SEATTLE: Waggener Edstrom Communications is entering into an affiliate agreement with Canada-based Environics Communications to offer clients greater access to key metro markets across North America.
In the last couple of months, Waggener has engaged in preliminary project work with the independent agency, which was founded more than 20 years ago and has offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, and Washington, DC. The affiliation will kick off next week when Waggener staffers meet with the Environics team in Toronto to finalize the engagement model.
The deal is part of Waggener’s goal to have a presence in the markets that "matter most" to clients, said Aaron Petras, VP of agency and partner strategy at the firm.
Over the past year, healthcare, consumer, and tech clients have been asking Waggener to expand their comms campaigns into Canada, he said.
"More clients are thinking about North America as a whole in terms of their comms strategy," explained Petras. "When you think about consumer and tech specifically, a lot of the same catalysts and triggers are impacting that geography like it is here in the US."
Environics specializes in technology, corporate and finance, consumer, health sciences, digital and creative services, not-for-profit, and government relations. The firm’s clients include Netflix, Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada, Panasonic, Boehringer Ingelheim, and FRHI Hotels & Resorts.
Additionally, Environics’ sister company Free for All Marketing adds experiential marketing capability to the relationship, and Environics Research Group provides insights and consumer data.
"Environics’ skills and sector expertise is aligned with Waggener’s, so it made sense for us to start introductory conversations with them," said Petras.
Meanwhile, Environics was seeking a partner that shared similar values about the importance of treating people well, focusing on client needs, and innovating and growing.
The firm also wanted a partner that would be open to developing new services and team training in areas such as analytics mining, brand planning, influence relations, content marketing, and measurement reporting, said Environics’ chairman and CEO Bruce MacLellan via email.
"Throughout our history, our goal has always been the same: to deliver smart counsel and measurable results to our valued clients," he added. "This new partnership will enable us to do this on a larger scale."
Waggener has 17 offices and a network of affiliates servicing more than 100 markets around the world.
"[Waggener] has done a lot of work across regions such as EMEA and Latin America, and earlier this year we expanded our Global Alliance Network into 18 African markets with six new partners, but we realized we had a gap in terms of our access to great work across all of Canada," added Petras.