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APCO Worldwide Public Relations

APCO Worldwide is a multinational public relations firm that has offices in 30 major markets around the world, including their headquarters in Washington DC, as well as in Berlin, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, and more. Some of their largest clients include Sprint, United Airlines, IKEA, Microsoft, Novartis Africa, and Ebay. APCO has represented at least six of the top 10 companies on Fortune's Global 500 list.

APCO was founded in 1984 as a small PR office in Washington DC by current Chairman, Margery Kraus. With over 600 employees, it has become the second largest privately owned communications and public affairs company in the world. Ms. Kraus remains very active in the PR field – currently serving with the Institute for Public Relations and as a past board member of the Council of Public Relations Firms and chairperson of the Public Affairs Council. The firm has developed a 4A formula in working with and developing champion brands – including Alignment, Authenticity, Attachment, and Advocacy. Much of the day-to-day firm work is now overseen by CEO Brad Staples.

Brad Staples has been working at APCO for approximately 20 years, and came into the CEO position first as a co-CEO along with Margery Kraus, who then shifted to chairman late in 2014. According to the APCO website, Mr. Staples has “devised and conducted reputation and communications programs for multinational companies,” “developed public affairs campaigns and led investment promotion, information and reputation assignments for numerous corporations, governments, and political leaders,” and “built global antitrust and competition practice.”

APCO’s website displays some of their best campaigns and also shows the direction the company pursues. These include global efforts to encourage and increase vaccinations for children worldwide, helped IKEA build their brand as a top company promoting environmental corporate sustainability, promoted Ebay in Europe as a thought leader and in the process helped shaped marketing efforts in Europe and elsewhere, and through their efforts they helped stop the takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T, making certain AT&T did not become so big they could remove competition from the market.

Their areas of specialization include technology, financial, healthcare, energy and cleantech, food, consumer products and retail, as well as others. They represent their clients with efforts in public affairs, research, PR, advertising, branding, content creation, digital, financial information, crisis management, litigation communications, market communications, media relations, and others.
APCO has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2010 - and in their 2014/15 Communications Report, they shared past efforts and successes for that time frame by saying,

“We reaffirmed our commitment to carrying out our business fairly, honestly and openly and to ensuring that the policies, practices and systems are in place to provide our employees with the direction and support needed to follow this mandate. We established a new structure and expanded the role for our Responsible Business Committee so that it fully reflects the APCO community, the markets we serve, the values that guide us and the culture of respect, collaboration and excellence we strive for. We also made changes within the executive leadership, which included appointing Brad Staples as APCO’s second chief executive officer. In co-signing this letter, we both reaffirm our commitment to UNGC’s Ten Principles.”

APCO has received awards from various sources and for many reasons over the years, but in 2015, a few of the awards they won included PR News’ Platinum PR Awards 2015: Public Affairs Campaign for IKEA’s Wind Farm Announcement, PR News’ Top Places to Work in 2015, MarCom Awards’ Gold Awards 2015: Awareness Campaign Video for Take Two - Tell 2 for Stroke video, and New York Observer’s 2015 PR Power 50.

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