try to spin them. Hire more business people to run the company, instead of relying on former PR people. Pay attention to the consistent thread of criticism, even in GlassDoor reviews.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    5 people found this helpful  

    While management fails, the experience prevails!

    Senior Account Executive (Former Employee)
    Lake Oswego, OR

    ProsThe people made it worth going to work! I met some of my closest friends at Waggener. The work was challenging and very interesting, particularly working on the Microsoft account. The benefits, WERE great when I was first with the agency, when people were still considered its core focus.

    ConsI had several great experiences at WE and met great people, but bad habits and business practices continued to permeate the entire organization. Junior members were expected to work at the level of senior members; there was no best practices or training or bar set for what a good manager should be. Overall, more and more staff were becoming seen as just a number ($$$$) and not an asset to the organization's success. The company was very focused on the revenue and people sadly went to the wayside. Additionally, once clients shifted, a panic was sent throughout. I just don't see how the constant placing of stress on its employees, lack of direction and scattered management can translate into success. WaggEd just got too big for its own britches and doesn't have a clear fall back plan.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't PR your PR professional staff--if you are going to claim to be transparent, then do just that. Require your junior and mid level staff members to a provide feedback about their managers and management style--you are losing some of your best assets because you refuse to address the problem--bad managers with bad behavior. If junior and mid-level staff learn from this, your organization will only get worse.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Decent entry level job

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsRelaxed environment, strong leadership at the CEO level

    ConsLots of red tape and hierarchy, challenging clients, uninspiring pay

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Stuck in the past

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood salary. Stable job if you are on the Microsoft account. Good agency to learn fundamentals of PR.

    ConsStuck in the past of being Microsoft's agency of record. Senior leadership is out of touch with reality, continually prioritizes pet projects instead of real business opportunity and lacks accountability.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBreak into two companies, one that is Microsoft only, and another more entrepreneurial agency.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    1 person found this helpful  

    A Great Place to Work, When it Comes to Agency PR

    Account Director (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsGreat opportunities, pay is competitive, challenging work, encouragement to grow skills, encouragement to volunteer, top notch clients

    ConsLack of consistent criteria for what is valued in a leader, can be "clicky"

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou should find ways to recognize middle managers more consistently. Not necessarily with money but some of the company/team awards are more geared toward junior staff

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Waggener Edstrom has the potential to be a great company but focuses on the wrong things

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsWaggener Edstrom portrays itself as a great company which it may have been years ago, but it is very apparent that it focuses too much of it's efforts on keeping Microsoft alive and not on moving the company in a new direction. It's difficult for me to list any pros but If I had to pick something positive to say, it would be the benefits. They reimburse employees monthly for mobile internet as well as every two years for a new cell phone.

    ConsWhere to begin...
    - Low salary- I was asked in my very first interview what I was hoping to make. I wasn't expecting the question so early and threw out a number. The offer I received was BARELY over the number I gave, which was substantially below what I should have been making. Also, the company does not allow employees to discuss salary or promotions with one another. It is EXTREMELY frowned upon, possible reason for termination depending on specific situation. Yes, many company's have the same view on pay, but WE goes above and beyond.
    - No work-life balance- Always too much work to do and never enough hours in the day. If you're on salary, you practically work for free. If you are hourly, it is stressed that you should not work any overtime unless it is approved by your manager. The catch about this is that most managers see that there is too much work to complete and may even see you working through your lunch/early or late but won't speak up to make sure you're actually getting paid for the time.
    - Managers- Executives put so much pressure on the managers that they're all unhappy and it's very clear to employees. It doesn't feel like they want you to succeed, but are instead worried about covering their own butts.
    - The only employees that are treated well/get perks (and they get a lot) are the employees that work directly on big accounts. What about everyone else, Melissa?

    Advice to Senior ManagementRemember that your employees, even the little people, are who make the company run.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Waggener Edstrom Communications – Why Work for Us?

You Bring the Passion. We’ll Supply the Opportunities. Every innovation starts with a big idea, but it is how you tell its story that makes an impact. That’s where we come in. As a global communications agency, we use… Full Overview

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Waggener Edstrom Communications reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Waggener Edstrom Communications CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin. All 142 reviews posted anonymously by Waggener Edstrom Communications employees.