Twenty-five years ago, APCO Worldwide sought to create what would become APCO Insight—the full-service global research, analytics and measurement group at the firm. The story goes, APCO Founder and Executive Chairman Margery Kraus looked around one day and questioned: “Why, if APCO is contracting for so much research, can’t we just start our own research division?” This momentous decision would mark the beginning of a remarkable journey in the realm of strategic communication and research. Fast forward to 2006, I had the privilege of joining Insight when it consisted of just nine employees—eight in Washington, D.C., and one in London. Today, we have 26 team members across the globe, from the U.S. West Coast to Paris.
Our journey has been one of constant adaptation and innovation:
- In the early days, the primary method for quantitative data collection was telephone interviews or face-to-face in-person in some countries. Today, in most countries, we harness the power of online panels to gather data efficiently and effectively.
- Focus groups and in-depth interviews are still in our toolbox, but now they are more likely to be conducted virtually via platforms like Zoom or Teams, reflecting the ever-changing landscape of our interconnected world, sometimes with participants from several countries.
- We are fully utilizing data science techniques, emphasizing predictive analytics and measurement; this is our fastest growing practice area. In a world that thrives on data-informed decision-making, we’ve risen to the occasion to provide our clients with the insights they need to navigate the complex landscapes in which they operate.
- One thing that has remained constant over the years is our commitment to reputation measurement and management. While we’ve made improvements and tweaks to the process, the underlying passion and philosophy that drove us forward then are as strong today as the day it was created.
- Another constant is the relationships we rely on to conduct our work—with trusted data collection partners, colleagues, clients, subject matter experts and research participants. Without these relationships, our work would be more challenging and less fulfilling.
As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride in how far we’ve come. I recognize we cannot stand still; our evolution doesn’t stop here. We are committed to adapting, to investing in new tools and skills and to continuous growth. The world of advisory and advocacy is ever-changing, and we are determined to stay at the forefront, helping our colleagues and clients thrive in an increasingly complex environment.
Reflecting on our journey, it’s clear that APCO Insight has come a long way due to our team’s dedication and our steadfast commitment to our mission: bringing the voices of our clients’ stakeholders into our work to inform strategy, planning and tactics that enable our clients to achieve their objectives. Thank you to all my current and former Insight team members for being a part of this incredible journey.