Waggener Edstrom Communications

www.waggeneredstrom.com
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Waggener Edstrom Communications Reviews

Updated May 1, 2015
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2.9
183 Reviews
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Waggener Edstrom Communications President and CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin
Melissa Waggener Zorkin
128 Ratings

Pros
  • impressive vacation package for all employees and flexible work from home polices for middle/upper management (in 16 reviews)

  • People are nice and smart; Healthcare is good and work/life balance is a priority (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • While the benefits are great on paper, there is ultimately no work life balance (in 25 reviews)

  • Long hours and unclear and inconsistencies on expectations for what it takes to keep moving up (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Sr. Content Strategist

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Tremendous benefits package
    Opportunity to work with some amazing clients/ technology
    Some amazing learning based on really great managers

    Cons

    Much of the work is focused on a handful of the agency's clients, making it difficult to branch out.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused on increasing the variety of work and clients that employees work for, and in pushing the boundaries in terms of the variety and creativity of work.

  2. Helpful (1)

    A bit tumultuous as Waggener Edstrom finds its place in evolving PR/Marketing/Digital environment

    • 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 (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Waggener Edstrom has supportive leadership, a solid benefits package and a talented workforce. It provides great entry level opportunities and a clear career path for those with a communications background.

    Cons

    Despite a desire to diversify, continues to be too Microsoft-centric (limits variety of work). Also, due to it's core competency in PR, Waggener Edstrom has struggled with finding it's footing with digital.

    Advice to Management

    Continue evaluation of organization's business model to address the lack of incentive for teams to collaborate/use members from other teams.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Account Coordinator

    • 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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to start your career. WE is a recognizable agency with an EXTREMELY reputable client (Microsoft). The benefits are fantastic and the work can be rewarding when paired with the right team and manager.

    Cons

    That's the flip side. I have seen many people driven away from the agency due to poor management. It really is a hit or miss at WE. A majority of people who depart the agency do so due to a bad manager experience. In fact, WE has been experiencing huge turnovers in the past year. Plus, it is never a good thing to have too many eggs in one basket (Microsoft).

    Advice to Management

    Be wary of your middle management. Either they work people to quitting or aspire those to work diligently. Unfortunately, there are too many people in the mid management (Account Managers, SAEs) that do not know how to manage their teams.

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  5. Helpful (3)

    Good overall, still needs some work

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

    I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people here are all friendly and everyone works really hard. Collaboration is definitely a strong suit of the agency. While there's obviously a hierarchy, everyone is approachable here. The work is also enjoyable, but that definitely depends on what team you're on. There's definitely a lot of room to learn many different skills here at the agency and it seems like the agency is really committed to developing its employees (learning & development sessions, global exchange, supporting moves to other teams within the agency, even helping moves to other offices/states!). The benefits are pretty great as well, especially the PTO.

    Cons

    Sometimes it feels like the agency lacks that certain je ne sais quoi, the agency really needs to find itself. There's such great work done but it isn't reflected outside the agency. You look at the competition and realize that the agency needs to be fiercer and more aggressive. This also affects the larger issue of diversifying and attracting new clients.

    Advice to Management

    Look for advice from everyone. We all want the agency to succeed. It's frustrating when we're great at collaborating for clients but don't put the time/effort into collaborating for ourselves/the agency. Making client work a priority is great, but we need to attract more client work to keep evolving which means we need to stop being so heads down in it.

  6. Great for someone starting out their career.

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities for career and management development.

    Cons

    Can be very stressful for extended periods of time.

  7. Helpful (1)

    good benefits, OK salary, catty coworkers

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Well the vacation package is amazing. 4 weeks of PTO is nuts and awesome--I only wish I was paid enough that I could afford 4 weeks of vacation a year. :P But truthfully, if they like you and want to keep you, my feeling is that WE will make all sorts of adjustments and deals to do that. Additionally, and I think this benefit is more important/helpful for junior account staff, the learning and development program is amazing. If you're new to PR or the professional world, their L&D program will legitimately teach you all the skills you need to succeed--that's why people say it's such a good place to start your career.

    Cons

    Depending on the account and your manager, there is a very real chance you will be worked to death/quitting. The time off policies are nice but if your manager is the sort of person who wants you online at 8pm, you need be online at 8pm. It's unfair and unfortunately I've had both types of managers: good ones and ones who worked me to death.

    It's a competitive work environment, which is good sometimes, but also leads to people grabbing/hoarding good projects and opportunities so they can get promoted.

    Finally, and this had always been my criticism of WaggEd, they need to stop hiring the same cookie cutter sorority girl or they will get the same ideas coming to the table over and over again. Just more diversity in general would help this company immeasurably.

    Advice to Management

    Well, first of all, you need to stop this BS regressive benefit system. There is this de-facto acknowledgement that you don't get/deserve a quality of life or work life balance until you've made it to the SAE level or higher. A quality of life--a balanced life--should be something you guarantee to your employees right off the bat because you care about them.

    Also move to Seattle. Creative ideas/companies/startups/the future are not coming out of Bellevue.

  8. Great Company, work hard and you will benefit, great people, great environment

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

    I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible for time off and schedule, great office atmosphere, smart and supportive employees, lots of programs and perks

    Cons

    depending on team, work can be stressful and can undervalue employees

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent and open to new ideas.

  9. Political environment, terrible management

    • 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice work environment from a perks perspective, overall good skill development programs if you are just starting a career.

    Cons

    Terrible management, catty environment, abysmal compensation for the number of hours you will actually work. No life/work balance, intense micromanagement of every single daily process. Hires mostly sorority/fraternity types, does not value intelligence or creativity. If you want to be a cog in a machine, this place is for you!

    Advice to Management

    Start training your managers and focus on retaining your best and brightest.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Diverse opportunities, Supportive Managers and Colleagues, High Degree of Flexibility

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Employees who want to contribute to shaping the company's future have the opportunity to help chart the course (if they have courage and are curious)

    The workplace flexibility options are excellent. We're encouraged to speak with managers to discuss options based on individual circumstance (90% of my managers have been very supportive and very trusting)

    WE has an impressive selection of programs to support personal passions and professional development: leadership groups, support to serve on the boards of charities, training and development curriculum, sponsorship to participate in community races, wellness program, opportunity to travel to another WE office for 2 weeks (Global Exchange) and paid volunteer benefit.

    Cons

    Decision making can sometimes be slow (although this is changing. The company, just like the industry and every company, is positively evolving).

    Advice to Management

    Continue to engage employees in designing the WE of tomorrow, act fast, prioritize and decentralize.
    Preserve what made WE unique in the beginning.

  11. Wonderful team

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    great team of colleagues, smart clients

    Cons

    High turnover of execs that impacts morale

    Advice to Management

    Grow/attract talent per location, not keep sending HQ execs to other locations (they leave or get let go)

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