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WE (firm)

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WE
Private
Founded 1983
Number of locations
16 offices[1]
Key people
Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO
Revenue $115.8 million (2012)
Number of employees
700
Website we-worldwide.com/

WE (previously Waggener Edstrom Communications) is a Seattle-based public relations firm often associated with its largest client, Microsoft. The firm was founded in 1983 by Melissa Waggener Zorkin and Pam Edstrom. It acquired Maloney & Fox in 2003, Shout Holdings in 2004, Patzer PR in 2012 and Buchan Consulting also in 2012. WE has four areas of expertise: technology, healthcare, social innovation and consumer.

In September 2015, the company re-branded as WE[2] and announced specialized partners in research (YouGov, Radius Global Market Research, Illuminas); digital marketing (The Garrigan Lyman Group); search marketing (Point It); and a strategic futurist (Play Big Inc.).

WE provides PR services for companies including Microsoft, Volvo, ZTE, Allrecipes, Boehringer Ingelheim, VSP, Zoom+, Cole Haan, Pernod Ricard, Lucid and Kymeta.[2] [3]

History[edit]

Waggener Edstrom was founded in 1983 by Melissa Waggener Zorkin and Pam Edstrom.[4] Pam previously worked for Microsoft, which became one of the agency's first clients.[5]

The firm acquired PR.com in 2001 and renamed it to OnPR, which later separated from Waggener in 2005.[6] Later that year, the firm acquired consumer PR agency Maloney & Fox after working jointly with the firm on several Microsoft projects, such as the launch of Windows 95 and MSN internet services.[7] Waggener Edstrom also moved its headquarters that year from Portland to Seattle[8] and opened new offices in San Francisco,[9] Paris,[10] and Boston.[11][12] The following year Waggener Edstrom acquired Hong Kong-based Shout Holdings, which was renamed to Shout Waggener Edstrom.[13][14] Waggener opened an office in Brussels in 2006 in order to support the European Union.[5] Waggener's Brussels office was later closed in March 2011.[15]

Waggener experienced substantial staffing changes in 2009. There were several senior-level departures.[16] To support the firm's digital practice, David Patton from The Wall Street Journal was hired,[17] as well as David Mahlmann and Jean-Louis Robadey.[18][19] In 2010 and 2011 Waggener Edstrom opened offices in Africa,[20][21] Delhi,[22] Bangalore and Mumbai.[23] In May 2012 Waggener acquired Patzer PR, a Munich-based healthcare consultancy.[24] After the founders of Maloney & Fox departed, the brand was merged into Waggener Edstrom in 2013.[25]

Services[edit]

WE has seven practice areas, including Healthcare, Public Affairs, Brand Strategy and Technology.[26][27] The firm's consumer work is sometimes done in partnership with WE's subsidiary, Maloney & Fox.[28][29] It also has an analyst relations division that was formed in 2010[30] and a Social Innovation team supports social issues.[31]

WE's digital arm was founded in the early 2000s as Studio D.[15] The digital division has a programming team that's developed social media measurement and management applications like the Social Influence System (SIS), News Stream,[32] Ripple Effect,[33] Narrative Network[34] and twendz pro.[35][36] It also created mobile apps for the SXSW conference from 2011 - 2013.[37][38][39][40]

WE has won the Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America and five Bulldog Report awards.[41] In 2010 it was called the Technology Agency of the Decade by The Holmes Report.[42]

Corporate[edit]

CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin (at left) in Ethiopia - 2011

WE has a reputation as a good place to work.[16][43] In 2002 the agency had a turnover rate of less than 20 percent, compared to an industry average of 50.[44][41][45] The firm allots 16 hours a year to each employee for a charity of their choosing.[16] One percent of the firm's revenues are donated to charity and WE matches donations by employees.[46] WE has supported initiatives to reduce hunger,[47] mentor under-privileged students in Africa,[30] and provide education to underprivileged girls in southern Ethiopia.[48]

More than 80 percent of WE's revenue is from international accounts[49] and most of its clients use its partnership program to hire affiliated agencies for certain regions.[50]

Notable clients and campaigns[edit]

WE is often associated with its work for Microsoft,[51] one of WE's first clients and its largest budget account as of 2003.[7] WE supports Microsoft's corporate communications as well as the Windows, mobile, and servers divisions, and business units in Hong Kong and Europe.[52]

In WE's early years, its relationship with Microsoft led to it working primarily with other technology companies, before expanding into healthcare, consumer and other sectors.[53] In 2002 the firm helped AMD introduce its Opteron and Athlon microprocessors.[54] Miscommunications were exposed between WE, Microsoft and the media in 2003,[55] when WE and Microsoft told press conflicting stories about whether an announcement of a technology-enabled porta-potty was genuine.[56][57]

Segway recruited WE in 2007 to execute a new strategy of selling Segways as an alternative to golf carts.[58] That same year, a WE employee accidentally sent Wired journalist Fred Vogelstein his own thirteen-page briefing sheet. The document included commentary about his reporting and interview style being "tricky" and "sensational...though he would consider them to be balanced and fair."[59][60][61] Since 2008, WE has supported Mercy Corps on a pro-bono basis. CEO Waggener Zorkin took on the client after visiting the Good Shepherd orphanage in Ghana.[46]

The firm won Expedia and the Make-a-Wish Foundation as clients in 2009.[62] In 2011 WE successfully predicted that The Hurt Locker would win Best Picture at the Academy Awards based on an analysis of tweets[63][64] using its Twendz pro application.[65] Waggener also began working with Xerox that year to promote the company's back-end office services and to change their image as a company that primarily does copy machines.[66] Some of WE's other notable clients include T-Mobile,[67] Toshiba,[68] Boeing, Mastercard[13] and Sony Electronics.[69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "At a glance". WE. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Waggener Edstrom Restructures, Rebrands As WE". The Holmes Report. The Holmes Group. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  3. ^ http://everything-pr.com/waggener-edstrom-worldwide-asia/37913/
  4. ^ "Melissa Waggener Zorkin, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide". PRWeek. July 1, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Pasiuk, Laurie. Vault Guide to the Top Advertising & PR Employers. VAULT. p. 144. 
  6. ^ "OnPR spins out of Waggener Edstrom". Portland Business Journal. February 4, 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Gordon, Andrew (October 31, 2003). "Maloney & Fox is Bought by Waged for Viral Expertise". PRWeek. 
  8. ^ Strom, Shelly (November 2, 2003). "Waggener Edstrom quietly moves HQ". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Waggener Edstrom adds Northern California office". Portland Business Journal. September 2, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Waggener Edstrom adds Paris office". Portland Business Journal. October 2, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ Gordon, Andrew (May 26, 2003). "Wag Ed to Open in Boston Despite Slump". PRWeek. p. 5. 
  12. ^ "Waggener Edstrom Opens Boston Office". Portland Business Journal. May 19, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Murphy, James (May 20, 2005). "Waggener Edstrom in buy-out of HK's Shout". Media: Asia's Media & Marketing Newspaper. 
  14. ^ "Waggener Edstrom buys Asian PR firm". Pudget Sound Business Journal. May 16, 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Waggener Edstrom. (2012). PRWeek (U.S.), 15(5), 42.
  16. ^ a b c "Waggener Edstrom Worldwide". May 1, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ Chupick, Jason (April 3, 2009). "WSJ's David Patton Joins Waggener Edstrom as EiC of Studio D". PRNewser. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  18. ^ Aarti Shah (June 19, 2009). "WE makes more additions to digital group". PRWeek. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  19. ^ Chupick, Jason (October 28, 2009). "Waggener Hires Pact CEO Jean-Louis Robadey". Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  20. ^ Sudhaman, Arun (March 8, 2010). "Waggener Edstrom opens in South Africa after Microsoft win". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Waggener Edstrom Worldwide opens with Microsoft win". March 1, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  22. ^ Shuffler, Jason (November 18, 2010). "Waggener Edstrom opens office in India". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Waggener Edstrom Worldwide opens offices in Delhi and Bangalore". Campaign India. November 17, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Wag-Ed Acquires German Healthcare Firm Patzer". The Holmes Report. May 31, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  25. ^ Kiefer, Brittaney (December 10, 2012). "Waggener Edstrom to Fold Maloney & Fox Brand". PRWeek. 
  26. ^ What We Do, Waggener Edstrom, retrieved January 30, 2013 
  27. ^ Chupick, Jason (June 23, 2009). "Survey: 86% Feel Corporations Can Address Social Issues". PRNewser. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  28. ^ Shah, Aarti (June 10, 2009). "Toshiba selects WE as AOR". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  29. ^ Daniels, Chris (December 3, 2009). "UPDATED: Tupperware selects Maloney & Fox for a contemporary edge". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "Waggener Edstrom Worldwide partners with the University of Johannesburg". February 9, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  31. ^ Schneiderman, Matt (Aug 4, 2009). "Change your career from: Media". Time Out New York. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  32. ^ Maul, Kimberly (April 14, 2010). "Waggener Edstrom launches social integration products". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  33. ^ Krietsch, Beth (May 12, 2011). "Waggener Edstrom releases Ripple Effect tool". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  34. ^ Burns, Enid (September 8, 2006). "Waggener Edstrom Bends An Ear to Online Chatter". ClickZ. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  35. ^ "PR Innovation of the Year 2010". PRWeek. March 11, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  36. ^ Shah, Aarti (November 17, 2009). "WE launches Twendz upgrade for professionals". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  37. ^ Garcia, Tonya (March 15, 2011). "WE Showcasing Its Digital Tools at SXSW". PRNewser. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  38. ^ Dredge, Stuart (March 14, 2011). "The 20 mobile apps riding the new wave of location innovation". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  39. ^ Hernandez, Brian (March 8, 2010). "Tweet-A-Beer Lets You Buy Drinks for Twitter Pals". Mashable. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  40. ^ McCue, TJ (March 6, 2013). "Hey Big Fish - South By Southwest - What To Do If You Are Not Going". Forbes. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  41. ^ a b WetFeet (2008). Careers in Advertising and Public Relations. WETFEET, INC. pp. 56–. ISBN 978-1-58207-815-1. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  42. ^ "PRWeek Global: Global Agency Report Card 2010". PRWeek. October 29, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  43. ^ "Agency Report Card > Waggener Edstrom". The Holmes Report. The Holmes Group. February 23, 2011. 
  44. ^ "2011 Top Places to Work in PR - Waggener Edstrom Worldwide". PRWeek. PRNews. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Waggener Edstrom among 'best PR agencies to work for'". Portland Business Journal. April 28, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  46. ^ a b Wilhelm, Steve (July 13, 2008). "A grateful Melissa Waggener Zorkin helps Mercy Corps". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Waggener Edstrom reaches globally to combat hunger". PRWeek. December 12, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  48. ^ Maul, Kimberly (September 23, 2010). "WagEd partners with Mercy Corp in Ethiopia". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  49. ^ "Holmes Report Names 2012 EMEA Consultancies Of The Year". The Holmes Report. February 6, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  50. ^ Woods, David (January 25, 2011). "Waggener Edstrom Worldwide promotes UK tech head to global alliance director". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  51. ^ "Huge companies need as much PR". CNET. September 11, 1996. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  52. ^ Gordon, Rose (June 1, 2009). "Simon Sproule crafts a new story for Microsoft". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  53. ^ "25. Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO, president, and founder, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide". PRWeek. July 1, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  54. ^ "Waggener Edstrom lands account of Advanced Micro". Pudget Sound Business Journal. September 27, 2002. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  55. ^ Gordon, Andrew (May 19, 2003). "Microsoft and Wag Ed Tell Conflicting Stories about ILOO". PRWeek. p. 3. 
  56. ^ Richman, Dan (May 13, 2003). "On-again, off-again iLoo is off for good". Seattle Post-Intelligencer Report. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  57. ^ "Oh, It's Not a Hoax: MS ILoo". WIRED. May 13, 2003. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  58. ^ O'Connor, Clare (September 14, 2007). "Segway hires Waggener Edstrom for UK comms". PRWeek. p. 14. 
  59. ^ Macropoulos, Angela (April 3, 2007). "Misfired memo reveals tabs kept on journalists". The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  60. ^ Vogelstein, Fred (March 27, 2007). "Microsoft Sends Secret Dossier on Reporter, to Reporter". WIRED. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  61. ^ Arrington, Michael (March 28, 2007). "Microsoft Accidentally Sends Secret File On Journalist, To That Journalist. Oops.". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  62. ^ Krietsch, Beth (December 14, 2011). "Make-A-Wish hires Waggener Edstrom for website work". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  63. ^ Bishop, Todd (March 8, 2010). "Twitter analysis accurately predicted big 'Hurt Locker' win". BizJournals. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  64. ^ Loh, Larry (March 5, 2010). "The Twitter crystal ball -- 'Hurt Locker' or 'Avatar' for Oscar Best Pic?". CNN. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  65. ^ Toto, Christian (March 3, 2010). "'Hurt Locker' rules (according to Twitter)". The Washington Times. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  66. ^ Luker, Sara. "Xerox UK & Ireland hires Waggener Edstrom to lose the 'just a copier' tag". PRWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  67. ^ "T-Mobile displays its strong sense of touch". PRWeek. August 1, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  68. ^ Garcia, Tonya (February 15, 2012). "Women Leaders in PR: Melissa Waggener Zorkin Focuses on 'Building a Fine Company'". PRNewser. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  69. ^ "Waggener Edstrom Wins Sony Electronics Account In Singapore". The Holmes Report. April 17, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]