What we do
Our public affairs experts craft domestic and international strategies to create political momentum.
If you want to change the law, government policy or foreign relations, you need your message to be heard by the people who count.
Our extensive public affairs experience helps you implement the most effective strategy to achieve your goals, whether in Westminster, Edinburgh, Stormont, Brussels or Strasbourg.
89up has lobbied for charities and non-profits in the UK Parliament, at the European Parliament and Commission, at the Council of Europe and at the OSCE. Our ability to leverage the influence of key decision-makers gives your organisation the chance to be heard at the highest levels of government.
We help you to develop a strategy, support your policy development, communicate your cause, and think both long-term and tactically. Our strategies ensure your work is nonpartisan and compliant with restrictions on political activities by charities.
Our team helps you to consider effective tactics such as strategic litigation, complaints to regulators, or freedom of information requests.
89up’s Legal Counsel will ensure your campaign is legally compliant and takes full advantage of relevant existing local, national and international laws.
Our strong ethical code means we only lobby for causes we truly believe in.
Case study: Belarus, Zone of Silence
89up’s CEO Mike Harris developed the Zone of Silence campaign to secure political asylum for some of the dissident theatre group, Belarus Free Theatre, release political prisoners, and pressurise the Western backers of ‘Europe’s last dictator”, Belarus’s president Alexander Lukashenko.
We engaged major international celebrities to voice their outrage at the London firms working for Lukashenko, including a protest with Hollywood actors turning up to protest outside the offices of Grayling PR. Using the media attention around this action we leveraged support from UK government ministers.
The campaign also put pressure on the financial backers of the Belarusian regime, in particular Western banks who were selling Belarusian government bonds.
We took victims of Belarusian state torture to Edinburgh to meet with RBS bank officials. After their harrowing testimony the bank pulled out of any future deals with Belarus.
Further pressure led to the last remaining three banks (Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Sberbank) to withdraw from Belarus.
As a result of that pressure, opposition leader and political prisoner Andrei Sannikov was released from jail in April 2012.
Public Affairs Team
Mike has nearly a decade's experience of government relations and strategic communications for business and charitable clients.
He has run high profile campaigns on Belarus and Azerbaijan and is the author of a number of reports including The EU and freedom of expression; Burma: Freedom of Expression in Transition and is a contributor to Palgrave Macmillan's forthcoming book Media Law and Ethics in the 21st Century.