2005 Global Profile: APCO Worldwide

CEO: Margery Kraus

CEO: Margery Kraus

Headquarters location

Washington, DC

Total US staff


Total non-US staff


Worldwide office locations

Wholly-owned: Washington, DC, New York, Ottawa, Sacramento, Seattle, Brussels, Berlin, Bonn, Geneva, London, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta

Minority-owned: Johannesburg

Affiliate/partnership: Edinburgh, Amman

Proportion of the wholly- and majority-owned agencies that carry the parent's brand name


Global structure

APCO is organized as one profit center globally. It is managed by regional CEOs who report to the worldwide CEO and is supported by global finance, marketing, and human resource teams. It is customary for the company to share accounts across offices globally with one team leader overall and drawing upon the best resources and talent in any office as needed. On a regional basis (EMEA, Asia, North America), it is quite normal for staff to work out of more than one office for a given project.

Key clients

Group Menatep

Regions where account is serviced, and whether the work is done by an affiliate, partner or a wholly-owned office of the firm

The work is done out of our following wholly-owned offices: Washington, DC, New York, Seattle, Ottawa, London, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Rome, and Moscow. All of the work is done by full-time APCO staff and through our network of senior counselors.

Type of work done on the account, including practice areas involved

This is a large, multi-faceted assignment that includes all aspects of corporate communication, litigation support, government relations, media relations, online communication, advertising/creative services, stakeholder relations, and opinion research.

Length and type of engagement

Menatep has been a client for over five years. We will continue as their agency of record.

Management structure of the account

There is a senior team assigned to develop strategies led by APCO's CEO, Margery Kraus, and includes senior political, legal, and media experts in North America and Europe. There are day-to-day operational managers in each key target market with regional coordinators located in Washington and London. Supporting the account is a global "infrastructure" team that is responsible for updating materials, monitoring media, etc.

How account is billed

Time and materials basis.

Size of budget

Not supplied.

Dow Corning

Regions where account is serviced, and whether the work is done by an affiliate, partner or a wholly-owned office of the firm

Work is primarily performed in North America, Europe, Russia, and Asia. On occasion we draw upon other relationships when the client has a specific need not serviced by our regular team. We also have an active relationship through APCO Industria with The European Marketing Group.

Type of work done on the account, including practice areas involved

The type of work done on the account includes corporate positioning/reputation management and marketing communications. APCO works in partnership with its counterparts at Dow Corning to develop the strategy for all aspects of communications, and we provide occasional assistance on government relations and market entry strategy.

Length and type of engagement

APCO was hired in October 1996 as global agency of record for corporate positioning/reputation management work. We were hired in October 1999 as global agency of record for marketing communications.

Management structure of the account

Jan Hausrath, senior vice president, and Carol Bradford, vice president, lead the combined account teams from APCO's Washington, DC headquarters. Approximately 35 people from APCO's network globally work on the account regularly.

How account is billed

On corporate reputation work, we bill monthly. On marketing communications work, we bill retainers for strategic services on a monthly basis, and issue bills based on approved project estimates for specific projects.

Size of budget

Not supplied.


Regions where the account is serviced, and whether the work is done by an affiliate, partner or a wholly-owned office of the firm

The work is led by APCO Europe in Brussels, with support from APCO Insight (our research firm) and APCO Industria (our marketing communications practice) to support the client's operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Type of work done on the account, including practice areas involved

This is an integrated communications program, involving public affairs, strategic communications, reputation research, stakeholder communications, benchmarking and measurement (APCO Insight), and trade media relations (APCO Industria).

Length and type of engagement

Appointed strategic partner for Borealis on the basis of a two-year contract for strategic communications and positioning of the firm across its geographic footprint (i.e. EMEA and Asia).

Management structure of the account

We've built the team based on skills and talent drawn from within the network, irrespective of where they are geographically based. The account is directed by Thomasine Kamerling, director APCO Europe, with strategic counsel by Cleopatra van de Winkel, regional director EMEA. They are supported by staff in Brussels, Paris, and London. A core team of five people manage the account day to day, with strategic counsel input resourced from within the network. At interim intervals we have senior members of the APCO team cooperate on specific projects (CSR, Crisis Communications, Middle East, etc.). Work in the Middle East and Asia is managed from our Brussels and London offices.

How account is billed

Retainer and project.

Size of budget

Not supplied.

Global revenues change from one year ago (Global revenue is defined as revenue generated by all regions)

Global revenue grew by 24% from $46.8 million in 2003 to $58 million in 2004.

International revenues change from one year ago (International revenue is defined as revenue generated by all regions excluding the region in which the agency is headquartered)

International revenues grew by 18.8% from 2003 to 2004.

Global staffing change from one year ago

Global staffing has increased from one year ago.

International staffing change from one year ago

International staffing increased in Europe and we saw a slight increase in Asia.

Performance in light of expectations and the sociopolitical factors affecting performance

APCO's worldwide revenues grew 24% last year. We have an internationally diversified revenue stream and 2004 exceeded our revenue expectations, especially in the last quarter. In 2005 we have already added a considerable amount of new business and significantly expanded work with a number of existing clients.

External sociopolitical factors affecting performance include a general upswing in the economy which provided more opportunities to pitch new business and continued focus by the corporate sector on enhancing reputation and rebuilding trust (this has fueled corporate governance and corporate social responsibility work). Globalization and trade continue to provide us with opportunities to help organizations because of our knowledge of and ability to work globally and especially in developing countries. These countries are moving to market economies and have a growing need for our services. Increased regulation and litigation are fueling much of our growth as well in areas such as pharmaceuticals, energy/natural resources, and financial services, and for our crisis and litigation communication teams globally.

Business won, or lost, in the past year due to a global PR consolidation by the client

In the past year we have won a considerable amount of new business. However, as last year, we don't believe it was a result of global consolidation, but rather the growth of our relationships with given clients as they experience working with APCO in one region and decide to use us elsewhere.

Best-performing regions

Currently all of our regions are experiencing growth and benefiting from the global nature of APCO's key accounts. North America remains our largest and strongest region, and is the driver of global business.

Under-performing regions

None of our regions are underperforming.

Region targeted for increased investment of resources this year

We plan to invest resources in growing our business in all regions. We are especially enhancing our presence in the Middle East, New York, and London, and we plan to invest more resources in the European region to support countries in the newly expanded European Union. We are also expanding our Asia presence through affiliations and expansion of existing operations.

We also continue to make investments in senior strategic counselors who have global experience and can work across markets.

Region targeted for decreased investment of resources this year

There is no region where we plan to decrease investment.

New region/country under consideration to enter this year

In April 2005, APCO entered the Middle East by announcing a partnership with the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGO), the largest Arab professional services consulting group. The partnership provides a new and important resource for facilitating business opportunities between the West and the Arab world at a time of strategic importance. The venture increases both firms' ability to service current and future international and local clients in all 22 Arab League countries, as well as assist regional multinationals and support their capability to do business in the West. APCO also plans to make additional investments in the Middle East region as we consider it a growth area.

Over the next year we will also consider entering the Eastern European market now that the European Union has expanded. Given our history and experience in developing markets, this will allow us to both support international companies entering the region as well as Eastern European companies looking to move into Western markets.

We will consider other opportunities as they appear.

Consideration of international acquisitions or organic growth

With only one exception, APCO has grown organically over the years. This has enabled us to build a unified culture across geographies and practice groups. While we wouldn't rule out acquisitions, we would need a special reason for acquiring another firm rather than building our own.

International pro bono activities and other ways the firm connects with the regions in which it operates

APCO believes strongly in community involvement and volunteerism and encourages employee involvement through company-sponsored activities and on an individual basis.

The following are some of our activities internationally. This year, in response to the tsunami in Southeast Asia, APCO employees contributed to relief organizations of their choice and APCO matched the amount by 50% giving the funds to the top three organizations employees gave to. In addition, individual APCO employees volunteered time to help deliver relief items to people isolated by the destruction of roads and bridges in Indonesia and by volunteering in call centers. They also provided pro bono service to Project Hope in its efforts to provide medical services to victims.

APCO provided approximately $200,000 worth of pro bono support for the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and Chinese Ministry of Health Joint Summit on Business and AIDS in China. The summit brought together 450 business, government, civil society, and multilateral leaders from around the world. APCO played a critical role in building the partnership between GBC and the Ministry of Health, and provided strategic counsel, stakeholder relations, and logistical support for the event.

In Asia, other pro bono efforts have included work for Habitat for Humanity in Hong Kong (which serves as a regional resource development location - helping to set up fundraising structures); and World Wildlife Fund China (corporate outreach). Through the Shanghai Sunrise program, the Shanghai office is sponsoring an entire year of education for an impoverished 15-year old boy with a heart condition.

Since 1995, the Brussels office has entered two teams into the annual Children in Need fund-raising Quiz Night and provides sponsorship to support this event, which assists the organization in continuing its mission of improving the lives of disadvantaged children. On an individual basis, employees throughout our European offices volunteer and provide charitable support for relief organizations providing aid to the poor and disabled in their local communities, as well as in the developing world.

In addition, the firm connects with international regions by holding regional and global retreats. Another important component of our efforts to connect with international regions is our Global Employee Exchange Program.

Key changes made over the past couple of years that were driven by clients' changing needs

APCO has implemented a number of changes over the last couple of years to better serve our clients and respond to changing needs in the marketplace. We realized we would best serve our clients if we could migrate our business towards the highest levels of their organizations, and become a place to go when they could not afford to fail. We accomplished this through a series of steps, beginning with stating a clear vision for the organization: To be the trusted partner of choice - creating value by pushing the boundaries of communication and providing global service, culture by culture. Simultaneously, we clearly defined our corporate values and ensured we "lived our values" on a daily basis through infusing them into all activities of the firm.

We undertook a rebranding exercise that repositioned the company in the marketplace and reflected APCO's ability to deliver at the highest level for corporations, nonprofits and foundations, industry associations, governments, and government agencies. By listening to our clients needs, we migrated our services towards the C-suite, understanding that the future of our industry would be found at the crossroads of business, government, and the media.

At the same time, we also recognized the need to attract and retain the best talent in the industry, as well as respond quickly to client opportunities and challenges. Therefore, we set out to become an independent firm and accomplished this in September 2004. While other firms in the industry continued to become part of large advertising holding companies, APCO did something different by standing on its own. Through the management buyout, we have been able to build on the firm's already impressive staff line up.

This past year, the management team at APCO realigned the internal structure to reflect our clients' changing needs. The new structure allows for more efficient operations to better deliver quality customer service for our clients; an easier structure to match talent and experience with specific client needs; and a more balanced workload for our employees. This has streamlined operational aspects of the business to allow consultants to focus on delivering innovative solutions to our clients' needs.

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