Tomorrow I get on a plane and fly halfway around the world from Seattle to Munich. On Tuesday I walk into Waggener Edstrom’s brand new Munich office—the office doubled in size following our purchase of healthcare PR firm Patzer earlier this year—for a two-week visit as part of WE’s Global Exchange program. While there I’ll work alongside our account team focused on renewable energy and get an inside look at how communications professionals ply their trade in Germany.
The Global Exchange program started a little over five years ago as an opportunity to create stronger ties across our offices around the world. A small handful of people participated in the first year program—and this year it’s expanded to 18 of us in 10 offices, from Beijing to Johannesburg and from San Francisco to London. For an agency with Northwest roots and a global footprint, the opportunity to go on Global Exchange allows WE employees to better understand the work that WE does on an international scale.
Why Munich? When applying for the exchange, I selected Munich in large part because it’s an exciting time to be in Germany. Over the past 20 years Germany has instituted economic policies that have helped grow one of the largest solar energy industries in the world—in May solar energy accounted for 10% of Germany’s electricity consumption, a 40% increase over May of 2011. Some of WE’s key clients in our Munich office are leading solar energy companies. For someone whose communications work focuses on supporting environmental sustainability for clients like Microsoft, it’s a great opportunity to see first-hand how renewable energy is succeeding in the marketplace. After its strong economy largely weathered the global recession of the past four years, Germany is now in a position to play an important role in deciding the future of the euro zone, making it a fascinating place for an American like myself to learn about doing business globally.
Watch WaggenerEdstrom.com over the next two weeks for updates from me on the ground in Munich. I’ll be writing about what I’m learning from our colleagues in Munich and the broader business landscape in Germany. Look for my first dispatch from Munich early next week!
This post was originally published on WaggenerEdstrom.com.