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Come Back Stronger

Support and insight to secure a better future

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Since the COVID-19 crisis hit in 2020, APCO has been focused on the inevitable recovery. How we come back stronger will look different for every organization, and what we do now will have an impact on future success. APCO is taking a deep dive into key industries with our global expertise and perspectives on what’s next amidst an ever-changing landscape driven by new strands, new vaccines, and what our new normal will eventually become.

Questions to ask as you make your comeback

What does it mean to be essential?

The COVID-19 pandemic has concentrated attention and resources on the people and institutions that are essential to society—healthcare workers and hospitals; food service workers and restaurants, clerks and grocery stores; couriers and online retailers; scientists and the biopharma industry. These vital workers and their employers have already earned ESSENTIALNESS DIVIDENDS—both financial and reputational—that recognize their systemic importance to our welfare and continued existence.

What are our new shared stakes?

Stakeholders have evolved both literally and figuratively. Their expectations have changed. Their needs have changed. They have a desire for the right balance of engagement in our current environment of “digital by default.” And, for many organizations, the stakeholders themselves have changed. New players hold the cards, and longstanding power brokers are no longer in the mix. As STAKEHOLDER CAPITALISM continues to rise, the way we engage with new people will be critical for sustained success.

How do we fix systemic fractures?

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare systemic fractures that have fundamentally disrupted lives and livelihoods. And, for the foreseeable future, we will live in a constant state of disruption even as we ease towards some semblance of normalcy. In response, industries will need radical introspection that leads to big shifts in how they operate. Businesses will be forced to innovate and operate with agility. There will be new ways of solving problems, engaging and activating. The role of experts will continue to be important but what expertise matters will continue to change.  Businesses, governments and civil society will need to mobilize to devise SYSTEMIC HACKS to serve the unmet needs of citizens.

How can rivals become partners?

The dynamic environment demands new ways of thinking about partnerships, and we’ve already seen this play out across industries and sectors. Competitors have become allies. Governments have become collaborators. Rival nations continue to find ways to work together, even in the face of isolationist tendencies. The healthcare community has become a go-to for all industries. And technology empowers everything we do. A new model of RIVALRY PARTNERSHIPS is bringing together competitors and strange bedfellows to challenge societies’ most intractable problems.

What does it mean to lead with empathy?

Businesses are going to have to listen and learn like never before. They need to better understand expectations—of their products and services, and of their conduct and purpose. In the era of DOUBLING DOWN ON STEWARDSHIP, employees, customers and shareholders will expect institutions and their leaders to account for their actions, operate with integrity and demonstrate their unique value to society.

How APCO can help

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APCO has been at the center of some of the most important conversations happening in our lifetime and surrounding the pandemic. We are the agency at the center of communications around the world’s most valuable vaccines. We are helping our clients find ways to make internet access more equitable at a time when the education of future generations hinges on distance learning. We helped amplify the voice of frontline nurses around the world during this critical moment in time. And, we’re partnering with local and state municipalities across the world to reinvigorate their economies and excite their stakeholders for this next chapter.

Let us help you take the first steps to establish a stronger foothold as your organization and your industry recover from the crisis and moves forward.

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Industry highlights

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Food, Consumer & Retail

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, in conversation with APCO’s Global Crisis Practice Lead Eliot Hoff, delves into the current crisis and where there are opportunities for institutional change to help the sector come back stronger after this unprecedented event. Food is both the great equalizer—everyone needs to eat‑but the situation exposes rifts in society that have the potential to cause upheaval that could impact recovery from COVID-19.

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Webinar

Technology: The New Social Contract

APCO Worldwide recently partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host an insightful webinar on the post-pandemic relationship between technology, governments and citizens. James Robinson, APCO’s Global Geo-Commerce Lead, led a panel of industry experts in a discussion about new research, the public’s expectations for the role of government and technology in their lives after the pandemic and how the technology sector can come back stronger.

For more webinars and to get the latest research this webinar shared, visit our Coronavirus Hub.

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