WE Communications Reviews in Portland, OR | Glassdoor

WE Communications Portland Reviews

Updated May 11, 2017
67 reviews

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Portland, OR Area

3.3
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WE Communications President and CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin
Melissa Waggener Zorkin
46 Ratings

67 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • I've heard of people complain of work life balance (in 38 reviews)

  • Long hours/high billing expectation (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Best time of my life since college"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Oswego, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Oswego, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at WE Communications full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Amazing leadership, great location and strong teams. Having a location that isn't too central means a better space and the ability to focus on letting excellence happen by focusing a gold standard of client service. Fantastic clients like Microsoft that challenge your work to strive for your professional best. Inspirational leadership from the CEO down

    Cons

    I've heard of people complain of work life balance. I disagree with that. If you aren't focused, not willing to push the envelope of your ability, and don't want to work on clients who are changing the world go to Edelman or Weber Shandwick instead.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Having a values based business where doing good is as important as profit is something other businesses are only waking up to. You have a strong culture it, treasure it. It was amazing to work alongside industry thought leaders.


  2. "Finance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at WE Communications full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Only hire women in Finance so these male Senior Management Team can abuse them.

    Cons

    One of the worst management team I have experienced.

  3. Helpful (12)

    "past its prime"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Director in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits and there some genuinely nice, hard-working incredibly smart people who work there. When I first started to work there over a decade ago it was the most inspiring, supportive place to be. I gained amazing communications skills from even more amazing people and grew so much professionally and personally. Those people have all left.

    Cons

    The agency has become a dead end. They are not considered innovative in the market and have not secured a new, major client since landing Microsoft in the 80s. I have learned so much more about the changing field of communications since leaving.

    If you don't fit the mold, you may lose your soul trying. I've seen the term "mean girl" used to describe the work environment, and I would have to agree. Senior management is made up of what they call "lifers." Those who have been there 15+ years and who have completely lost touch. The mold to get to senior management is the sorority, alpha female type who bullies and undermines the confidence of those around them to give the appearance of "managing." Senior leadership postures and positions well, but in the end accomplishes fairly worn-out, mediocre work. This seems to be rewarded for some reason. You really don't realize how much confidence you have lost and how much of yourself you have given up trying to move up until you leave, and then you feel as though you escaped an abusive relationship. I know this could be said of many work environments, but I wouldn't chose this again.

    Advice to Management

    After working here for more than a decade, I honestly don't know what to say to management that would be heard. All the advice I see here on Glassdoor is solid, but it's been given over and over for many years now. No one is listening. I would simply work elsewhere.


  4. Helpful (13)

    "Do your research, read the reviews."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Oswego, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Oswego, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at WE Communications full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Interview experience positive and company sounded too good to be true.
    Yes, good benefits and some talented PR and marketing people with interesting clients.

    Cons

    Was too good to be true.
    The benefits are immaterial when you experience what the culture is really about.
    The confrontational, throw-you-under-the-bus behavior from some individuals, in some teams but at all levels, has created an unhealthy, hostile culture. This behavior is tolerated and often rewarded. Others suffer high stress and leave in frustration, even after only a short time, because they can’t take it any more and they know better.
    Advice to you: Read the reviews. Research how long people have stayed. Ask to speak to team members during the interview process.

    Advice to Management

    Improve internal PR. Deal with the bullies and nasty, negative behavior - it’s costing a lot of money in recruitment and high turnover.


  5. Helpful (15)

    "Great for the basics, but pretty stressful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Oswego, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Oswego, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at WE Communications full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    If you want to learn the basics of PR and driving top stories, this is a great place to learn. I have been hired into another line of work because I came from WE; I was told that WE alum are great at both strategy AND execution. So it is an excellent place to start. And the work flexibility (at certain levels) and time off (for all levels) is tough to beat.

    Cons

    It is a mean-girls club that breeds paranoia and can lead to you feeling like a battered woman who has no self confidence--like you are never good enough. You live from praise mail to praise mail and save them to remind yourself you HAVE added value. A number of people have told me they feel like they suffered PTSD after that place. It is all about the quality of your manager and how they do (or don't) protect you from the BS that comes from the highest levels.

    Advice to Management

    Be nice, be kind, be generous with praise and watch the insane egos at the top.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "WE is great!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Client Service Accountant I in Lake Oswego, OR
    Current Employee - Client Service Accountant I in Lake Oswego, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, great company culture.

    Cons

    Can easily get over loaded when people leave.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Good people but not organized"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Insights & Analytics Analyst in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Insights & Analytics Analyst in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at WE Communications (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people are really great at WE.

    Cons

    The company is not organized and the pay is not great.

    Advice to Management

    Reward the people that work hard.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Account team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at WE Communications (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some super-ambitious people who bring great ideas and passion to the practice. More opportunity to work with top influencers, build relationships. Variety in the type of work one can do, if one is interested in moving around.

    Cons

    Couple things. Those who really want to excel and grow should choose their team wisely. Options are limited outside of a few core accounts and there is an unspoken reality that to advance, you need to spend a sizeable amount of time in Seattle. As other reviewers have mentioned, there is a sorority culture and not a lot of diversity. The Portland office is a dead zone. Long rows of empty cubes, generally low energy, it's tough. On the upside, new leadership is making progress in creating a vision, which has helped bring a sense that someone is actually leading the company.

    Advice to Management

    Something needs to happen to the poor Portland office. It's a soul-sucking carcass. There should be more transparency about opportunities outside of a few core accounts where clients, business are invested in stellar PR and doing it well. Finally, more diversity. This is one of the most homogeneous places you can work - really counter as a culture for out of the box thinking.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "VP+"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Vice President in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at WE Communications full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Strong PR pros, good benefits, flexible hours/WFH

    Cons

    There is an aggressive internal program in place to increase the scores on Glassdoor. What does that tell you? CEO is insulated from the employees and either doesn't want to know what's really going on or puts her head in the sand. Mean girls culture - one day you're in, the next you're out. Great PR pros are leaving because of the toxic culture there. The leadership needs to change in order to stop the bleeding.

    Advice to Management

    Go on an employee listening tour, and don't punish employees for telling the truth.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Good place to grow your career and learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at WE Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits especially related to time off, talented co-workers, exciting clients. You are working with and learning from some of the best in the business and management generally recognizes hard work.

    Cons

    Work life balance not always promoted on certain teams. Inconsistent promotion practices- certain teams receive favoritism. Compensation not the best although it is relatively competitive with other similarly sized agencies.

    Advice to Management

    Be more proactive to not lose talent. Better identify "burn-out" accounts and clients and protect your people. Don't skimp on employee moral boosting activities, employee engagement events. Plenty of money wasted elsewhere that should be cut. Move downtown.


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