2006 Agency Excellence Survey: Waggener Edstrom

CEO: Melissa Waggener Zorkin

CEO: Melissa Waggener Zorkin

Number of clients rating: 57

Sector specialties most used: Corporate, consumer, public affairs

Top-scoring attributes against average: Provides actionable research to inform campaign strategy and execution; helps you understand and develop new-media programs; anticipates problems and issues that could put your company at risk

Bottom-scoring attributes against average: Works within the budget; responds to needs and requests in a timely manner; consistently delivers your message to all target audiences

Overall satisfaction: 102

Wag Ed was ranked above average in every attribute. It scored the highest in a handful of categories, notably in ensuring that senior staff is involved with clients' business and in providing appropriate strategic counsel and advice.

While it's no surprise that the agency earned a pat on the back for helping clients leverage technologies like blogging and podcasts, Wag Ed still shows uncom- mon creativity in engaging new-media influencers with work for clients like Boeing's Connexion.

Says EVP and agency partner Pam Edstrom, "Everybody says ‘engage, engage, engage,' but you have to do a little more than that. We're obviously not the only people who can do this [for clients], but hopefully we do it in a way that makes sense."

Interviews for the Agency Excellence Survey were conducted via computer-assisted Web interviewing [CAWI] methodology. Respondents were recruited from several sources, including, but not limited to, the ERI Panel, PRWeek Contact list, and PRWeek's subscriber list. (Databases were supplied to Millward Brown for the sole purpose of conducting the research.)

The ERI Panel has more than 1 million business pros across the US and Canada, and is made up of opinion leaders, decision-makers, and purchase influencers for companies and organizations. Qualified members are invited to complete an in-depth business-relevant profiling survey that indicates their work roles, responsibilities, job-related interests, and more.

All respondents were PR clients involved in agency selection and management. A total of 600 people were interviewed between April 18 and June 27, 2006.

Modeling of results: Agencies were ranked on two dimensions, high importance and differentiating, which were derived from the stated vs. derived importance analysis. Statements that were high in both stated and derived importance are seen as high importance, while those that are high in derived importance, but lower in stated importance are considered differentiating.

Each agency's attribute scores were weighted according to the proportion of current clients in their dataset to ensure a comparable impact of current clients for each firm. The structure of the model was designed by Millward Brown, with analysis done by a Millward Brown analyst.

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