It’s a bit hard to believe that I’ve been with Waggener Edstrom for eight years (and quickly approaching nine). I learned so much along the way that I thought I would share some gems with you on the occasion of the agency’s 30th anniversary. For better or worse, eight things I have learned in eight years with Waggener Edstrom.
1.) Do not take phone calls during which you will be getting a job offer, while traveling on train. The train will inevitably go through a tunnel at the moment of truth and you’ll be yelling, “Can you hear me now?” Yes, I did this. It’s amazing they went through with offering me the job. This is one of the perils of commuting on Caltrain.
2.) If you have to stay at work until after 10:00 pm, a trip to Burger King is completely necessary. I vividly remember the night a coworker and I stayed late for work on a coverage project and I’m pretty sure that Whopper was what kept me sane.
3.) When testing a mail merge, do not use an actual media list with real-life media contacts and a test mail filled with typos because the mail will go through. I literally crawled under my desk with that happened. You would be surprised at just how many reporters emailed me back asking for the referenced attachment that was, of course, not attached.
4.) PR isn’t like it is on TV. Except when you get the opportunity to hand out gift bags at a New York launch event for the latest T-Mobile phone. Then it is. And that’s the story you’ll tell your friends, over and over again.
5.) Up your prank game. A former manager had a Voltron toy of which he was very protective. So when he went out for a few weeks I gave it roaming gnome treatment – taking pictures of it all over Seattle, including at the Pike Place Market with one of the famous fish throwers. Then, I sent emails that described Voltron’s adventures, with photos, from a fake account. Priceless.
6.) It’s ok to spend most of your sabbatical doing nothing. I had some guilt about not trekking through the rainforest in the Amazon or learning to speak Portuguese on my sabbatical. I spent most of my time on my front porch reading. And you know what? It was amazing.
7.) When you work on events, some of the craziest days are your best. I said this after back-to-back, office-wide meetings that my team planned for the agency this past summer but it applies to just about every product launch, campaign or program I’ve worked on over the past eight years. There are few things more satisfying than watching all your hard work come together.
8.) It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Yes, I’ve spent the last eight years acquiring a vast array of knowledge and I’ve done some really amazing things. But what stands out to me the most is the incredible people that I have met along the way. It has been a pleasure to spend my eight year portion of the agency’s 30 years with great people.