The Altitude Consultancy
The Altitude Consultancy provides high-level, integrated, strategic advice and support to clients on business-critical public policy, regulation and reputation-critical issues.

For some clients, we are an extra arm of their corporate communications and public affairs departments, working as a part of the team; for others, we are independent, external advisers to senior executives.

We provide a bridge, to help clients to move from where they are to where they want to be, assisting them every step of the way in meeting their objectives � from initial policy preparation, through political analysis and strategy development, to political and stakeholder engagement and media communications.
What we do

We help clients with business-critical public policy, regulation and reputation issues to define, pursue and achieve their objectives.

We provide clients with clear, focused and relevant independent advice. The depth of our experience in business, government and consultancy gives us the confidence to challenge our clients and to offer alternatives to conventional thinking, rather than simply tell clients what they expect to hear.

We design strategies to protect and enhance clients� corporate interests and reputation within the increasingly challenging world of public policy, regulation and corporate responsibility. We can also assist them to build internal capacity by embedding skills within their own organisation.

Specifically, we:
  • advise on the planning, development and presentation of issues and policies to multiple key stakeholders
  • help clients to identify, map, target and communicate with those stakeholders � especially national, London and local government, Parliament, devolved administrations, local communities, industry groups, pressure groups, opinion formers and the media
  • provide detailed analysis on political issues and trends
  • advise on opinion polling research
  • advise on and create clear and integrated communications, public affairs and stakeholder relations strategies and campaigns
  • help clients to foster productive direct relations with identified key stakeholders
  • provide media relations and crisis management services
  • help clients with their internal communications structures and advise and coach the client�s own staff and executives.
  • Why us

    We are different
    We are not a conventional Westminster political consultancy. We recognise that times have changed: communications methods have evolved and clients demand more responsiveness, transparency and value for money.

    We also recognise that having great personal relations with clients is important too. So we combine our relentless professionalism with a sense of humour and a commitment to making work fun.

    We give clients what they want
    Clients want experienced consultants, so our clients will always be supported by directors with senior-level experience.

    Clients want advice across the range of policy, public affairs, corporate responsibility and communications disciplines, sometimes with additional management consultancy advice. Our experience in central, local and foreign government, consultancy and corporate and international business brings these together seamlessly.

    Clients shouldn't pay for things that they could learn to do for themselves, so we assist them to build their internal capacity and embed skills within their own organisation.

    Clients want a fair deal, and we will always provide value for money.

    Econetrix (Hungary)
    Gatwick Airport
    Network Rail
    National Federation of Cypriots
    Sanofi Pasteur MSD

    United Food and Commercial Workers' Union (USA)

    Complan Foods
    Global Infrastructure Partners
    Octavian Advisors
    UNI Global Union (Switzerland)

    Altitude worked closely with us to create a coherent story about our products and then they put together a campaign for us to tell that story nationally to key decision-makers in the NHS. They also almost single-handedly wrote, edited and proofed the copy for our new website, as well as oversaw its design and relaunch. They were very good value for money and we hugely enjoyed working and socialising with them at their many �Joy' events.�
    Patrick Eraut, MD, Complan Foods

    �Altitude is our go-to agency when we have complex policy issues to articulate, submissions to Government and Parliament to draft and executives to prepare for hearings. They have helped us in a wide range of areas, from alcohol policy to excise duty, and opinion polling to political positioning. They work fast, often to challenging deadlines, and have never let us down. From doing a one-off piece of work for us in early 2008, they are now our automatic choice when we want external support on complex issues. They have become an extension of our public affairs team.�
    Rachael Robertson, Head of Government Affairs, Diageo

    �Altitude came to us through a referral, when we were considering a major new green technology venture in Central Europe. We have worked together since early 2009 and they have delivered exactly the political support and intelligence we needed to navigate through Hungary's national and local government � getting us to the right people at the right time � as well as helping us to develop our messages and to present them in the best way possible.�
    Josh Cooper, CEO, Econetrix

    �Altitude provided strategic and day-to-day support and advice during Gatwick's transition under its new owners. I have greatly valued the depth of experience in aviation policy, public affairs and communications that they contributed, just as I valued and trusted Steve Hardwick as my communications director when I was CEO of Budapest Airport. His can-do, no-nonsense approach really helped me and the communications team during the important early weeks of Gatwick's transition.�
    Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport

    �Altitude supported us during our successful bid to buy Gatwick Airport, providing advice on public affairs and policy, as well as directly handling our bid-related national and international media. We found them to be professional in executing their remit, confident in challenging views, astute at public policy and to have an engaging and informal style that we liked.�
    Michael McGhee, Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners

    �Altitude's public affairs and media advice and support to the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK have been a significant boost to our efforts to raise and sustain our organisation's profile as well as awareness of the Cyprus problem among influencers in Westminster and Whitehall. The Federation's communication with policymakers and stakeholders and its media reach have been extended considerably.

    �Tony Sophoclides has applied his knowledge of the issues and his political experience and acumen to assist me in shaping and articulating our messages to the right people in our campaign to bring justice to Cyprus.�
    Peter Droussiotis, President, National Federation of Cypriots in the UK

    �We asked Altitude to work through the mass of information we have on our business and pull together a suite of concise, well-written and user-friendly briefs on the key issues and policies of concern to our wide range of stakeholders. They mastered the issues in no time and we have been delighted with their judgement as well as the speed, accuracy and quality of their written work. They have also provided sound advice on policy and policy planning and we look forward to working with them again in the future.�
    Duncan Bonfield, Director of External Communications, Network Rail

    �Altitude really got it from the first time we spoke. We needed to raise the UK profile of our campaign for workers' rights and to get serious news coverage. They wrote a brilliant campaign booklet to an impossible deadline and at its launch they secured us a clean sweep of the UK broadsheets. Three weeks later they did it again and got us on the front of the FT.

    �Despite the time difference, they're always there for us, whether it's a midnight conference call, an event on a wet morning in Glasgow, and even weekends and holidays. We've extended Altitude's contract time after time, because they always deliver what we've asked for and they combine their professionalism with a fantastic collective sense of humour.�
    Pat O'Neill, Executive Vice President for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union of North America
    Our experience
    We offer more than 45 years' combined experience in public affairs, policy, politics and communications. We have advised politicians and clients under successive Conservative and Labour Governments, covering the following industries, issues and geographical areas:

  • Alcohol production and retail
  • Aviation and airports
  • Bus industry
  • Charities
  • Chemicals, oil and gases
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Financial services
  • Food
  • Health
  • ICT
  • Ports
  • Print media
  • Property development
  • Railways
  • Retail
  • Sport � football and lottery allocators

  • Issues
  • Alcohol policy
  • Business
  • Climate change
  • Competition issues
  • Consumer issues
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Corporate taxation
  • Environment
  • Excise duty
  • Lottery allocation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Pensions
  • Planning
  • Sustainable development
  • Trades unions
  • Transport

  • Geographical areas
  • UK Government and Parliament
  • Devolved administrations
  • London Government
  • Local Government
  • European Commission and Parliament
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • South Africa
  • Washington DC
  • Who we are

    Richard Olszewski

    Richard Olszewski is a government affairs and political specialist, with two decades' experience in Westminster, Whitehall and London government. He was a special adviser to a former Cabinet Minister across six Cabinet positions (Transport, Health, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Leader of the House, Labour Party Chairman), dealing with the strategic aspects of policy development and public services reform, as well as the day-to-day political and presentational impacts of government decision-making. In Opposition he worked for a prominent Shadow Minister on policy, legislation and media.

    He has also been a consultancy director, with experience including financial services, property development, retail, transport, energy, environment and health. He worked in-house for the Consumers' Association and the Royal College of Nursing and served for eight years as an elected member of the London Borough of Camden, where he was vice-chair of finance and education.

    Tony Sophoclides

    Tony Sophoclides is a public affairs specialist, with 11 years' experience in consultancy. He has served as a director in three leading public affairs consultancies, as well as working for more than seven years in Westminster and for a year as a lobbyist in Washington DC. His consultancy career has given him experience in sectors as diverse as planning and property development, chemicals and gases, aviation, railways, print media, the toy industry, local government and trades unions. His work has involved him in campaigns directed at the EU institutions, Whitehall, Westminster, devolved, regional and local governments, and across industry bodies and regulators.

    He was a political adviser and speechwriter in Government and Opposition to a former Deputy Prime Minister and was previously a researcher for several backbench MPs. He therefore has an in-depth understanding of the dynamics and machinery of Westminster and Whitehall, from a position of government and opposition. While working for the Deputy PM, his responsibilities included campaigning roles, political intelligence and speechwriting.

    Contact us

    The Altitude Consultancy
    40 Westbere Road
    NW2 3SR

    Tel: +44 (0) 7904 548 035

    Richard Olszewski
    Tony Sophoclides

    The Altitude Consultancy is a company registered in England,
    No: 6452583. Registered Office: 8 Unity Street, College Green, Bristol BS1 5HH
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