LONDON — FleishmanHillard Fishburn is launching an international affairs unit to deliver communications and issues management campaigns for countries, multilateral bodies and NGOs.

The specialist offering will support clients on economic, geopolitical and humanitarian issues, including trade and investment, Brexit, foreign policy, disputes and international development. It will advise on global communications strategies, serve as a hub for multi-country campaigns and lead UK-focused programmes.

The new unit will be led by partner and head of international affairs Michael Hartt (pictured), who joined the agency in April 2017 from Burson-Marsteller, where he was senior director of corporate communications and international affairs. He was previously VP international public affairs at Edelman.

Hartt has advised governments, political parties, international organisations and companies on international and geopolitical matters related to trade and investment, taxation, international development, terrorism and security, women’s and human rights, and high-level disputes.

He said: “The complex, fast-changing international climate caused by Brexit, trade and diplomatic disputes, the rise of new economic and political powers and other international issues shows no sign of easing. As they navigate through this uncertainty, countries and international organisations need communications campaigns that promote and protect their interests and earn the trust of stakeholders from government, business and the wider public.”

The core international affairs team will pull in skills and talent from across the London office and the network on a case-by-case basis depending on client need, including public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis communications, financial, sustainability, corporate purpose, technology, and digital and social expertise.

Harrt told the Holmes Report that the unit would work on campaigns as well as offering advice: “We’re at a moment where clients need to be smart about how they approach, manage and solve issues, so this is not just about senior strategic counsel but about creative campaigns that deliver results. We’re working for organisations from G7 governments to large NGOs, on areas from economics and trade to humanitarian work and social purpose.

"Clients will always need counsel, but geopolitical issues and diplomatic challenges are often in the background and now they are very much in the forefront. This is a real opportunity for us to do interesting, meaningful and positive work that makes a difference.”