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W&R rebrands as WR Advisory Group in a bid to lead the public affairs industry

W&R rebrands as WR Advisory Group in a bid to lead the public affairs industry with integrated data, strategy, and communications services

Leading advisory firm W&R has been providing businesses and governments here and in the Asia Pacific insights on the potential risks of political and economic instabilities in the past five years. By pioneering the use of big data and automation, the firm has ushered the public affairs industry in the Philippines out of the analog age, leading also to the creation of polling firm WR Numero Research. 

Today, W&R integrates these functions as it becomes WR Advisory Group to provide a comprehensive range of services, offering accurate and reliable data, devising informed strategies, and creating digital communications. 

Data, Strategy, and Communications

“Becoming WR Advisory Group marks that we, primarily a strategic advisory firm, are formally expanding into different service areas–data, strategy, and communications–to reflect what we have done over the last five years,” Dr. Robin Michael Garcia, WR Advisory Group President, and CEO said.

Specializing in these key areas allows the Group to provide a sophisticated understanding of society and politics and effectively influence it, outperforming other firms as WR Advisory offers more than just data. 

Equipped with in-house proprietary tech-driven data capabilities in big data as well as sentiment analysis, and manned by political scientists trained abroad, the Group provides strategy and high-level research for companies to engage public sector stakeholders in managing and mitigating potential risks in the Philippines and Asia Pacific. 

The Group will offer Data services, such as opinion research, big data analytics, sentiment analysis, media intelligence, and political risk analysis. Strategy services will include providing political campaign strategy, communications, brand, and messaging strategy; while Communications services involve creating political campaigns, digital communications, and stakeholder and government relations.

On top of this, WR Advisory Group will revive its pre-pandemic international work with plans of establishing offices across the region, beginning with Thailand, Myanmar, and Mongolia.  

“The Group will strive to be a regional and global player in public affairs consulting with emphasis on data, technology, and expertise,” Garcia said.

The Group will also serve as the mother company of polling and data analytics firm WR Numero Research. 

Where it started

Shanghai-trained political scientist Garcia, also an assistant professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific, started with W&R in 2017,  the first political risk firm in the country. 

W&R provided political and regulatory risk analysis and political, economic, and industry research. The international community quickly recognized the company with the British Chamber of Commerce of Myanmar in Yangon inviting W&R to brief their members about political risks in ASEAN. 

Garcia also delivered a keynote address at the Doing Business in Asia Alliance in Phnom Penn in 2018. This was followed by the successful launch of the “Political Risks and Outlook for Business in Mongolia” in January 2019, in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia, the Ulaanbaatar Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of Mongolia, and the Independent Research Institute of Mongolia. 

The company then ventured into the Philippines’ political and electoral scene as the months leading up to the 2019 midterm elections allowed the company to demonstrate its technological capabilities and expertise, particularly in political campaign strategies.

“W&R began to offer customized media intelligence and sentiment analysis to prominent national and local candidates competing in the 2019 midterm elections. Coupled with a strong academic pedigree in political/social science and computer science, W&R earned the reputation of reliability and competence among electoral aspirants,” Garcia said.

Amid the expansion, W&R functions, such as public policy monitoring, political and regulatory risk analysis, and public affairs strategy and advisory among others will be consolidated under WR Advisory Group’s strategic advisory services.  

WR and company

Garcia continued to expand the political risk firm in 2019 as he spotted a need to offer public opinion research services for the 2019 Midterm National Elections. Hence, WR Numero Research was created. 

WR Numero is a technology-driven polling and data analytics company that provides accurate, independent, and actionable data insights. It has been a top-of-mind consultant not just for the private sector, but also for public affairs leaders, and electoral aspirants. 

With Garcia becoming President and CEO of the Group, Professor Cleve Arguelles, a Ph.D. candidate at The Australian National University, will take over as WR Numero’s new President and CEO. Garcia will continue serving as WR Numero’s founder and chairman, while Arguelles will relinquish his role as Head of Research and be replaced by Joshua Angelo Bata.   

Both Garcia and Arguelles have been tapped by local and foreign media for insights into elections, Philippine politics, and even international relations. 

In the 2022 national elections, WR Numero advised presidential contenders, candidates for the Senate, congress, and other local mayoral, congressional, and gubernatorial races. WR Numero conducted its own set of surveys on the standing of electoral candidates, producing high-quality data on a weekly basis, where most first provided only monthly or quarterly reports. 

The firm’s reports were also cited by CNN, Aljazeera, ABC News Australia, South China Morning Post, Rappler, Inquirer, GMA7, and One News to name a few.

WR Numero now plans to engage in broader social science research, including focus group discussions, and ethnographic research among other methods of social investigation. Underpinned by its existing big data analytics and survey research capabilities, WR Numero is well on its way to becoming the preferred public opinion research firm for leaders and organizations, reinforcing WR Advisory Group’s position in the regional and global arena.

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