Based in San Francisco, California, they also have 12 additional offices globally including New York, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Austin, Chicago, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, London, and Basel Switzerland. W2O Group is a holding company operating three communications and marketing firms – Brewlife, WCG, and Twist Mktg. The original firm name was WeissComm Partners, founded by Jim Weiss in 2001. In 2009, it was renamed and restructured to become WCG, and in 2012 the name shifted to W2O Group. They provide PR, social media marketing, recruitment for clinical trials with healthcare, tech, analytics, and app development. WCG, the PR division, brings in most of their revenue, which totals nearly $100 million for all of W2O.
About the Partner Entities
Brewlife, which merged with Pure Communications in September 2016, works mostly with emerging tech and startup companies. Many of their clients are digitally-oriented and analytically directed. But with the acquisition of Pure Communications, they added strategic communications focused primarily on the healthcare (life sciences and medtech sectors) industry to the mix. They also brought two more offices located in Wilmington, NC, and Cambridge, MA, and about 30 employees. The acquisition was funded through the investment of Mountaingate Capital in W2O earlier in 2016. Some of their clients include Qualcomm Life, FRS, Apnicure, and Benvenue Medical. Leading Brewlife are Howie Chan and Nicole Foderaro as joint group leaders.
WCG works a great deal with digital channels and social media and brings the ability to measure the quality and quantity of a campaign while adding detailed insights and third-party research. They help to fine-tune current campaigns and find ways of hitting your marketing and media goals faster. They don’t discriminate on their approach, working with earned and paid-for media, as well as shared. Some of their clients include Allergan, P&G, Nike, Exxon, and Best Buy. Rob Cronin oversees the tech practice as David Witt is in charge of the consumer side of the business.
Twist Mktg does the advertising and marketing work. Their website says they provide ways to stay nimble, be savvy and totally integrated, help clients to thrive through change, have fun, and work globally. Along with advertising and marketing, they help with insights and measurements, content, engagement, and strategy. Some of their clients include Merck, MasterCard, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Roche. They are led by Annalise Coady.
Leadership, Clients, and Accolades
Jim Weiss is the founder, CEO, and chairman of W2O. In 2015 he was listed as one of the 500 Most Important People in the Global PR Industry. He’s on the Cancer Research Institute’s Board of Trustees, serving on the Marketing Subcommittee. Weiss also is founder and sponsor at the Newhouse School of Public Communications’ W2O Center for Social Commerce at Syracuse University, one of the leading PR colleges in the U.S.
Most of W2O’s clients are medical device and biotech companies. Some of their clients include Allergan, P&G, Medtronic, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Nike, and Michaels. In 2016 W2O won three SABRE Awards from the Holmes Group including Best Live Event (Agency) SXSW, BrewLife won Best Use of Social Media/Analytics for Audience Insights/Influencer targeting, and the Business Value Award.
Perks and Problems
They offer great benefits such as a company match on 401(k), health care, dental, vision, life insurance, commuter travel benefits, wellness program, and lots of travel in many of the jobs. You will be given autonomy in your work, but you must deliver for their clients and the office teams, or you won’t last long. Flex hours and opportunity to work from home are also available in many situations.
Like many PR and advertising firms, you can expect to work long hours, and you need to be able to play well with others, even the ones who may come across as arrogant or egotistical. Clients are often global enterprises, and members of the firm may end up having to prove themselves even when there is not a clear map for a situation.
Getting a Job There
Check out the current openings at careers-internships. There’s quite a long list of current openings they want to fill, so don’t be shy.
The agency, according to O’Dwyer’s, is the fourth largest PR firm by revenue in their annual rankings for U.S. agencies. About 90% of their revenues come from clients based in the U.S. When it comes to specialty areas they provide, W2O ranks with O’Dwyer’s as the eighth largest tech PR firm, the second largest in the healthcare industry, and the 13th largest in food and beverage. In 2015, PRWeek said that W2O’s most-used services include “PR, analytics, and its CCX creative unit.” They also have a multicultural practice division.