Waggener Edstrom Communications

www.waggeneredstrom.com
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Waggener Edstrom Communications Reviews

Updated June 20, 2015
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189 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Good place to start your career, but not for growing it

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Good time off. WE offers a very generous starting vacation package to each of its employees. It's the one reason I stuck around as long as I did. They also have a sabbatical offer after 7 years, but good luck holding your sanity long enough to cash that in. I couldn't.
    - Great health care. The quality of health care benefits was starting to dissipate by the time I left but it still had a leg up on many other big companies.
    - Well-respected clients. You'll be hard pressed to find an organization with clients as reputable and impressive as Microsoft, regardless of the unique challenges that brings.
    - Good place to start your career. Working for a large agency offers so many valuable career and life lessons that I am grateful to have had.

    Cons

    - Too much micromanaging. Get ready for every single email you send to be scrutinized by at least one person higher than you. I spent more time reviewing/editing/re-reviewing emails for myself and others than I would like to admit. A solid waste of resources, as well as demoralizing. This is a BIG part of your day, so it's important to be prepared for this.
    - Promotions are inconsistent. Promotion standards are completely inconsistent across all accounts, which leads to fierce competition amongst Junior staff to grab the next title, even though it means a lot of nothing.
    - Awful work-life balance. Get ready to work many 16-hour days with little to no recognition or compensation.
    - Pay isn't competitive. WE is known for paying less than the market standard, which I found true once I started looking elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Try and build up your employees a little more. Recognize when they are doing a good job to boost morale and keep spirits high. A little of that goes a long way.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good people, frustrating culture

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great coworkers, generally well-intentioned leadership, generally good work/life-balance. Decent health benefits, though that was changing as I left the company.

    Cons

    Lots of politics, demanding clients, very limited growth options as you get to the Account Director level - especially in the Portland office. Compensation and benefits kept eroding over the time I was there.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Amazing People; Inconsistent Growth Opportunities

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

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

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

    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.


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  5. 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


  6. Started as a GREAT place to work then it slowly dwindled

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (More than a year)

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

    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 Management

    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.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great on paper- bad in practice

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time (More than a year)

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

    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 Management

    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.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Smart Employees, Terrible Upper Management, Lots of Politics

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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


  9. Smart and professional team

    • 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 a year)

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

    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


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

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

    I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications full-time

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than a year)

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

    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 Management

    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.



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