89up named EMEA Purpose Agency of the Year 2023

Leading cause communications company is recognised for its high-impact work on climate, human rights, civil society and culture campaigns

89up has been named Agency of the Year at the Purpose EMEA Awards.

The award was presented at an awards ceremony in London and revealed in PR Week, the industry bible. 89up impressed the judging panel with its global commitment to tackle complex problems and inspire action. 

Since its foundation in 2014, 89up has grown to a London-based team of over 40 with associates on all five continents. Rapid growth has meant that 89up was recognised in 2022’s FT 1000 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies – one of only 120 UK companies making the cut. 

89up is the communications agency leading the fight against climate change for non-profits. 

  • For COP27, 89up rebranded America Is All In, the biggest coalition of US leaders ever assembled in support of climate action, as well as working with some of the leading climate scientists in the world to deliver a film for Earth HQ, the media arm of the Global Commons Alliance. 
  • At COP15, the agency’s ‘human murmuration’ dance film went viral and helped deliver a stunning campaign win: the UK government struck a global deal incorporating RSPB’s red lines. 
  • And at CITES COP19, a documentary created by 89up for animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS calling for the protection of big cats pressured delegates to set specific timelines for CITES missions to breeding facilities of concern globally.

CEO and founder Mike Harris said:

“We’re delighted to have had our hard work and impact recognised by our industry peers. To be considered the leading purpose communications agency in the EMEA region is a testament to the dedication of our fantastic team, who go the extra mile every day to ensure we live to our mission: to create impact and change for many of the world’s most important causes.”

The Purpose Award judges highlighted the agency’s emphasis on training and career progression, with promotions and pay reviews twice a year. As a result, over 45 per cent of the team has been promoted at least once – with some being promoted twice in one year.

Women make up 40 per cent of 89up’s senior team and a third of staff team come from an ethnic minority background. The agency has committed to ensuring further action on diversity, in particular in ensuring people from marginalised groups are recruited and promoted within the agency. 

To achieve this, 89up has partnered with the LiFT Programme – a three-year programme across the London boroughs of Camden, Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets that aims to help residents from marginalised communities into good local jobs in the knowledge economy. As a result, the agency has gained two recruits through its Creative Start scheme – securing diverse talent from the local community to further boost the company’s creativity and growth.