Engaging the world in a conversation about sustainability


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Guest post by Cailee Olson, an intern with Waggener Edstrom’s Corporate Citizenship team

It was not too long ago when large meetings of world leaders were simply stories on the evening news. This week we’ve seen in real-time what can happen when citizens, social media, and world leaders come together to discuss important issues facing society today.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the three-day United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development—commonly known as Rio+20– happening in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this week. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon describes Rio+20 as “…one of the most important global meetings on sustainable development in our time.” The conference takes place 20 years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio. The focus of Rio+20 is to engage the world in a conversation on what we want for the Earth in the next 20 years.

On Tuesday, just before the start of Rio+20, the United Nations Foundation hosted a related summit called Rio+Social. Rio+Social was designed to bring together the world, in an innovative way, to discuss such topics surrounding the new role of social media and technology as it pertains to sustained development.

Armed with my Twitter handle (@cailee_olson), computer, and personal Facebook page, I began interacting with the world. In addition to a homepage for the event, Rio+Social organizers created a Facebook page and Twitter account with a dedicated hashtag (#rioplussocial) to give the public forums to discuss what was occurring during the summit. All of these forums served different but complementary functions, encouraging the community to interact with Rio+Social channels in distinct ways:

  • Facebook: Rio+Social organizers relied on the summit’s Facebook page to create excitement and build buzz about the event among its 25,000+ fans. In March, Rio+Social launched its Facebook page by releasing a cover photo with a simple tag of “June 19, in Rio de Janeiro. It’s coming.” Then organizers released a series of countdown to Rio+Social cover photos on June 16. This created anticipation for the event, inspiring community members to share links and spread the word within their personal networks. During the event on Tuesday, organizers posted simple images of quotes from the event to keep people up-to-speed on the real-time conversation. Rio+Social shared the images in both English and Portuguese, which gave participants the opportunity to share pictures with their friends and influence people with simple messages about the summit days as it was happening and after it concluded.
  • Rio+Social homepage: This was the landing site for the event content which included a live stream of panel discussions that aired in real-time as well as videos of exclusive presentations. This was an effective and impactful way to engage supporters, defying borders, languages, and time zones that may have otherwise prohibited real-time mass interaction and discussion of major world issues.
  • Twitter: I liked searching #rioplussocial and having the ability to see how the other 4,000+ followers responding to what people were saying during the live stream. A lot of times other users would catch something I missed or would interpret an issue or statement differently than me. I appreciated seeing other sides of an issue I might not have thought of if I had just seen a video clip on a news story.

All three channels offered a forum for the general public to communicate with global leaders about sustainability. People raised questions, leaders responded and everyone bounced around new ideas. A particularly influential exchange came to life as a tweet that Leonardo DiCaprio sent to his nearly three million followers, a quote from Ted Turner during one of his presentations. Mr. Turner said “If we destroy our environment we destroy ourselves.” This one simple message – which Twitter users re-tweeted
2,519 times and 560 people liked – illustrates the reach of social media and its ability to influence a broad audience. By using #rioplussocial, DiCaprio connected with those following the Rio+Social summit as well as his own Twitter followers.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues with other global meetings of the same nature. As someone who participated, it was a powerful experience to see people from all walks of life talk about sustainability and how each of us plays an important and unique role in ensuring a safe and healthy planet for future generations.

Communications Scholars, The LAGRANT Foundation and WE: A “Communications Conversations” Event


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Last week, we welcomed nine college students to WE’s Seattle office to spend a day engaging in activities to prepare them for careers in our industry. These students are all connected to The LAGRANT Foundation, an organization that provides opportunity to students who aspire to become communications professionals. It does this by providing ethnic minority college students with scholarships, career workshops professional development, mentoring and internships.

To say we were impressed by the scholars who joined us is an understatement. All of them — Chelsea, Fabiola, Greg, Judy, Kara, Mintwab, Monica, Sandra and Senait — brought such passion, curiosity and intelligence with them; it is clear that they will one day be leaders of our industry!

The students also brought with them a good deal of experience. Nearly all of them have held at least one internship, and several of the students hold leadership positions in organizations at their respective universities.

We packed our Communications Conversations event with interactive sessions and inspiring speakers for the students including the following:

  • A client visit from Amy Barzdukas, general manager of Communications for the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft, who shared advice and best practices from her career in both the publishing industry and the technology sector.
  • A brainstorm session during which the students tackled a business problem presented by See Your Impact, a WE pro bono client.
  • Hands-on training with WE’s People Services team and hiring managers that included resume reviews and mock speed dating-style interviews.
  • Intimate conversations with WE founders Pam Edstrom and Melissa Waggener about their careers in communications.

Communications Conversations added a new dimension to the agency’s relationship with The LAGRANT Foundation. In addition to financial support and the commitment of time and expertise by WE leaders including Pam Edstrom who is on The LAGRANT Foundation’s board of directors, over the past several years the agency has been fortunate to welcome LAGRANT scholars to the WE family in both full-time and internship positions.

Two of the students who joined us for Communications Conversations last week will guest blog about their experience on The LAGRANT Foundation’s website. We’ll be sure to share their stories here as well!

Celebrating Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Volunteers [Infographic]


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Silvia Ashmore, Community Relations Program Specialist, WE-Portland

April is National Volunteer Month in the U.S. At Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) we want to recognize and thank all our volunteers around the globe by launching our second annual employee incentive campaign called Give 16, which will run April 16 through Nov. 16, 2012.

Each year, WE offers employees up to 16 hours of paid time to volunteer their time to make a difference in the world during work hours. In addition to our ongoing Volunteer Grant program, staff members who use all of their 16 volunteer hours benefit AND persuade a colleague to use their hours as well can apply for a bonus grant to benefit the organizations where they volunteer.

Employee volunteering has a significant impact on our company’s annual goal to contribute up to 1 percent of WE’s total fee revenue to the communities. WE exceeded its annual goal last year and donated $1.2 million to nonprofit organizations. Throughout the year, we share stories about our employees’ inspirations, motivations and passions in the communities. To learn more about the power of our employees’ volunteering efforts, check out this 2011 Year in Review infographic showing how our employees clocked 6,000 hours using their benefit, which translated into true social impact. This is only half of the story. This month we’re celebrating the power of collaboration, for the greater good.

A Q&A with Waggener Edstrom’s Office Manager in Mumbai


This post is by WE.com Blog Feed from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




“I don’t think it’s important to be successful and you can’t measure it. I just like to LIVE and take each day as it comes and play my part”, says Shalini Pathak. She is the office manager at Waggener Edstrom’s Mumbai office and is responsible for the office administration and assists the entire team with their administrative needs. Though she efficiently coordinates the finance and HR, she confesses that numbers are not her best friend and even simple math drives her up the wall. Shalini quickly gets attached to people, places and things. She has a mental list of ‘things to do before I die’ and her ambitious nature is symbolized by her stars and dice tattoo. Grishma Samuel, found out a few more interesting things about Shalini, which came out of this brief Q&A session with her.   1. How do you add value to WE with your roles and responsibilities
  • I believe the best way to lose weight is to help other people lose weight (not literally) and I try to follow it. I might fail to diet on my own, but if I decide to help someone else diet, I will feel more committed and more likely succeed. At work it is just as simple, I try and become an engaged employee, help others (exactly what my role demands) and in the end this is what makes me love my job.
  1. Where did you work prior to joining Waggener Edstrom?
  • Skyway RMC Plants
  1. How do you prefer to unwind after a hectic day at work?
  • By Spending hours in front of the TV :)
  1. One event in history you would’ve loved to be a part of?
  • 15th April 1912, the wreck of the Titanic…not necessarily at the time of the “wreckage” but would have loved to be a part of THE journey to witness the grandeur.
  1. If you weren’t working at Waggener Edstrom, what else would you have been doing?
  • Owning a shack in Goa and making enough monies to travel around the world :)
  1. You favorite movie quote
  •  ‘Nothing is more necessary than the unnecessary’ (From my most favorite movie “Life is Beautiful”)
  1. One thing about your job that you think is the best
  • The people I work with
  1. If something could define you, what would it be?
  • A song by Lady Gaga “Born This Way” best defines me.
 (Interview by Grishma Samuel, Account Coordinator, Waggener Edstrom, Mumbai, India)

A Q&A with Waggener Edstrom’s Office Manager in Mumbai


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




“I don’t think it’s important to be successful and you can’t measure it. I just like to LIVE and take each day as it comes and play my part”, says Shalini Pathak. She is the office manager at Waggener Edstrom’s Mumbai office and is responsible for the office administration and assists the entire team with their administrative needs. Though she efficiently coordinates the finance and HR, she confesses that numbers are not her best friend and even simple math drives her up the wall. Shalini quickly gets attached to people, places and things. She has a mental list of ‘things to do before I die’ and her ambitious nature is symbolized by her stars and dice tattoo. Grishma Samuel, found out a few more interesting things about Shalini, which came out of this brief Q&A session with her.   1. How do you add value to WE with your roles and responsibilities
  • I believe the best way to lose weight is to help other people lose weight (not literally) and I try to follow it. I might fail to diet on my own, but if I decide to help someone else diet, I will feel more committed and more likely succeed. At work it is just as simple, I try and become an engaged employee, help others (exactly what my role demands) and in the end this is what makes me love my job.
  1. Where did you work prior to joining Waggener Edstrom?
  • Skyway RMC Plants
3. Continue reading "A Q&A with Waggener Edstrom’s Office Manager in Mumbai"

A Q&A with Waggener Edstrom’s Office Manager in Mumbai


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




“I don’t think it’s important to be successful and you can’t measure it. I just like to LIVE and take each day as it comes and play my part”, says Shalini Pathak. She is the office manager at Waggener Edstrom’s Mumbai office and is responsible for the office administration and assists the entire team with their administrative needs. Though she efficiently coordinates the finance and HR, she confesses that numbers are not her best friend and even simple math drives her up the wall. Shalini quickly gets attached to people, places and things. She has a mental list of ‘things to do before I die’ and her ambitious nature is symbolized by her stars and dice tattoo. Grishma Samuel, found out a few more interesting things about Shalini, which came out of this brief Q&A session with her.

  1. How do you add value to WE with your roles and responsibilities

  • I believe the best way to lose weight is to help other people lose weight (not literally) and I try to follow it. I might fail to diet on my own, but if I decide to help someone else diet, I will feel more committed and more likely succeed. At work it is just as simple, I try and become an engaged employee, help others (exactly what my role demands) and in the end this is what makes me love my job.

2. Where did you work prior to joining Waggener Edstrom?

  • Skyway RMC Plants

3. How do you prefer to unwind after a hectic day at work?

  • By Spending hours in front of the TV :)

4. One event in history you would’ve loved to be a part of?

  • 15th April 1912, the wreck of the Titanic…not necessarily at the time of the “wreckage” but would have loved to be a part of THE journey to witness the grandeur.

5. If you weren’t working at Waggener Edstrom, what else would you have been doing?

  • Owning a shack in Goa and making enough monies to travel around the world :)

6. You favorite movie quote

  •  ‘Nothing is more necessary than the unnecessary’ (From my most favorite movie “Life is Beautiful”)

7. One thing about your job that you think is the best

  • The people I work with

8. If something could define you, what would it be?

  • A song by Lady Gaga “Born This Way” best defines me.

 (Interview by Grishma Samuel, Account Coordinator, Waggener Edstrom, Mumbai, India)

One Year Later…Home Sweet Home!


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Colby Reade, Account Executive

A few weeks after I started at Waggener, I wrote a post for this blog about the initial integration process and how impressed I was with the way that Waggener “walks the walk” in that department.

 Fast forward and, hard as it is to believe, I’m approaching my one-year “Waggeversary” on the Windows team which means the honeymoon phase is officially over. I’m no longer the happy-go-lucky newbie savoring the “new car smell” of my cube and relishing the various, unique qualities that set Waggener apart from other employers (hello free Talking Rain!). I’ve gotten my hands dirty … I’ve worked the long hours we all hear about … I’ve had the late night client emails … the surprise deliverable asks … the emergency reactive situations. And like any good relationship, I have to say I love it more now than I did 12 months ago.

 

The agency does a lot to make the work environment enjoyable … Intern Fun Week … War Rooms … Donut Thursday … but there are a few big reasons why I am truly passionate about showing up to my cube every day and why I sing Waggener’s praises every chance I get.

 Work Life Balance is more than just a buzz word.  Many companies urge their employees to find “work life balance,” but actually taking the time to achieve this balance can be difficult. In some cases, a team is horribly short staffed so employees can’t get away without the organization collapsing.  In other cases, employees worry about the security of their job if they disappear for time off and the world continues to function in their absence. For several reasons workers are not taking all of their vacation time these days. Not the case at Waggener. While you can’t just take off at any time and for any duration, Waggener makes sure team members feel comfortable logging off to recharge.

 Waggener treats employees like adults. I can remember my first week here, checking in everyday with my manager before I ran to get coffee at Starbucks or ducking out for lunch. After a few days, Bonnie kindly let me know that the head’s up were not necessary … that she’d call my cell phone if the world was collapsing but otherwise, any work could wait fifteen minutes until I got back. This is emblematic of a bigger theme. There are no clock watchers at Waggener. Yes, we monitor our time, but managers know we work hard and will deliver gold standard work on time, so there are no Bill Lumberg’s wandering around making sure that coffee breaks last ONLY 15 minutes and that we are seated at our computers promptly at 9 AM. Management trusts the team because we show up and work hard.

 Waggener believes in flexibility. We had some work done on our house this year which meant a few days with repairmen who needed to be babysat. Instead of having to brick time off of my calendar and be “off” for half a day (or a full day in some cases), I simply plugged in at home and was able to keep plugging away as if I were at my desk in 3CP. For anyone who has had to skip work to wait on a contractor you know how valuable that freedom to stay on top of your to-do list instead of just sitting and waiting can be.

 Waggener hires brilliant people. One of the things that sold me on the chance to come work for Waggener was the opportunity to learn from some really smart individuals and this place has not disappointed. From watching Mark Martin lead the Windows business to the careful review and feedback I get from my manager, Bonnie, to the knowledge sharing sessions I have with my fellow Windows UnLeaded teammates … I am literally surrounded by “brilliant” every day. The growth I have seen in myself over the last 12 months is due, in large, LARGE, part to those folks and their positive influence. 

 Working for Waggener? Best. Career Move. Ever.

In preparation of the Summer 2012 Olympics – coming to you from London!


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Guest post by Annabel Kerr, Senior Account Executive

While I am pretty psyched about my upcoming Olympics date with the male volleyball competition, most Londoners’ excitement about the Olympics this summer is being severely tested by almost daily reports of predicted travel chaos over the 3 week period. This comes as an estimated 3 million additional trips on busy days are added to an already strained London transport system. The website getaheadofthegames.com has helpfully provided a map showing the predicted impact an influx of games tourists will have on London’s tube network so commuters can avoid the main stress points however the advice given by most is for businesses to adopt a flexible working practice and allow employees to work from home.

 Company laptops make working from home if necessary more of an option than ever so I thought it might be a good idea to pool the team’s collective knowledge and offer up some top tips. What I came up with however were ideas on how not to work from home – lessons learned from Waggener Edstrom staff apparently…..:

 1. Pajamas are not appropriate work attire – get up, get showered, get changed and get going – sometimes even leaving the house for a short walk can make the world of difference, allowing you to return in the right frame of mind…

2. Keep the TV turned off – the lure of soaps/Jeremy Kyle is an unexplainable yet powerful one

3. Clear yourself a designated workspace – whether it is the kitchen table or your own desk make sure you have a good chair, good lighting and HEATING

4. Work your set number of hours – it can be very easy to work 7 to midnight – DON’T

5. Plan breaks into your working day – without the natural distraction of colleagues discussing the latest celebrity scandal/what they plan to have for lunch it is all too easy to just keep going but without breaks your work will become less and less productive

6. Beware the doorbell – answering your door in the middle of the day can be a dangerous move which may lead to many long and unwanted conversations

7. Padlock your fridge – boredom grazing is neither productive nor good for the waist line

8. Lync is your friend – keep in contact with colleagues throughout the day to feel part of the team and save from having to write an email for every single thought which comes to you

9. Have you got everything you need? – make sure to take any and all materials you might need home the night before to save from yelling at yourself in frustration the next morning when you realise what you have forgotten

10. Laptop = check, power lead = ?? – bring all the tech you will need home just in case

 So there you go – educational I think you will agree!

WE Smack Down: Love for Our Cities + Competitive Volunteering = Social Impact


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Earlier this month, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) launched #WESmackDown, an all-out battle between our Portland and Seattle offices to prove who loves their city more by volunteering to make it a better place. And prove it they did!

In six collective volunteer hours last week, 37 WE employees helped do the following:

  • Prepare and beautify the rooftop garden at Portland’s YWCA Camp Westwind in the City that 300+ kids will enjoy, learn from and eat from all summer long.
  • Serve at Seattle’s Greenwood Food Bank, providing approximately 250 individuals with supplemental groceries that will feed them and their families as food stamps dwindle toward the end of the month

In addition to volunteer time, WE donated $1,500 to the YWCA and Greenwood Food Bank; a combination of in-kind and cash contributions. At the YWCA, WE’s donation will serve as a scholarship that covers the cost of summer camp for at least two kids who could not otherwise afford it, and at the Greenwood Food Bank, WE’s donation will cover thousands of pounds worth of fresh dairy products.

The ultimate goal of WE Smack Down is to get out and volunteer in the community. But seeing as we love healthy competition here at WE, Portland and Seattle employees also contend to see who can talk the best smack leading up to the volunteer events. Equipped with a wrestling name and an unlimited supply of enthusiasm and creativity, WE employees embraced the challenge. The Seattle team went so far as to create a training video to intimidate their Portland contenders.

The March WE Smack Down events were the first of four U.S. Northwest matchups WE will host one per quarter to determine the ultimate WE Smack Down champion for 2012. Teams get points based on who is fastest to fill their volunteer spots, who gets the most creative in driving awareness and trash talking leading up to the event, and who shows up to the event with the most volunteer spots filled. At the end of the year, the winning office will get a WE Smack Down trophy and, more importantly, bragging rights. The Pacific Northwest events are already such a hit that there’s talk about an East Coast WE Smack Down in the works between our New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. offices.

Though both teams put up a valiant fight, the ultimate WE Smack Down champ for our March battle was the Seattle team. Portland competitors, however, are not discouraged; after all, they have three more battles to wage, and this war is nowhere near over.

Congratulations to all our WE Smack Down contenders: You have proven how much you love your city!

A Fun (London) Day had by all


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




By Sam Whitby, Operations Manager, WE-UK Headquarters

On March 9, this year, 13 staff members from WE’s UK office volunteered with the Kids Company, a London-based charity that supports vulnerable inner-city children via a variety of programs, including Fun Days. Activities included face painting, cake decorating and an arts table.

These days are an essential part of Kids Company work. There are many children who are subjected to abuse at home and it is crucial that we areable to support them as they courageously struggle on their own. We aim to provide a clean and fresh environment which can be their safe haven away from the troubles and stresses of life at home. Kids Company will continue to offer them as much support as we can and it is because of the generosity of people like yourselves that we can carry out this vital work.”— Kids Company

Our team arrived at the Ark Academy at 8:30 a.m. for a briefing, broke up into groups, rolled our sleeves up and set up for the day! The Fun Day was broken down into six sessions, with approximately 30 kids per session with ages ranging from 3 to 7. The activities took place in a bright and spacious hall with four designated areas for each project. Inspiring highlights from the day:

  • Toby Walsh, Associate Director, WE-UK Technology Practice
    Very much enjoyed painting their faces, although some of the kids seemed to be scared of me! It was interesting to see how differently each of the children behaved – some were clearly happier or more confident than others.
  • Georgia Long, Receptionist, WE-UK Headquarters
    First face-painting session and first participant takes ages to decide what he wants — we finally go for pirate (nice and easy!?) when shown the final result he said “I don’t like it, I want to be Spiderman!” FAIL. Second face-painting session of the day, I now think I’ve perfected Spiderman, butterfly and pirate. A little boy comes over to me with two minutes to go before the session ends. ”What would you like?” I ask, “Pirate? Spiderman?” — “I want to be a dinosaur!!” Eeeek!! — two minutes later the little guy is super happy with his “dinosaur!” SUCCESS!! So much fun, and I truly take my hat off to anyone that works with kids full time — I was exhausted by the end of the day.
  • Annabel Kerr, Sr Account Executive, WE-UK Technology Practice
    I enjoyed seeing our boys getting totally flummoxed by the simple task of tying crowns onto the children’s heads — especially if there were pigtails attached. It was also totally worth it to see how proud the kids obviously felt of the cards and crowns they created — making some for family members, some for other kids in their class and some for the teachers themselves.
  • Will Hall, Graduate Trainee, WE-UK Insight & Analytics
    It was a great opportunity to get out of my office comfort zone and to do something different from my day-to-day activities. Making the children happy was a great experience that I would love to repeat.
  • Paul Middleton, Global Support Manager, Technology Services
    Kids were great, well-behaved heart breakers! Cake decorating and “Arts and craft” are well out of my comfort zone, but it was great fun working with the kids and WE team. I think I’d grown to the level of “barely competent” in those two activities by the end of the day. Highlight of the day was Chris Talago, WE’s EMEA General Manager, turning the icing into icing “water,” then pouring two tons of sugar in to try and return it back to icing…
  • Hannah Hawkins, Graduate Trainee, W-UK Technology Practice
    Such a lovely and rewarding day. Hats (or should I say crowns?!) off to the children who were very well behaved and great fun to be around.
  • Matt Daniels, Finance Supervisor, EMEA Business Services
    I’ve realized I should never, ever, EVER, paint a child’s face again. Poor little girl wanted to look like a princess and I turned her into demented gremlin with glitter on her face!! All joking aside, what a GREAT day to be a part of. The Kids Company is such a wonderful charity. So much so, I’m planning to do a sky dive to raise money for them.
  • Sam Whitby,Operations Manager, WE-UK Headquarters
    My highlight was the very last girl to leave the hall, aged approximately 4 years old, who threw herself on the floor, crying her eyes out saying, “but I want to carry on having fun!!” Oh, and Matt Daniels, the ultimate Pied Piper, who had the children eating out of the palm of his hand with musical statue.


The University of London evaluated Kids Company’s programs over three years.  This independent research found that its users face the following problems:

  • 87 percent face emotional and mental health difficulties
  • 84 percent face homelessness
  • 83 percent face sustained trauma
  • 82 percent face substance misuse

The nonprofit support empowers children and young people in the following ways:

  • 94 percent reduced substance misuse
  • 91 percent were reintegrated into education
  • 89 percent improved their anger management
  • 97 percent found Kids Company effective in supporting their needs

We weren’t allowed to take photos of the children so here’s our team having a post-event, well-earned drink at the nearest pub. Note: this is the second time the WE-UK team volunteered for Kids Company, last November employees supported the organization via a  Cooking Class. Annually, WE employees can choose to use 16 company hours to volunteer during work time.

Never Fear, TS is always here!


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Jonathan Scheiner, Service Desk Specialist New York City You know when your computer or printer goes haywire and that deep panic, anxiety and even anger sinks in? You think to yourself “how can I possibly fix this? I have no idea how any of this stuff works!!”                 And as you are about to give up all hope you remember that time when someone in Technology Services (otherwise known as “TS”) saved your day!  And when you remembered this you realized that everything is going to be OK. Your blood pressure begins to return to a safe level…   My name is Jonathan Scheiner and I started at Waggener Edstrom only 3 weeks ago as a Service Desk Specialist in the New York City office. My manager, Darcie Opferman, has given me many tasks and goals to work on. One of these
Continue reading "Never Fear, TS is always here!"

Never Fear, TS is always here!


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Jonathan Scheiner, Service Desk Specialist New York City You know when your computer or printer goes haywire and that deep panic, anxiety and even anger sinks in? You think to yourself “how can I possibly fix this? I have no idea how any of this stuff works!!”                 And as you are about to give up all hope you remember that time when someone in Technology Services (otherwise known as “TS”) saved your day!  And when you remembered this you realized that everything is going to be OK. Your blood pressure begins to return to a safe level…   My name is Jonathan Scheiner and I started at Waggener Edstrom only 3 weeks ago as a Service Desk Specialist in the New York City office. My manager, Darcie Opferman, has given me many tasks and goals to work on. One of these
Continue reading "Never Fear, TS is always here!"

Never Fear, TS is always here!


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Jonathan Scheiner, Service Desk Specialist

New York City

You know when your computer or printer goes haywire and that deep panic, anxiety and even anger sinks in? You think to yourself “how can I possibly fix this? I have no idea how any of this stuff works!!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as you are about to give up all hope you remember that time when someone in Technology Services (otherwise known as “TS”) saved your day!  And when you remembered this you realized that everything is going to be OK. Your blood pressure begins to return to a safe level…

 

My name is Jonathan Scheiner and I started at Waggener Edstrom only 3 weeks ago as a Service Desk Specialist in the New York City office. My manager, Darcie Opferman, has given me many tasks and goals to work on. One of these goals is to be a learning sponge for understanding the inner workings of Technology Services, their systems, processes and what WE does and stands for.  

 

To help me in this process, I have met with many team leads to get an understand of how they and their teams contribute to making the technology here at WE up to date, effective and integrated.  I am also lucky to have John Lowe here in the NY office to help me integrate and learn as much as I can. In my opinion he should be dubbed “Sensei Lowe” for his masterful wisdom on so much of technology here at WE.

I have just graduated from college and I feel lucky to be associated with Waggener Edstrom. Now that I’m here, I am having a blast getting to know my team mates in the NY office and the ones all over the world. Also since NY is the hub for so many businesses, our office gets to host many team meetings with team members from all over. This week we hosted The North American team leads and had a chance to discuss what they learned while they were here.

Finally, here is one thing that I hope never gets old. The view.  (31st floor looking down at 47th and 3rd)

Making the Case for B2B Social Media at SXSW


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




During SXSW Interactive this past week, I had the opportunity to attend several sessions. The one that impacted me the most was Social Media in the Underground World of B2B – a panel with representatives from Cisco, IBM, Nvidia and Xerox, moderated by Text 100. I’m involved in discussions and read articles on a daily basis that debate the merits of social media for a company in the B2B space. Many B2B companies don’t believe that their key audiences are using social media – when in fact they are.

There were several key points made during the panel that struck a chord and armed me with new data that I plan to highlight in future B2B social media conversations. All of these relate back to current offerings from WE. I’m inspired for my next discussion with clients and prospects; I’m always thinking about and looking for ways to take integrated influence to the next level.

Hang up the phone on anyone who asks you to define your Twitter or Facebook strategy

At least, that’s what Duane Schulz, VP of brand & social marketing at Xerox does! His advice: remember that social media is “just a tool” and that social media still needs to tie back to solving a business problem or achieving the business objective (“What is the problem you are trying to solve?” – a question frequently posed by WE president and founder Pam Edstrom). Make sure you are always listening across your markets and brands, and adjust your strategy in real time if it is not working to solve the business problem.

Employees are a company’s brand; help them be ambassadors

Who better to talk about a company than employees? Many are curious about social media, but intimidated. Companies should help their employees feel comfortable by offering education. One example of this discussed during the panel was that NVIDIA has installed screens in high traffic areas in the office (including near bathrooms!), streaming Twitter feeds on hashtags related to NVIDIA products. This has piqued curiosity and made NVIDIA employees want to know more, leading to education classes and future evangelists. It demonstrated to them that relevant discussion is already taking place online – whether they decide to participate or not.

WE offers social media 101 classes for clients. These classes are perfect for those companies who are just getting their toes wet with digital strategies and includes discussion around best practices for incorporating social media as part of a broader integrated influence program.

Clearly define your audience, then find them online

Everyone on the panel agreed that targeting before you begin your social media efforts is key:

  • Cisco: Leverage your internal employees to help define the audience and shape the level of participation in social media. Scale the response as appropriate.
  • NVIDIA: Conduct in-depth research on where your target audience “hangs out” online and focus your efforts there. “Shooting stuff into the ether without targeting isn’t effective.”
  • Xerox: “Get your fingernails dirty.” Bring in subject matter experts, use market insights.
  • IBM: Never stop listening. They have been evaluating the space since 2004 using internal proprietary software along with external tools.

Social media is a long-term relationship

This is a huge challenge for many companies – supporting social media on an ongoing basis vs. just during a major launch. One way to address this is by empowering employees with tools such as social media guidelines and content development recommendations. If employees have the tools to keep a conversation going and you have trained and educated an army, you’re much more likely to see content development and online engagement on an ongoing basis.

WE offers a content guerilla workshop specifically aimed at creating an army of social media advocates within a company. We’ve successfully implemented the workshop for several of our clients, both on a large, global scale and locally within business units.

Demonstrate ROI

There was some disagreement on the panel on best approaches to demonstrating ROI. Shanee Ben-Zur, social media strategist at NVIDIA, admitted that it’s hard to apply an objective number and that they try to look for affinity, which she admitted is “kind of like trying to measure love.” Jeanette Gibson, director of social media marketing at Cisco, mentioned that she looks at cost savings and time savings in reaching out to audiences. She gave the example of using a Facebook logon as an option for web users to register for and download white papers. Using Facebook enabled them to increase registrations by 20% while reducing costs by 40%.

Duane from Xerox mentioned that they “probably won’t even get to looking at social media ROI for two years.” He tends to look at business objectives (via a dashboard) to measure things like: how many people have social media in their job titles? Is the universe seeing a new Xerox via online conversation?

The WE Insights & Analytics team has many tools for benchmarking and analyzing the results of social media programs. Measurement is a key element of any successful program. For more information on any of the WE programs or tools mentioned in this blog, or to discuss B2B social further, please contact Suzanne Zurn, szurn@waggeneredstrom.com.

 

Friends of Baseball: Helping Oregon Youth Stay on the Field of Play


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Ben Longcor, Manager, WE Studio D, WE-Portland, and Co-founder and President, Friends of Baseball

My father and I run a nonprofit organization called Friends of Baseball. The sport is a passion for both of us, and it brings great pleasure to spread that passion throughout the state of Oregon. Although our structure and approach have evolved a bit over the years, the goal has always stayed true — helping young boys and girls stay on the field of play. We never want to hear about young players not being able to participate in the game they love because of things like lack of funding, insufficient equipment or poor field conditions. We work to be that resource they may not have or to become that liaison to connect them with that resource. With this post, I’d like to accomplish three things:

  • Share with you a little more about who we are.
  • Explain what we are working on right now to  keep our organization sustainable for years to come.
  • Inform you of ways you can get involved — including a fun film festival, March 22, in Portland, Ore.

Since 2006, Friends of Baseball has helped over 75 baseball and softball teams, in leagues serving over 36,000 children in 15 Northwest Oregon counties, secure more than $525,000 in goods, services, support and funding. In these communities, after-school activities are rare, and organized athletics even more so. At a time when our society is ever more isolated and sedentary, when childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise, affordable access to team sports is needed more than ever. In a perfect world, all children would be able to participate in physical activity programs. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. For many families, even a modest fee is too big a financial burden.

Study after study shows us, however, that well-structured, sustainable team programs play an integral role in shaping the whole child. They can help kids learn teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking while strengthening a child’s self-esteem.

Friends of Baseball strives to offer Oregon’s underserved children equal access to the enhanced opportunities for social interaction, academic success, and physical and emotional well-being gained through participation in youth baseball and softball team programs. We work to ensure that all children, regardless of family finances, are able to “play ball.”

During the past two years, we have focused our fundraising efforts on a yearly event, the Friends of Baseball Film Festival. We had such phenomenal success with our first one in 2011, we are really excited for our second installment of this great event. Not only did we exceed our attendance and fundraising goals, but we established new relationships with both partners and future grantees. This event‘s main goal is to help us sustain our efforts for years to come. We rely on the support of both the community and our many partners to help us raise money for those underserved youth in Oregon. Our second goal is to showcase the wonderful game of baseball through the art of film. Last year, we showed a film called “Time in the Minors,” which followed two ball players through the minor league system and showed a side of the game, challenges and hardships that many don’t see. This year, we are excited to showcase a film about one of baseball’s most beloved legends, Bill “Spaceman” Lee. His documentary “High and Outside” is a captivating account of his career and what it was like playing major league baseball in the 1970s and 80s. Even more exciting, Spaceman will be at our event to share his experience in person. We are truly excited to have one of MLB’s great relief pitchers in attendance to provide his off-the-wall take on the game that many of us love.

The event is right around the corner, and we would love to have you join us for a night of old baseball stories, great food, fun entertainment and — above all — a chance to give back to those who need it the most. For tickets and information, please go to www.friendsofbaseball.org/filmfestival. We are also looking for a few volunteers for the event to help (please email Ben Longcor if you have interest in helping that evening). Finally, if you can’t make our event on March 22, and you still want to give back, visit our website, and you can donate directly online. All the proceeds will go toward helping youth stay active! I am proud to say WE provided a $150 Employee Volunteer Grant to help with our efforts again this year.

And if you made it all the way to the end of this story, you deserve a prize! The first 10 people who answer the question below in the comments section will get a free ticket to our event ($50 value) and the chance to meet “Spaceman” in person! In addition, you will have the chance to bid on some amazing auction items, such as a seven-night resort stay in Mazatlán, Mexico, tickets to the MLB 2012 All-Star game, two pairs of Boston Red Sox tickets in Fenway (including a Yankees game!) and much, much more.

Hope you can join Bill and me!

TRIVIA QUESTION: What popular television character is often thought to be loosely based off of the career/lifestyle of Bill “Spaceman” Lee?

 

A Paradigm Shift of Perspective


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Sarah Vitort, Intern

Heading into my second rotation of my internship at Waggener Edstrom (or as I affectionately call it, SWAG-gener Edstrom) has brought what you could almost consider a paradigm shift in my perspective on life.

To contextualize this a little bit, since graduating college, I’ve been working filler jobs that paid the bills but didn’t allow me to use my brain or my creativity really at all. While this was beginning to feel like the norm, it hasn’t always been this way. Growing up, you couldn’t find a kid with more imagination and more of a passion for storytelling, where I loved to daydream about my future.  Before I could write, you could give me anything with pictures and I’d make up an elaborate narration, always for an audience. There is a video of me as a kid with a 12-month cat calendar, “reading” a story about cats from the pages as if the words were right there, and yet I was too young to read and the only words on the page were the month and the year. Where others saw simply photos, I saw stories.

Once I got a pen in my hand, I was filling notebooks with stories of all types: short stories, blurbs, you name it. I’d get an idea in my head and run with it until the next idea came along, the ideas often coming so fast that I never finished the previous one.

Then I started growing up. The ideas kept coming, but fear of being set apart settled in, leaving me to pursue coolness over innovation. Regardless, my social calendar was always full and my gums were always flapping; I never let that light grow dim.

High school and college seemed to be a balance of these two worlds. Many times, fear of failure won out over taking risks and sharing ideas, especially in my college sorority. While I made great friends and enjoyed all the social experiences Greek life had to offer, I did not feel like I fully used my perspective or imagination as much as I would have liked to have the opportunity to. Most likely, this was a fear that turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it suppressed my creativity nonetheless. All this followed by fruitless post-grad occupations, leading me further down the path towards what I perceived to be an intellectual dead end.

Enter Waggener Edstrom, a PR firm with a heart of gold. Where my broadcast degree failed to land me an on-camera job, it aided in my getting hired as a PR intern, allowing me to explore a new avenue within the communications realm and foster my talent and passion for storytelling. In the short time I’ve been here, I already feel my creativity blossoming, and I haven’t even done any real work yet. It’s as though the imaginative spark that was burning so dimly for so long has been blasted with a fresh gust of oxygen, allowing it to gradually become a full-out fire. I’m thinking again, inspired; creating things in my mind. Even if it’s not always work-related, it proves to me that the path I’m on couldn’t be more right.

One of my weaknesses has always been fleshing out my ideas. That is one of my biggest goals for the next 11 weeks. Both on the clock and off, I want to learn to not only come up with great ideas, but find a way to give them life and make them a reality. I want to innovate, and really make it happen by setting my intention and giving it my whole heart. I want to see my creations through from start to finish, allowing myself to create space for success, and come to expect it from myself. I want to turn that cat calendar into a novel, and do it fearlessly.

 

On the Heels of SXSWi, WE Celebrates Its Austin Employees Making a Difference


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




As millions of people flock to the city of Austin, Texas, this weekend for South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), our attention at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide also turns to the capital of the Lone Star State. In addition to having a presence at the festival — you can find details about our SXSWi activities here including how we’re supporting Make-a-Wish Central & South Texas at the event — we’re taking this opportunity to highlight a few of the ways our WE-Austin employees give back to the vibrant city they call home.

  • Donating time and expertise to support the Texas Marathon Relay, benefitting Junior Achievement of Central Texas. For the past six years, WE-Austin has partnered with the Texas Marathon Relay, managing the event’s media efforts including social, print and radio. Through this partnership, the WE team aims to increase awareness of Junior Achievement of Central Texas and its mission by driving conversations, engaging volunteers and highlighting the impact the organization makes on young people’s lives. Junior Achievement raises money and puts it “right back into the classroom,” says Rachel Austin, WE-Austin employee. By educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs, Junior Achievement creates fiscally fit and financially responsible individuals. You can check out the Texas Marathon Relay Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.
  • Hosting an annual WE Make a Difference Day. WE-Austin hosts a yearly WE Make a Difference Day for employees during which time the entire office comes together to volunteer in the community. In 2011, WE-Austin employees volunteered their time on behalf of the Trail Foundation and spent a full day beautifying a local waterway, removing debris from Lady Bird Lake via kayaks.
  • Judging elementary school science fairs. In January, three WE-Austin employees judged a very cute and innovative science fair where kindergarten through fifth grade students submitted paper mâché volcanoes, lemon-powered light bulbs and insect collections.
  • Participating in the Rodeo Run 10K for Higher Education. Lisa Ferrara, a WE-Austin employee, recently ran the Rodeo Run that kicks off Rodeo Houston. The rodeo raises funds for scholarships in higher education, and this year’s Rodeo Run raised $360,000 for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Educational Fund. You can read more about Lisa’s story here.
  • Gearing up to help save the lives of shelter animals. In the upcoming months, several WE-Austin employees will volunteer their time and skills with Austin Pets Alive, which is dedicated to making Austin a “no-kill” city and to keeping companion animals alive. WE employees will help the organization plan events and prepare its new building.

Thank you, WE Austinites for your continued commitment to give back to your community! And, for anyone attending Waggener Edstrom’s SXSWi party this Saturday at Malverde, be sure to check in on Four Square when you arrive. WE will donate $5 to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas for each attendee who checks in.

Have a great SXSWi, y’all!

Rodeo Run 10K for Higher Ed


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Lisa Ferrara, Account Director, Technology Practice, Texas

As a part of the WE Citizenship program to support local charities, I participated in the annual Houston Rodeo Run 10K on Feb. 25. The run, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, includes a 10K and 5K run-walk with more than 15,000 participants cruising through the streets of downtown Houston as a part of the Rodeo kick-off festivities.

And for those of you thinking Texas, Rodeo, got it — I’ll spend just a minute putting the rodeo in its proper scale. When the Houston NFL team wanted a new stadium they said, “I think we can do it if we can get Rodeo Houston on board to help support it.” The 20-day rodeo tournament culminates in a nightly rodeo and concert (e.g., Kid Rock) at Reliant Stadium — the same one where the Houston Texans play during regular football season.

The city itself nearly grinds to a halt for Rodeo kick-off weekend that starts with “Go Texan Day” when trail riders from across the state ride into town pulling their covered wagons and traversing portions of Interstate 10 when they have to get to downtown. Isn’t that a normal sighting on your commute to work? The 10K and downtown parade are on Saturday morning to kick off the rodeo itself, which also includes a carnival, livestock show, barbecue cook-off and international wine competition, among other events. For Houstonians and many Texans it is as much a part of our spring as bluebonnets, Easter and March Madness.

So what does this have to do with Citizenship? The Rodeo also happens to be completely focused on raising funds for scholarships for higher education. The 10K itself this year raised $400,000 for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Educational Fund, and the activities going on throughout the rest of March will also be raising funds for scholarships. That means when you hear that the grand champion steer sells for more than $100,000 it is actually a scholarship contribution.

Currently, more than 2,000 students are on Show scholarships, attending more than 100 different Texas colleges and universities. The value of these scholarships is approximately $30 million.  All recipients of Show scholarships must demonstrate academic potential, citizenship/leadership and financial need, and they must attend a Texas college or university. Since the Show’s first scholarship was awarded in 1957, it has committed more than $165 million in direct educational program support.

As a runner, I cherish opportunities to do something I love, contribute to a great cause and reinforce the values I want to instill in my children. Education and exercise anyone? I can’t think of a better example than the 10K and celebrating rodeo season with them. Thanks WE for sponsoring my participation in this athletic fundraising event. 

 

Smiley, Happy People… My First 2 Days at WE!


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




 My First Two Days at Waggener Edstrom!

Cara Archambo, Sr. Administrative Assistant-Consumer Team

Day one at Waggener and I am attending meetings with “Business Services” and “People Services”.  Departments that, in my past life, were referred to as Finance and Human Resources. I begin questioning myself,  have I been out of corporate America that long that departments everywhere have taken on new titles or is this just unique to Waggener Edstrom? The meetings are full of cool Jargon that I don’t recognize as plain English. Mostly acronyms:  APAK, NA, 3CP. My little black note book (that has been tied to my side) has a giant ? at the top of page one followed by a long list of unknowns.   All questions for me to throw at Alison (Sr. VP on the team) on the plane ride to Seattle tomorrow (Day 2) where I will be meeting more members of the NA Consumer team.

Day two – Alison and I catch a bumpy flight to Seattle and I am grilling her with all of my questions! She greets them with enthusiasm and goes above and beyond with her explanations. I don’t remember which question I asked that led to her getting out her laptop and pulling up a PPT deck, (another acronym!) that the consumer team worked on.  Whichever the question, I am happy I asked and even happier she went the extra mile to explain.  Excited about this plan, she starts rolling… Editors photographing the infield of the Kentucky Derby for Men’s Health, Crush Fest in Napa, Coachella music festival, John Mayer dropping a new album….. “Wait, Wait, Wait…..back up” I say, insanely impressed “Who is coming up with these creative ideas?  How do they know John Mayer is dropping a new album? What is Coachella?”

We arrive at Civica (one of the words on my ? list ) the elevator doors open. I can’t help but be struck on how hip and modern this space is.  Before I have a chance to fully admire the beauty of the office something even more inviting is standing in front of me.  Five smiling faces all giggling about something. We are too late to be part of the joke, but their smiles are infectious.  I am introduced and instantly realize these names are the same names I heard 45 minutes earlier.  These kind, genuine, happy faces belong to the same creative, talented team that Alison talked about on the plane.  Minutes later I am greeted with a warm hug by Erin Barnard, a woman who will be a key part of my integration. This is My Team and I couldn’t be happier!

The Apps to Make SXSW Work For You


This post is by from WE.com Blog Feed


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




It’s that time of the year again when SXSW and its groups of film, music and tech junkies descend upon Austin to talk about the latest and greatest bands, films and tech that we can’t live without (or at least think we can’t live without).

But once you show up, how do you take advantage of all of the information that’s available to you? With three festivals, panels, parties, sessions and people to meet, it’s just overwhelming to even think of how to organize all of this information. But never fear we are here to show you the best apps that will make SXSW 2012 the best experience for you.

Getting Around SXSW

The best app by far to get around SXSW is the official SXSW app, SXSW GO. Available on iOS, Android and coming for Windows Phone 7, this is the app that gives you all of the official SXSW information you need. You can build out your schedule, check panel times and sync panels to your device. A solid feature if you’re stuck in a no-signal zone.

Location, Location, Location

What’s a tech festival without talking about location based apps and services. One of the staples in the location based services space, Foursquare is still the king of getting you checked-in to SXSW. But, with its newly launched Explore search engine, you can now use Foursquare to find the best bars, restaurants and more in Austin.

Also another great one is the Hot Spots app Waggener Edstrom debuted last year at SXSW Interactive. It is a mobile app for Windows Phone 7 and iOS that enables users to discover where the most popular hangouts are during SXSW.

Who’s Around You?

Beyond the parties, great food and amazing bands, SXSW is about meeting people that share your same interests and striking up a conversation. At SXSW 2012, you can expect to hear a lot about apps like Highlig.ht, Glancee, Ban.jo and Kismet not only will tell you what your friends are doing, but they will find people that have checked-in or have similar interests that are around you and let you introduce yourself to them. This is a great way to meet new people, network with people that have similar interests and maybe pick up a new friend or two for some late night karaoke!

Capture and Share

Whether you’re checking out one of the hundreds of bands or a great panel, SXSW lends all of its festivities to being captured through photography or video. There are ton of apps out there that do this for you, but below are some of my favorites.

Keeping it Fun at SXSW

Finally, SXSW is all about having fun. Waggener Edstrom partnered with tenfour, a Portland, Ore.-based creative agency, to bring Tweet-A-Beer to life. Tweet-A-Beer is a mobile Web app that helps people network and socialize by purchasing each other a beer over Twitter, perfect for fostering the face-to-face connections that are a natural part of the SXSW Interactive Festival or for those following through the Twittersphere.

So as you get prepped up for SXSW, make sure you take a look at the list of apps above. Not only will they help you keep organized at the show, but you might just find some new friends join you in the awesome experience of SXSW.