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Why I took my name off the door

Blog: CEO Blog

9/24/2015
— Melissa Waggener Zorkin 

Some aspire to see their name on the door. Me, I’ve always wanted to see hundreds of names. For the first time in years, I started my day at a company with a different name. Today, Waggener Edstrom Communications became simply WE. And honestly, I’ve never felt more at home.

But this isn’t just about a new name; this change is a reflection of what WE has always been. Because it’s never been about me, or my partner Pam Edstrom, or any one individual. WE is about us. It’s the power and insight that comes from the collective — our amazing clients, our people, our partners, and the influencers we work with every day. Together, we are WE.

Transformation is the air we breathe. Like so many companies across every industry, WE is constantly evolving to stay one step ahead of trends and anticipate the needs of our clients. There is no beginning, middle or end to transformation. It’s one continuous loop, and we are excited to take another big step in an evolution that has been underway for quite some time.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been up to:

New people: We’ve supercharged our stellar team of global experts. Meet Katie Huang Shin, executive vice president, Global Client Lead, based in San Francisco. Katie will focus on bringing the power of WE to companies we dream of working with. Heather Scott rounds out our bench as vice president, Customer Insights, to determine what draws people to brands and find ways to make them BCFs — Best Customers Forever. They join newcomer Kass Sells, president, North America, and veterans like Matt Lackie, newly minted executive vice president, APAC. 

New partners: I’m jazzed to announce our partnership with leading branding agency Salt. Salt has been doing head-turning work for breakthrough brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, Red Bull and others. Its brand expertise complements our storytelling chops in a powerful way. We can’t wait to bring our collective focus on advertising, marketing, content, creative strategies and digital to our clients. In addition to Salt, we’ve brought on more specialized partners in research (YouGov, Radius Global Market Research, Illuminas); digital marketing (The Garrigan Lyman Group); search marketing (Point It); and even a strategic futurist (Play Big Inc.). Zeroing in on what WE does best and leaning on partnerships to power-up our capabilities will be a hallmark of how WE delivers for our clients.

New clients: We are thrilled to have new opportunities to do impactful work with companies like Allrecipes, Boehringer Ingelheim, VSP, Zoom+, Lucid and Kymeta. We’ve also expanded our work with ZTE, Volvo, Woodford Reserve, Safeway and Microsoft.

And by the way, we have a new look, and I hope you agree it does a much better job of showing who we are and who we aspire to be.

Don’t worry, Pam and I aren’t going anywhere. We remain fiercely independent, rallying likeminded people and companies that want to shake things up and be part of something more unexpected.

That’s us. We are WE.

Write us your thoughts or questions.

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