Waggener Edstrom Communications

  www.waggeneredstrom.com
  www.waggeneredstrom.com

Waggener Edstrom Communications Reviews

Updated November 25, 2014
Updated November 25, 2014
160 Reviews
3.0
160 Reviews
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Waggener Edstrom Communications President and CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin
Melissa Waggener Zorkin
116 Ratings

Review Highlights

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 Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    People Jumping a Sinking Ship

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

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

    Pros

    Idea of 4 weeks vacation, paying mobile and internet data, nice offices

    Cons

    1. Zero Work Life Balance: With paying for your internet/mobile, you are expected to be on call 24/7. The 4 week vacation is a bit of a myth - I and others on my team were asked to work during previously scheduled PTO and while sick.

    2. No management oversight: If your manager has no management skills, don't expect that it will be corrected. You have to move teams to find someone better. Company def. operates by the Peter Principle.

    3. HUGE turnover - brightest people are leaving to greener pastures.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    The most siloed, dull atmosphere I have ever worked in

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

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

    Pros

    You can work from home, flexible schedule.

    Cons

    Culture is lacking "team spirit" or any "fun" Company relies too much on Microsoft as their anchor account. They talk about change and breaking down pillars but it doesn't happen. Leadership team is not transparent nor do they try to get to know the employees. Majority of communications are through emails not in-person.

    The admins for the Microsoft team have a chip on their shoulder and give off a "mean girls" vibe if you aren't an admin on their team.

    Working remotely is great - however, when you have too many of your core leaders that don't interface with their teams on a daily basis you have a very loosely run ship. It is sinking folks, maybe time to do things differently? Leaders should be on-site with their teams - not remote. Talk about severe dis-connect, wow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's time for some new blood in the management mix to bring in fresh ideas. Company seems to be stuck in a cycle that it cannot get out of. Change needs to start at the top. I see great things happening on the EMEA team due to their youthful leadership - maybe North America needs to follow suit. Turnover has been really high recently following the large lay offs - they claim to want to retain World Class Talent - but obviously aren't paying attention to what is being said as they are losing people at a rapid rate. I know of 6 people that have resigned from their positions in the last month and I am sure there will be more soon.

    Get to know your employees. Make sure your senior leaders aren't working remotely - they should be at the office being "Leaders".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Stagnation amidst serious layoffs and butchering of healthcare

    • 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

    Pros

    They'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.

    Cons

    There 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 ManagementAdvice

    Learn 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    - 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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Low 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 ManagementAdvice

    More 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Employees are disposable

    • 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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    It'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 ManagementAdvice

    Invest in improving management skills.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great for many years. Now losing its edge.

    • 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

    Pros

    Good 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.

    Cons

    Waggener 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 ManagementAdvice

    Listen 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.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    While management fails, the experience prevails!

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

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

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    I 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 ManagementAdvice

    Don'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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Decent entry level job

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Relaxed environment, strong leadership at the CEO level

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You 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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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