WE Communications Reviews | Glassdoor

WE Communications Reviews

Updated May 9, 2017
47 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. "Industry Innovators"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    WE focuses on strategic communications and is one of the true innovators in story telling that has become a communications norm. This is the place for people who are willing to work hard, speak up and truly make a difference to the client. The management is focused on delivering great results. Don't expect to be babied here, If you want to learn, create and grow (no matter what level you are at) - you won't find a better place.

    Cons

    They need an office in Australia so I can work there. They are diversifying and broadening their reach (globally and with interesting clients). Like all these things... can it be faster?

    Advice to Management

    Be sure to communicate 1:1 and in small groups. Don't assume all internal messages get communicated the same way. Continue to nurture and grow great people while also bringing in outside expertise.


  2. "Being fiercely independent matters -- and I haven't found better!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Director in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Account Director in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have worked at several different Market/PR/Comms agencies in my 15 years in the industry, and I have yet to experience or hear of an agency as focused on the growth of its business AND its people than WE. I've been at WE just over five years, and while no place is roses and butterflies all the time, I truly do believe that WE's leadership cares about its people--so I stay. Evidence: great benefits (I mean, who still offers sabbaticals?), untold numbers of training programs, global exchange opportunities, lots of fun parties/social activities, kick-ass (and VERY competitive) internship program, paid volunteer hours (and big focus on social good), consistent and regular raises/promotions, flexible working hours and work from home options. Super smart people come here (and stay here) -- and do super smart work for their clients. I also love that our new brand identity is bold and aggressive and edgy -- something we can and should be when we're independent and on a rising star.

    Cons

    Some people don't like our Bellevue location (I personally don't mind it at all -- would rather have free parking and less congestion vs downtown Seattle). Not every manager is a great manager -- but the grass is never greener at other places I've learned, that's just how every workplace works.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest in your people -- they're your greatest asset and differentiator.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Love my job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I've worked here for 3+ years, and I honestly don't have plans to look elsewhere anytime soon. The benefits are great, and the company truly believes in investing in its employees through training courses, etc. Oh yeah, and the people are great too! Very friendly atmosphere.

    Cons

    It's still a service industry, so occasionally you will have to work for difficult clients but Waggener Edstrom provides great support. There are other cons that I'm struggling to think of right now, but nothing outside those of any other job.


  4. "Current Employee at Waggener Edstrom"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Account Executive in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Assistant Account Executive in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at WE Communications full-time

    Pros

    Waggener Edstrom (WE) is a fast-paced, collaborative environment. While the client list is predominately founded in the tech industry, namely Microsoft, there are opportunities to pursue other broader consumer interests. WE employees are super sharp, knowledgeable, hard working, but also fun and emphasize work-life balance. The office takes time to recognize Seattle's Super Bowl run, holidays, volunteering opportunities and working from alternate offices. While work can get busy, managers are very good about providing flexibility during the slower times, including start/end times and working from home. Personally, I love working at a global firm due to the different perspectives and international opportunities and travel that exist. I also really admire the senior staffers. I think an important part of planning for a career at a company is being able to relate to your managers and executives. At WE, I respect and am inspired by those I work with. It's also pretty neat to work at a firm with so many women in leadership positions.

    Cons

    The technology industry is a large part of client work, so keep that in mind when applying. However, there are some more consumer focused clients. In general, teams are somewhat independent of one another, so there isn't always a lot of crossover on account work.

    Advice to Management

    Once you are on a team, it's sometimes a bit involved to move laterally in the company. I'd advise management to emphasize that employees start planning and working with managers early if a team change is of interest.


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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at WE Communications full-time (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 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.


  6. ""Great company""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Respects employees
    -Great people
    -Good opportunities to move teams within the company should you wish to try a new experience

    Cons

    -Long promotion cycles
    -Lower pay overall

    Advice to Management

    Consider promoting sooner or increasing base pay for employees on the lower end of the spectrum.


  7. "Good challenge for long-timers to stay current. Some tendency to overlook experience for "new and hip." It's a balance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at WE Communications full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Opportunities for creative thinking abound. Think outside the box, always add one ounce more of value, and you're good.
    CEO Melissa Waggener is deeply caring and committed to helping others in the world.
    Good work-life balance - but tends to be in exchange for career advancement.
    Oft-maligned Studio D team is coming into its own.

    Cons

    PR teams can be very cliquish. Less of this is seen on other businesses. In Portland and Seattle (at least), not a lot of diversity - although this doesn't seem to be intentional. Just hard for people outside the narrow norm to fit in and succeed.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are amazing and care very much. Listen to them, even if what you hear is sometimes painful. Don't shoot the messenger - instead, look in the mirror.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Lots of opportunity for those who work hard and are committed to their career and the overall success of the agency"

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

    Pros

    Great people, lots of opportunity for advancement, great benefits including 4 weeks paid time off, sabbatical program, innovative and collaborative culture

    Cons

    Depending on who your manager is and how the leadership of the team values work/life balance, employees can sometime have differing experiences.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep employees in the loop regarding the direction of the company and how the agency is committed to keep employees inspired. Stellar employees need to be reminded that the agency cares about their career and their future.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work and grow - definitely not for everyone."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Super interesting work - always a new challenge, never boring.

    Waggener Edstrom has excellent benefits for employees. I especially appreciate the open-minded health benefits that give access to alternative care.

    Open to having employees work from home several days a week or even full-time. Some peole have alternate schedules as well, having proven themselves. Love the flexibility.

    Generous with corporate giving, even offering $ to each employee on request for the charity of their choice.

    Cons

    Feels like what you give is never enough. If you're not giving a minimum of 110% every day, you're slacking, to the point that frenetic activity wins out over deliberate plans.

    Our senior manager is overly optimistic and sets unattainable business goals, which we struggle to meet. It's de-motivating after a while to never feel truly successful.

    Work-life balance is hard. For many, the only way to achieve it seems to be to give up on career growth.

    Sometimes the intense and demanding nature of the work bleeds over, and one becomes intense and demanding (unpleasant) with others inside and outside of work.

    Advice to Management

    Senior managers often seem out of touch with reality of life in the trenches. Pay attention, make it safe to provide feedback, and be open to what people are saying. If people keep saying the same thing, maybe it's true.

    If we're going to have a bunch of mid-year promotions every year, change to a formal bi-annual review cycle. People feel bad when HR policies don't apply uniformly across the board.

    Most of our leadership has good judgment, but a couple of teams are clicquish, starting at the top with SVPs and EVPs. Hold them accountable, and make it clear across the board that sorority-style nastiness, favoritism and homogeneity are not the goal.

    Don't let short-sighted up-and-comers chase away great brains with historical/global perspective. Several great thinkers have been marginalized or let go recently.


  10. "The best place I have ever worked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people I work with are among the smartest I have ever worked with. I have really been able to grow my career here through exciting global work. I have also felt recognized and acknowledged for my hard work on an on-going basis.

    Cons

    This is a very fast paced environment and that can be exhausting at times. The focus on quality and continuous improvement which is one of the best things about working here is also at times one of the things that can contribute to the fatigue.

    Advice to Management

    Keep growing and developing the vision and keep the focus on our great people. Continue to be transparent with communication about our direction and future.


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