WE Communications Employee Reviews about "pr"

Updated Sep 20, 2021

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3.8
58%
Recommend to a Friend
92%
Approve of CEO
WE Communications President and CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin
Melissa Waggener Zorkin
253 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great work life balance, salaries(in 40 reviews)

  • "Good benefits, good work/life balance at more senior positions(in 22 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Capabilities and growth are limited based on legacy PR thinking(in 37 reviews)

  • "Extremely long hours with pressure to meet high billable hour goals(in 21 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    Reviews about "pr"

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    1. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Poor company culture, lack of diversity & vindictive leadership

      Sep 20, 2021 - Director 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      A paying job if you're desperate, but that's it.

      Cons

      Beware. Job was nothing like what I was sold on to begin with. Countless red flags/lies within the first few days/weeks. Left promptly at the one-year mark. Incredibly poor leadership team and toxic company culture fueled by gossip, politics, favoritism and negative reinforcement. Leadership is mostly (if not all) white people, who have only worked at WE and lack experience and expertise beyond traditional PR and their main account (Microsoft). The lack of diversity issue is so bad that "Black power" was actually reported as "a trend" in a client presentation. Leadership keeps the cycle of ignorance going by hiring inexperienced, junior-level talent, recruiting from the same select (mostly white) universities, and following a sorority playbook for culture and retention purposes (like, bullying and team pep rallies with pom poms). Overall, lack of professionalism and interesting clients, account work, career opportunities and mentorship. Skip this agency and go to the bigger, more integrated firms for a more professional, rewarding experience that'll set you up for long-term career growth and success.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    2. 5.0
      Former Employee

      Impeccable PR agency with many bright minds

      May 7, 2021 - Account Director 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Learn and practice PR alongside incredible professionals

      Cons

      Capabilities and growth are limited based on legacy PR thinking

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    3. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Incredible PR agency with finger in advertising

      Feb 18, 2020 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great work/life balance, scope-creep protection, great customer service, strong work ethic, high-quality work, stellar creative talent and work, general friendliness of everyone.

      Cons

      Inexperience in advertising - keep in mind that this is a PR-first agency so much if not all of the advertising business has been built out of PR work, not been pitched and won thanks to experience, expertise, and capabilities. Consequently, media experience and knowledge were limited across most of the agency except within the media team (which was tiny) and there were few tools. There was little focus on building out advertising as evidenced by biz dev. While there were solid ad agency hires in upper management to the team during my time, those above and below that level had limited knowledge of how media worked within and across channels: what is a pixel, how to effectively use retargeting, what CPM points to, identifying audience overlap, how to build a pivot table, how to properly set up and measure an A/B test, understanding importance of R/F, importance of site-side measurement, siloed in the upper funnel without properly considering the down-funnel effects, right-sizing campaigns to budgets, attribution, how to build a media strategy deck (vs. tactics), etc., etc.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    4. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Amazing Company, Typical PR Agency Craziness

      Apr 11, 2019 - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - independent company that genuinely cares about its employees - good perks (getting to travel to other offices, twice annual $$ for a health-related purchases, commuter reimbursement)

      Cons

      - smaller offices feel forgotten (focus seems to be on the largest offices- e.g. HQ in Seattle) - leaders adopt the crazed attitude that leads to burnout and is rampant across the PR industry (acting as if PR is the ER)

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      2 people found this review helpful
    5. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Literally the worst

      Jan 26, 2018 - Account Coordinator in Bellevue, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Fridays off in the summer if workload is light -Surprisingly, the name still holds cache for a lot of people, so it has helped me get other work

      Cons

      Run, do not walk, away from this place. Do not pass go, do not collect $100, do not apply here for your own wellbeing and sanity. -Compensation: Almost unlivable. -Management: Completely inept. In a company-wide meeting about drumming up new business, admitted they had no plan to actually do that. No one is trained and feedback is all over the place. I would win agency wide awards one day and the next day hear that my team was thinking about canning me for no apparent reason (see Mean Girl culture below). -Micromanagement: My boss had to "check over" all my emails, even if they were going just to an internal team. Literally the guy would not give up control to let me do anything. Just weird. -Overwork: When I left, they replaced me with 4 interns. So, I was doing the work of four people for about 10k more than the federal poverty level. Awesome! -Mean Girl Culture: It's a thing. If you aren't a mean girl (or aren't liked by them), you will never progress. Work ethic, actual doing of good work, etc is basically meaningless here. Hope you like sadism! -High Rate of Turnover: If someone survives longer than 2 years here, they have either carved out a niche by being a SME on something and agggressively not teaching that skill to anyone else, or they are in favor with a mean girl. I worked here for just a year and almost 3/4ths of the people I worked with were gone 6-8 months after I left. -Unethical: Product developed to provide customer insights did not work, was asked to lie to cover up this fact. -Not Educated on Products: You'd think that if you are doing PR on technical products, you could actually explain things about the products themselves...there is so much emphasis on looking good and spinning here that employees lack the ability to explain the technology they are pitching. Embarrassing, frankly, for both MSFT and WE.

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      20 people found this review helpful
    6. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Spin city, terrible managers, really bad experience.

      May 3, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Offices are nice, some good people.

      Cons

      Bad management, "mean girls" culture, promotion of people into non-PR specialist senior roles who have no relevant experience, just because they're good at PR. So much time spinning each other, nobody knows what's real.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    7. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Toxic managers, toxic environment

      Apr 16, 2017 - Content Strategy Manager in Bellevue, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Generous vacation grant and nice offices. You have an actual desk in an open environment.

      Cons

      Low salaries. It's clear from day 1 that they don't expect anyone to stay and retire here. Bizarre benefit range. A company created by women and packed with younger women offers two weeks parental leave. Terrible management that encourages people to turn on each other in the name of competition. No promotion track outside of management, so people who don't want to be/aren't qualified to be managers are given direct reports without proper training. Constant layoffs means everyone lives in fear of losing their job. Being a PR agency, everyone works hard at spinning bad situations rather than trying to improve them.

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      13 people found this review helpful

      WE Communications Response

      SVP

      Thank you for your feedback about your experience at WE. I want you to know that we care about your experience here and we’ll be discussing your feedback and consider any improvements. For an independent company of our size, we strive to offer market equivalent compensation and benefits. In the area of parental leave, I’m happy to report that we’ve actually been offering four weeks since last fall, and we’re always looking at ways that we can improve our offering in this area. If you feel comfortable, please consider reaching out to me directly to share more details at KateR@we-worldwide.com. -Kate

    8. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      VP+

      May 14, 2016 - Vice President in Portland, OR
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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.

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      18 people found this review helpful
    9. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Good starting place, but don't get stuck

      May 10, 2016 - Graphic Designer in Bellevue, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I really enjoyed my immediate team and the types of projects we were doing. The PR teams were professional and pleasant to interact with. Good starting point for a career, but I definitely wouldn't stay and get stuck in a rut.

      Cons

      My last few months at WE were absolutely demoralizing and I was treated in such a derogatory and unprofessional manner it affected my life outside of work negatively. Generally, interaction with the actual PR account teams was pleasant and professional but there's also a clear disconnect when it comes to PR teams understanding requirements and deliverables around non-PR related projects. The result of this was minimal budget for our team on projects, so big ideas weren't always executable. Perks and benefits are constantly being slashed. Work life balance no longer exists. Whenever there is an upper management change, expect a ton of disruption. In four years I went through about 6 different company reorganizations. The culture outside of service teams is very sorority-like. There are occasions where people you work directly with don't acknowledge you outside of meetings. It gets old fast and you don't realize how toxic team culture can be until you've left. In non-PR roles there really is no way to advance. You're ultimately handling the same projects, even if your title changes.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    10. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Anonymous former employee

      Feb 19, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      You don't appreciate how awesome the culture and tribe at WE is until you've left it. Also, the savviness in how to do storytelling is unmatched. WE does 500-level PR. You will learn from the best of the best here.

      Cons

      It's a large, legacy PR firm. Can be hierarchical in terms of client contact. Change comes slowly. Still holds on to "perfectionist" ways and oftentimes is own worst enemy with respect to perfect being the enemy of done.

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