More than 60 years’ worth of expertise in political and communication research

Interesting facts about gfs.bern

About us

gfs.bern conducts political and communications research. We also help our clients with their strategic, evidence-based communication. Our clients include political parties, associations, private businesses, the governments of cities, municipalities and cantons, the public Swiss broadcasting Network SRF and civic organisations.

What services does the institute offer?

We provide services that help our clients make important decisions on their strategic communication, support their implementation and ensure their success. This includes campaign analyses, issue monitoring, image and reputation analyses to optimise communication strategies, representative surveys and support for their campaigning activities. Details about our services and methods can be found here.

How is gfs.bern organised?

Our team at gfs.bernconsists of of 15 people, amongst them academics who specialise in political science, sociology, economics, public law, business, mathematics and computer science. We assign a project manager to each project as a central point of contact. Depending on the task at hand, our core project team involves additional specialists from our in-house pool, e.g. for visualisations, campaigning tasks or evaluations that use artificial intelligence.

What methods does gfs.bern use for its policy and communication research?

To gain the most meaningful answers to specific questions, you need to combine existing analyses with a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods. That is why we want to understand the requirements of each of our customers in depth. After all, this is the only way we can recommend them the most suitable methods to suit their individual needs. We always meet the highest standards of representativeness and quality.

When was gfs.bern founded?

The original organisation, “Gesellschaft zur Förderung der praktischen Sozialforschung” (GfS) was established as early as 1959. Market research was already an established discipline in Switzerland at the time. But the various players in the spheres of business, politics and society had a great need for answers to questions that went beyond mere marketing. As a result, policy and communications research was one of GfS’s priorities from the start.

Claude Longchamp founded gfs.bern as an independent public limited company in 2004. In late 2015, he sold the company to its long-standing employees Urs Bieri and Lukas Golder. Cloé Jans became a Member of the Executive Board in 2019.

 

What is the relevance of the research institute?

gfs.bern is regarded as a pioneer in applied policy research in Switzerland. Some of its insights into the opinion-forming process within the scope of direct democracy still have a decisive influence on political communication in Switzerland. The research institute has analysed around 250 referendums, giving it an internationally unmatched wealth of experience surrounding decision-making mechanisms in direct democracies. Today, gfs.bern has an annual turnover of around CHF 4 million. It continuously ranks among the most significant and most frequently cited market and opinion research institutes.

Its decades-long customer relationships, its members’ various lectureships at universities and other higher education institutions and its below-average employee turnover rate reinforce its high reputation on a daily basis. gfs.bern is a member of the Swiss Society of Market Research Specialists (Verband Schweizer Markt- und Sozialforschung) and the European Society for Opinion and Market Research (Esomar).