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WE and Me

WE Communications Blog: Alan VanderMolen

— Alan VanderMolen 

Today is day one of the rest of my career. As my son tells me often, ‘Dad, you’re over 50 now, so every day counts’. 

With that as context, I asked myself a lot questions about what I was looking for in my next career move — ie, this one! I landed on four broad criteria: A differentiated and relevant point of view. A freedom to operate. A vibe. Aligned leadership. 

Against those, here’s why WE and Me.

  1. Differentiated: Deep understanding of technology-enabled and social innovation. WE’s heritage is in the technology space. The agency has a history of doing ground-breaking and award-winning work for companies and brands on the front-end of technology-enabled innovation across sectors. WE marries that heritage with a fundamental understanding of social innovation (applying technology to the world’s most pressing problems). The marriage of technology expertise and social innovation provides WE with a point of view on the expectations of and opportunities for companies and brands operating across sectors in today’s global marketplace — a marketplace defined by an unprecedented rate of change and unprecedented transparency.
  2. Freedom to operate: Independent. While the marketing services holding companies (with the notable exception of IPG) are either flailing with how to manage and grow their PR assets or are leaving them in a legacy-driven state of status quo, the independents operate with a license to work across marketing services disciplines without being bogged down in artificially defined swim lanes. Further, the independents have the ability to invest in their clients, their people and client-impacting intellectual capital without worrying about the reaction of sister companies or non-management shareholders.
  3. Vibe: Relentless pursuit of the possible. There is an audible buzz in the hallways of Seattle headquarters, which echoes into WE operations across North America, EMEA and APAC that says ‘bring it on’. It is a feeling of an ability to rise to clients’ challenges and an ability to challenge clients. It is a feeling of being able to break new ground by applying intellectual curiosity to issues and opportunities that others think communications cannot address. It is, simply put, a vibe of ‘we can make it happen’.
  4. Leadership: Human. Finally, the agency’s leadership is tight. It is aligned, yet flexible. And, to a person, the agency’s leaders are likable. It feels right. It feels supportive. It feels fun.

Needless to say, I am thrilled to be here. 

So, to my new colleagues: Thanks for the warm welcome. To our clients and potential clients: We want to grow with you and innovate for you. Please email me here. For potential colleagues: If you’re ready for a challenge and a place to re-define your future and to write the industry’s next chapter, please email me here.