Waggener Edstrom Communications

  www.waggeneredstrom.com
  www.waggeneredstrom.com
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Waggener Edstrom Communications Reviews

Updated September 8, 2014
Updated September 8, 2014
151 Reviews
3.2
151 Reviews
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Waggener Edstrom Communications President and CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin
Melissa Waggener Zorkin
109 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • impressive vacation package for all employees and flexible work from home polices for middle/upper management (in 13 reviews)

  • The company is very committed to work/life balance (in 9 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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Amazing People; Inconsistent Growth Opportunities

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

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

    Pros

    --The people are intelligent, passionate, and it's a fun work environment.
    --Great PTO (4 weeks + holidays), a sabbatical program that provides 6 weeks of PTO after 7 years of service, and flexible work schedules (work from home, etc.).
    --At least on the Microsoft account, if you work hard, have a dedicated manager, and get exposure to the right leaders, you'll be rewarded with promotions.
    --Interesting variety of client work for those not on the Microsoft account (e.g., Tech, Consumer, Social Innovation, Health Care, etc.)
    --Transparency among senior leadership about the agency's strategic plan

    Cons

    --Promotions are inconsistent. Though hard work and loyalty pay off for some, it's not a consistent experience for all. This is particularly true depending on what practice group you're in. For instance, promotions on the Microsoft account are somewhat predictable, but in the other practice groups, the "bar" you need to clear is higher and not transparent.
    --The salaries are not competitive with other large agencies, nor do they offer significant bonuses or profit-sharing.
    --I'm concerned about the agency's ability to compete long-term. Profitability is low (less than 10%) compared to other agencies of its size; not sure how sustainable this is over the long-haul.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Started as a GREAT place to work then it slowly dwindled

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Looks great on the resume. Overall, great Work-Life balance, especially compared to other companies. They really tried to work with you and your schedule. During my time there the senior level execs seemed very transparent, although not sure if that's the same now. At times the work itself can be tedious, but other times it was interesting, especially if you enjoy the tech industry.

    Cons

    Mid-level management could have been more transparent. I enjoyed working there, but due to budget cuts and other reasons the company has gone through some rounds of layoffs. Almost seems like it's a slowly sinking ship. I do hope things improve and they continue to strengthen. Sadly compensation and benefits has suffered over the years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay as transparent as you can. Focus on retaining good quality workforce and not layoff people because they're at the higher salary range. Also promote people who deserve it, not based on seniority.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Many opportunities and room for growth

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications

    Pros

    - Competitive salary
    - Room to grow
    - Great people

    Cons

    - Little opportunities to provide feedback to management

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  5.  

    Great on paper- bad in practice

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits- excellent vacation time, 401k match, casual dress at work, etc. Also, strong female leadership which I think is always refreshing to see as a young professional woman.

    Cons

    While the benefits are great on paper, there is ultimately no work life balance. The only way to get recognition is by working late hours and coming in early- and even then your hard work will only be recognized if you have rubbed elbows with the right managers and clients. This makes it difficult to succeed as there are no clear expectations on what is needed to be promoted and move up within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach- having good benefits is great, but at the end of the day a clear path for success and a healthy office culture is what makes employees happy on a day to day basis.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Smart Employees, Terrible Upper Management, Lots of Politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Most employees are very talented and bright, tough recruiting standards
    Great benefits (on paper)
    Work/life balance is average compared to other agencies

    Cons

    a LOT of office politics and clique-ish behavior among upper management, impossible to advance unless you are chummy with the right people
    Managers/VPs are very territorial which adds to terrible political atmosphere, talk of teamwork and collaboration is all just talk

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Awesome place to work, cream of the crop for tech PR

    • 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 more than a year

    Pros

    World class clients, leadership that is really invested in your career development, huge resources to do fun extracurriculars like international office exchanges, team offsites at great restaurants, etc

    Cons

    Can be boring at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The leadership centralizes business planning at senior levels, rather than making business development and business acumen apart of everyone's responsibilities--makes it so junior stafffers aren't as business savvy as they could be.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Smart and professional team

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Smart and creative with ability to spread your wings if you can prove yourself

    Cons

    Can be challenging to sync up if you're not a non-account PR professional + reliance on the largest software company in the area

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Good company, but not if you're looking for more well-rounded experience

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time

    Pros

    The work environment was very laid back and the vacation/benefits were fantastic. The pay was alright but I have heard of more competitive salaries at other agencies. Very Microsoft focused organization.

    Cons

    When I was at Waggener they kept their departments very boxed off. This meant that if you ended up working as an analyst then there was no way you could get over to the PR side or any other area of the company even if you had relevant experience in the area. This is not a company to work for if you're looking to acquire a lot of different experiences and skill sets. The company itself is okay but your growth opportunities will be very specific and this can hinder you from delving into possible other jobs down the road, especially once you look for roles at other firms where they pride themselves on employees being more well-rounded.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on having more well rounded employees rather than experts who have only one specialty. It's a bad way to grow talent and will ensure that employees will leave to find better opportunities elsewhere where they can gain broader experience.

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Serious about work/life balance. Positive impact of external hires.

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

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

    Pros

    The COO recently asked everyone on our team to take some time to "recharge our batteries" and get serious about taking vacation time, work from home days, early Fridays or whatever it takes to take good care of ourselves and achieve work/ life balance. I've never worked for a company where the leaders actually walk the talk about balance--particularly at the C-suite level--very impressive. Senior leaders here have started to strategically bring in some external hires to the leadership table, which has made a positive impact on strategic planning conversations for our future. They are also very supportive of employee's participation in outside professional organizations, etc. I've been impressed with the level of transparency that the agency as a whole and it's leaders have demonstrated thus far. Benefits here are the best of any job I've ever had. Opportunity to work in another global office for 2 weeks through the Global Exchange program--great way to learn about co-workers half way across the world and learn about another culture. The agency makes investments in team building activities--our entire team chose to do glass blowing this year--which was really cool. I've never worked for a company that took team building so seriously.

    Cons

    Open work environment in the Bellevue office (no walls), can be a challenge for more Introverted types to adjust to--but I just learned to communicate with my co-workers about my needs, and wear my headphones to help block out extra noise. It's a gorgeous office, though.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Consumer Practice Intern

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

    I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    They make it a fun environment to be in, they have a great work culture. Everyone goes out of their way to help and provide assistance.

    Cons

    My boss was based out of a different state so it made it difficult to learn as much as I would have liked. I felt like my work was overlooked compared to the other interns who had on-site bosses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure the intern's bosses are in the office to set them up for success.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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