In 1984, Margery Kraus founded APCO as a consulting affiliate to the law firm, Arnold & Porter, with the first office established in Washington, D.C.
In 1991, APCO became part of Grey Global Group, allowing it to accelerate its growth internationally and bring a more creative perspective to its work.
With the rise of the internet, APCO launched its Online (1996) and Creative practices (2001) to develop targeted, impactful solutions for its clients. Through the years, APCO has created offerings including the AI Comms Lab driven out of our Dubai office; Telescope, a tool for influencer mapping and engagement; and emPower, a digital crisis simulation.
In 1998, APCO Insight was established to better integrate research and insights into the firm’s work. Through the years, Insight served as a key generator of the firm’s intellectual property, developing products like Emotional Linking, TradeMarks, Sonar and Campfire, and ways of thinking around corporate brand with Champion Brand and Agility Edge. Insight continues to think boldly by infusing its work with digital insights and data analytics as it explores the benefits of machine learning and other technologies.
In 2004, after doubling its revenue and more than a decade as an affiliate of Grey Global Group, APCO became an independent firm and majority women-owned business at a time when other firms were consolidating.
In 2005, not long after becoming independent, APCO’s geographic footprint reached 20 offices in 14 countries.
In 2006, APCO created an International Advisory Council (IAC) of global leaders that helped deliver on its promise to clients to be the place to go when they cannot afford to fail. Today, the IAC comprises four targeted subgroups and more than 100 former elected politicians; leaders of business and industry; academics at leading universities; world-class journalists and editors; NGO and nonprofit pioneers; diplomats; and policy experts.
APCO launched its operations in the Middle East in 2006, starting in Dubai. Today, there are over 200 people from 26 countries working in teams across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Manama, Kuwait and Muscat.
In 2008, APCO hit $100 million in revenue.
That same year, a program designed specifically for college graduates entering the workforce was created at APCO’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., called APCO+. This 18–month program provides training, mentorship and experience for entry level professionals.
APCO is recognized by experts in the industry for producing outstanding client work and providing one of the best work environments. Our monthly newsletter, Stay Ahead, provides a look at global trends from our top experts. APCO was named EMEA Corporate Consultancy of the Year by the The Holmes Report, Best Agency in the Middle East/North Africa by PRWeek and Japan/Korea Consultancy of the Year by Campaign Asia. APCO also won top workplace honors from PR News and The Holmes Report.
APCO continued to grow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching more than 1,000 colleagues in 2022.
APCO acquired Dubai-based NGC International Advisors and Italy-based Strategic advice, further bolstering public affairs services in MENA and Europe.