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As APCO turns 30, and works through a management transition, it continues to do the same things that helped it develop into one of the largest independent agencies in the world. The firm has a strong employer brand, underpinned by a culture that encourages inter-office collaboration and a truly global experience—the Global Employee Scholarship program encourages its people to spend time in other offices. But what really sets APCO apart, for many of its employees, is the ability to do meaningful work on important issues.
One employee cites “the variation in the type of work and the high calibre of client assignments… “autonomy and responsibility are major facets of the company's DNA. Another enjoys “the depth of expertise colleagues share, the growth opportunities and the empowerment to do the job right.”
And finally: “I admire my agency's transparency and how senior management is always engaged and informing employees of all changes, why they are happening, and any financial information that relates to new businesses and opportunities.”
Runners-up: Weber Shandwick, Cohn & Wolfe, Text 100
From its headquarters is in bucolic Buckinghamshire, a half-hour train ride from central London, Cirkle has created a progressive workplace culture that has earned it numerous awards over the years. The highlights include a first-class employee wellness programme, an emphasis on work-life balance, the “Rasing the Bar” training, and flexible working initiatives, all key to helping attract a first-rate workforce. Founder Caroline Kinsey talks about a “good mojo” culture in which the core values include trust, flexibility, reward and a commitment to career development.
Cirkle is “proud, passionate, motivated and motivating, and it cares… about its people, its clients, its results, its reputation, its future, its values, its culture,” according to one respondent.” Another is enthused about “the passion that each individual shares in achieving a common goal of happy clients. When something needs doing, no one steps away—everyone is willing to roll up their sleeves to help, no matter what the level. The senior team live and breathe the vision and values of the company.”
Runners-up: Salt, Tangerine, Unity
TRACCS founder and CEO Mohamed Al-Ayed has discussed his company’s commitment to professional development—even more vital in developing markets like the Middle East—at Holmes Report events in London and Miami, and the firm has won SABRE Awards for its “Driver’s Seat” and “Maestros” training initiaitves. (Its training is so good, it is offered not only to employees but to offer professionals across the region.)
One respondent cites “the way senior management encourages and supports creativity, initiative and innovation. This is something that is expected of all employees in whatever role and enables us to collaborate effectively, find solutions to difficult problems in non-traditional ways and achieve high levels of client satisfaction by delivering a passionate approach to reputation management.” Adds another: “I love the people I work with: my coworkers, my boss, and even most of the clients we serve. I feel that I can really relate to the clients, which helps me serve them better. I also like that the job takes me out of my comfort zone just enough to stretch me and help me grow. It is a great mix of interaction and independence.”
Runners-up: Schwartz Public Relations, All Channels, Fink & Fuchs
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