In which Jeremy’s career begins a new direction at @WaggenerEdstrom

So, here’s some news

Image representing Waggener Edstrom as depicte...
Image via CrunchBase

As of this week, I’ve left my position as Digital Content and Editorial person at Sony Music and joined the Studio D team at PR firm Waggener Edstrom.

This decision caps off a decade-long career in the music industry that saw the rise of Napster, the industries curious response, and the resulting transformational steps. I don’t want to editorialize too much about the state of the business (meet me for drinks for that) except to say that there are a lot of very smart people who are very passionate about music that remain at companies that are slow to transition to the new realities of their marketplace.

In any case, this post is not about that. It’s about my process and discovery and how using online tools helped connect me with what has ultimately become my new gig.

When I came across the job posting (on Craigslist, of all places), it seemed like it’d be a very good match. The job entails creating content, project managing websites and advising on new technologies and integrating new communications platforms into existing strategies. My level of interest and excitement grew when I began to research Waggener Edstrom, who admittedly I’d never heard of before (the music industry tends to be very insular in the list of companies hired to do PR, and honestly does not tend to work at a scale where a WaggEd would make sense).

This is a company that truly believes in the power of storytelling, authenticity, and unlike many PR firms, they are expanding their interest, dedication to and staffing of the digital world. They are mainly known in the PR world for being the agency of record for Microsoft, although they work on many interesting accounts, including many in the commercial products sector. They are constantly winning awards both for their work (recently awarded NW PR agency of the year , and Entrepreneur of the Year for Melissa Waggener) and for employment (PR week named them the bronze medalist in their “best place to work” awards) I very shortly found myself becoming a big fan of WaggEd.

Because this would be a major shift in the trajectory of my career, and because I spend way too much time on social networks, my next step was to research all I could about the company, and more importantly the people, minds and voices with whom I would be interacting. It’s very important to me to be surrounded by people who share my vision for the power of communication, storytelling and authenticity.

Waggener has several blogs, one of the most popular being Thinkers And Doers, a home for insight from the Studio D team. Their posts reflected a curiosity and viewpoint that I could easily align myself with, so I began commenting, when I had something to say about the topic.

At the same time, I searched for and followed as many Waggener people as I could on Twitter, using the bios page on waggeneredstrom.com as a starting point, and expanding the list using @dacort‘s tweepsearch.com. I set up a separate TweetDeck group specifically for all the WaggEd folk, and started listening to what they were saying, selectively responding, and getting to know some of the people inside the company and what they’re all about.

Throughout this process, I’m happy to have been able to chat with a bunch of people and really start to get to know them. Now that I have the job, I also have friends inside the company, so I wont be starting from scratch, which is always a bonus when beginning at a new job.

You’ll notice that throughout the course of this post, I have not mentioned any of the typical steps one takes in order to get a new job (e.g. the interview process, references, linkedin profiles, etc). While these obviously took place (Waggener was very rigorous in their interview process), that process has been covered to death elsewhere, and was less notable than what happened outside the “what strengths do you think you can bring to the company” type interviews.

Anyway, they made the decision to bring me on board,  I start August 3rd, and I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities this position will bring.