Waggener Edstrom’s rebranded their company as WE Communications in September 2015. Melissa Waggener Zorkin, the CEO and cofounder of the firm, along with the firm’s other partner, Pam Edstrom, made this change. Waggener Zorkin named Wunderman’s Kass Sells the agency’s president in North America.
Sells beat revenue forecasts for the first part of 2016. Since then, in terms of practices, consumer, healthcare, and social innovation have seen the biggest gains. Sells has also made a difference when it comes to bringing in other talent, an area where the agency often lacked.
New additions included Alyssa Garnick, formerly of Marina Maher Communications; James Wilson, previously with Microsoft, was named general manager of South Africa; and Katie Huang Shin became global client lead. Alan VanderMolen, formerly of Edelman and DJE Holdings as an executive, was named president across the agency’s APAC and EMEA operations.
There were also a few departures, VP Jennifer McCarthy went on to work for Expedia; SVP Greg Chiemingo; and EVP Laurie Smith DeJong, who went to Intel. In April 2016, WE bought Australian agency Buchan Consulting, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. It has been partnered with WE since 2008.
In North America, client losses were Lithium Technologies and Blue Cross Blue Shield, both after less than a year with WE, as well as the online security company AVG. The agency also lost Eli Lilly, Duty Free Shop, and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
The Future at WE Communications
The firm seems to be embracing more change as the founder looks at how each of the agency’s practices will develop globally. Despite a third consecutive yearly revenue decrease, Waggener Zorkin remains optimistic about the agency’s upward mobility.
Prosek Partners is a leading independent public relations and financial communications firm that was recently named “Best Marketing and Communications Firm” in November of 2016 by Fund Intelligence, which provides information and data for U.S. mutual fund companies.
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