Article written by Florence Sumaray, Digital & Marketing Communications Expert; WWPR Member

The Edelman IP & Insights event exceeded my expectations and I know everyone that came learned something about company branding, diversity and inclusion, and the overall culture of Edelman. The event kicked off with Ryan Zimmerman, DC Public Affairs, and Lisa Ross, President, Edelman DC, who gave a brief overview of the organization and spoke about how Edelman runs a tight ship and, in their words, “It’s a learning organization to a degree. We give, and we take, we teach, and we learn.” Laura Gentles, General Manager of Brand and who has been at Edelman for 15+ years led the presentation portion for the Edelman Earned Brand Report. It was an overview of Edelman’s Trust Barometer and was fascinating to see that consumers are quick to align themselves with brands which fall in line with their beliefs. The report took an inside look at consumer behavior and consumer relationships between people and brand and what they believe in and what they buy. Edelman showed us a powerful campaign video which was created to increase visibility of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) titled “Take a Seat, Take a Stand.” It was part of their new women and girl’s empowerment program for the 2018 season which was highly successful in bringing more awareness and attendees to the sport.

After the presentation, five employees who represented a broad cross-section throughout the Washington office and their varied interests spoke on a panel led by Jackeline Stewart, Edelman DC Brand. This broad section represented Edelman’s five employee networks representing diverse groups: Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN); Edelman Equal, focused on the LGBTQ community; Edelman Griot, focused on the Black community, Edelman Inclusivo, the Latino network; and Veterans network, Edelman Forward. The questions focused on the culture of the organization, work life balance, how their own personal brand impacts their work life and opening it up to the audience. An employee talked about how he can bring his ‘authentic self’ to work each day and that’s important to him to have that self-expression. Another spoke about what a supportive environment it is as he was allowed to take some leave to volunteer at the Olympics in Brazil and apply his skills. Also, it was noted that they encourage and welcome employees to bring their work and life experience to their jobs to help with various clients and campaigns. The audience was quick to raise their hands to the question on what they value in a company and this was probably the best part of the event. You were able to hear from colleagues in the industry share what their companies do, how they view their companies, how they can do better and what companies need to be mindful of moving forward. There was such great information shared that was inspiring. The event closed out with Trisch Smith, Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer who spoke about how they are transforming culture. People create culture and regardless of their backgrounds diversity is what makes you who you are and helps to create client campaigns.

I stayed around to speak with many employees towards the end and to be honest, after hearing about the Edelman Earned Brand Report, how passionate the staff is about their jobs, it inspired me and I’m sure others to consider exploring opportunities at this company. Who wouldn’t want to work in an environment that allows you to be your authentic self, thrive and make an impact on the world?

Thank you WWPR for partnering  with Edelman to have us attend this amazing event.