2013 PR Agency Elite Awards: Community Relations/Volunteer Programs

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Waggener Edstrom employees logged 5,007 volunteer hours last year.

Winner: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide has a longstanding commitment to contributing up to 1% annually of its total fee revenue to communities. But in 2012 Waggener Edstrom took its charitable efforts up a notch, contributing $1.4 million to nonprofit organizations, or 1.18% of the company’s total fee revenue.

Taking the agency’s charitable contributions to a higher level last year involved multiple efforts. These efforts included the launch of #WESmackDown, a year-long competition of quarterly volunteer events between the agency’s Portland and Seattle offices, which garnered more than 20 employees per office, per event. Waggener Edstrom facilitated monthly volunteer events in those offices, as well.

The company in 2012 also engaged its employees by becoming a partner in several global community campaigns, such as the United Nations Global Compact (to which WE has been a signatory since 2010); Clinton Global Initiative, A Billion + Change; and Giving Tuesday.

Another significant part of the charitable effort: an end-of-the-year holiday campaign sharing gifts with the communities in which Waggener does business. Not only did the effort exceed Waggener’s financial contributions to communities in need, it also brought more of its employees into the charitable fold.

While the company set a goal of motivating at least 60% of its employees to use a portion of their 16-hour volunteer benefit, in 2012 78% of Waggener’s employees (or 667 workers) jumped on board. All told, Waggener employees recorded 5,007 volunteer hours last year.

Honorable Mention:

  • Weber Shandwick


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Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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