WE Wins Gold

Posted on September 1, 2011 by Comments Off

 With the industry’s awards season in full swing, bringing home the gold is something that is top of mind.  And yes, I am aware of some more cynical perspectives on industry awards – they don’t matter, the best work doesn’t always win, it’s all self-congratulatory etc.  If that’s how you feel you should probably just close this page right now, because when I learned that the agency WON three (yes THREE!) Bulldog Stars of PR Awards, even my (normally very active) inner cynic got a bit misty.

 Winning Large Agency of the Year, Technology Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year not only plays a critical role in reinforcing our position as industry leader but as a communications and digital powerhouse as well.

And even better: WE were awarded this year’s Grand Prize: Communications Agency of the Year!  Not only did we wow the judges at Bulldog Reporter with our accomplishments in the individual categories and beat out a host of top competitors, they also called out our firm commitment to corporate responsibility as a critical factor.

This recognition reflects all the savvy, smarts, and sweat on behalf of some fantastic clients by every WE employee around the world. 

Congratulations to the entire Waggener Edstrom team, and thank you to our clients whose partnership in delivering great results makes recognition like this possible.

And the winner is….

Posted on February 24, 2011 by 1 Comment

There is the usual amount of water cooler banter around here about the Oscars. Of the 10 Best Picture nominees, we are advocates for “The King’s Speech” to win. But since we believe in the value of data and the insights that can be gleaned, we pulled the relevant conversations from Twitter to see if our instincts were correct. As you can see from our infographic, the Twitterverse disagrees with our assessment by 4%.

Many analytics tools rely on numbers for absolute determinations, but people make decisions based on facts and emotions, and analyzing that combination provides a more holistic valuation. For example, the data suggests that James Franco will be this year’s Best Actor winner. But when you weigh public sentiment, story response and stats together, Colin Firth comes out on top.

Definitive answers can be complicated because data can’t forecast human opinions. We believe that if you compose the right questions and carefully mine the conversations in conjunction with the numbers, insights become much clearer.

Drinking from the firehose

Posted on April 30, 2010 by Comments Off

You’ve heard this phrase before right?  Someone is so busy they’re ‘drinking from the firehose’.

Or the fire hydrant, which could be considerably more difficult. 

From now on though, I’m going to use this phrase – “It’s like getting hit with a cupcake cannon”.

“Wow, what a meeting huh?”

“Yeah, that was like getting hit with a cupcake cannon.”


“Sorry, I meant it was paradigm shifting.”

Thanks Gizmodo for showing you’re not just good for breaking iPhone 4.0 stories!  But we knew that already.

Below is the video that demonstrates the sheer power of a fully armed and operational cupcake cannon, delivered by the local (as in Portland, OR) Kamp Grizzly.

Enjoy your weekend.

YouTube Preview Image

My new neighbors

Posted on March 3, 2010 by Comments Off

I’ve worked at Waggener Edstrom for 10 years and have moved cubicles (no high falutin offices with doors or walls in most of our locations) nearly as much as people have gone ‘what the…?’ after a Lost episode.

It may be silly, but I always get excited by these moves.  In my time here it’s given me a chance to get to know a lot of different people.  Which leads me to some of my new neighbors.

I’ll call them Scott, Jeff and Allen.  Mainly because those are their names.

They’re part of our WE Studio D team, and have been giddy as kids on Christmas morning about a project to build a multi touch table PC.  You can read about their progress over on our Thinkers & Doers blog, but for me it’s been a kick watching them brainstorming, pulling components together and humoring my questions like ‘So…what color is it going to be?’ 

I’m also struck by how much has changed in a decade and how much more interesting working in this industry and at this agency is than it was when I first started here.  That’s not a slam on what things were like circa 1999.  It’s testament to how far we’ve come, and that change (whether in life, our industry, or our company) should be embraced instead of feared and fought. 

I’ll share a few updates as these guys progress, but for now I’m liking my new neighborhood.












The troika of Scott, Jeff and Allen test out the touch surface for their table PC.  Next week, they try out the flux capacitor.

Our ears are burning

Posted on March 1, 2010 by 3 Comments

Jack O’Dwyer, publisher of O’Dwyer’s annual list of PR agencies, recently made it clear that he will begin charging participants a fee to be included. We at Waggener Edstrom have decided that this arrangement does not support our business objectives. While we have participated in prior years, O’Dwyer’s list has not had a measurable impact on our business efforts for some time. 

We are, however, taking part in other industry rankings that do not require payment, and which have proven to deliver as good, or better, results for our business. But because of our decision, O’Dwyer has singled us out for declining to advertise. 

In his blog, O’Dwyer regularly calls on agencies to support trade media. The reality is that we do support the industry. 

We have advertised with other publications such as PR Week, and we will continue to sponsor events that offer a thoughtful dialogue on emerging industry topics. We are also a member of the Council of PR Firms — another organization that O’Dwyer has taken to task for not financially supporting his business to the extent he deems sufficient.  

Our decision is based on the same set of expectations that our clients set for us each day — demonstrate great value, deliver great results and you will earn our business. 

In this case, our view on what’s best for our business simply differs from what O’Dwyer believes is best for his.

As a side note, you can see Gawker’s unique take on the situation here.

Kent Hollenbeck is Sr. Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and can be found @kent_h on Twitter.

What the world needs now…

Posted on February 6, 2010 by Comments Off

Cause, what the world needs now
Is another folk singer blog
Like I need a hole in my head.

When I started to write this initial post for what we’re calling Panorama, the line above from a Cracker song popped into my head.

Does the world need another blog from a comms/pr/marketing/<insert other yada yada title here> person?

Probably not.  There are a lot of smart people in this industry, not to mention a heckuva lot in the company I work for…which is Waggener Edstrom by the way, just to get into full FTC disclosure mode.  There are others from WE that already share their stunningly knowledgeable points of view here, here, and here to name just a few.

So why contribute to the cacophony?  Dude…it’s my job.  

That’s partly why anyway.  I, and many of the people who will post here are responsible for marketing and communications for WE. 

Don’t worry, this won’t be all rah rah about our company.  We have some pretty cool and talented people on the team that will give their perspective on industry news, trends and we’ll shed a bit more light on some of the unique personalities and things that make up WE.  In other words, it will be a virtual Panorama of us, our industry and everything in between.  See how I worked the blog name into the first blog post?  Sneaky!

We hope you’ll check back often. Thanks for giving us a read.

Kent Hollenbeck is Sr. Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and can be found @kent_h on Twitter.

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