An example of our work for the construction firm John Gallin & Son demonstrates that a great placement for a client can lead directly to new business. After several discussions with Crain’s New York Business about a feature profile on the Gallin firm, an editor there finally agreed to assign a writer. This led to 1) repeat business with a former client, and 2) new business with a new client. The piece that ran prompted one former client who recalled a good experience with Gallin to re-hire them – on the spot! In addition, when the Gallin president spoke to another prospect, the prospect said he had just read the Crain’s piece, and he too proceeded to hire the firm. Several other leads related to the Crain’s story turned into new business as well.
The owners of the Capri, a high-rise apartment building on the East Side of Manhattan, retained us to increase the visibility of the property. After meeting with the client, we were able to place the Capri in “The Hunt’ column of the New York Times. In addition, a Capri representative was interviewed by the reporter for an online video that appeared on New York Times.com.
The article and video produced just what the client wanted. A prospective home buyer had been searching for his dream property for over a year. After reading the Times article, he made an appointment to visit the sales center that weekend – and bought an apartment in seven figures.
While working for Quontic, a New York City bank, we learned of an unusual commercial mortgage made by the bank. The loan enabled the owners of a chain of cabaret/sports bars to refinance property for an expanded location near Madison Square Garden. Recognizing that a mortgage secured by property serving as a men’s entertainment venue is one that no conventional lender would be likely to make, we seized the opportunity to spotlight our client’s niche lending capabilities. Both the New York Post and The Real Deal ran stories about the transaction, leading to new business for the bank.
For many years I represented the project management firm Levien & Company. After several discussions with Crain’s New York Business about a small business profile of Levien, I arranged an interview of the company’s owner, Ken Levien. Only days after the article appeared in print, the firm received several inquiries about their services, and had a substantial increase in requests for proposals. Indeed, the interest generated from the Crain’s piece specifically led to three new assignments and the need to hire several people.
For the Salkin Group, a Philadelphia architect, we launched a series of articles in newspapers covering the areas in which housing designed by the firm is located. We supported this with feature stories in the trade press, and with several bylined articles in which the firm’s president discussed trends in his field.
We also recommended speaking engagements for him in several seminar programs attended by groups important to his business. We further arranged for him to submit his designs to industry competitions, as well as “idea” features run by design publications. Both proved of value in the form of reprint mailings to his clientele.
Just one example of results of the above: The client obtained a substantial piece of business after a speaking engagement at a trade show we arranged in Dallas. In fact, the deal was struck at the hotel following his presentation.
For real estate developer Sherwood Equities, one of developer Jeff Katz’s many assignments for us was to help him market 1600 Broadway on the Square. A concern of his was that prospective buyers would be turned off by the idea of buying in the first new high-rise condo building in Times Square, given the area’s reputation for noise and congestion. Another concern was that landing a retail tenant might prove difficult at the rent sought. A third issue was securing an appropriate advertiser for the building’s four large signs.
We helped Sherwood Equities overcome all three challenges. By focusing on the building’s architecture, beautiful layouts and extraordinary amenities package, we were able to deflect concerns about the building’s Times Square location. As a matter of fact, we promoted the benefits of the tower’s convenient location at the crossroads of the world. By highlighting the fact that more and more upscale retailers were moving to Times Square, we helped pave the way for our client to lease 30,000 square feet of prime retail space to M&M Mars. And by securing a major story in the business section of The New York Times about 1600 Broadway’s latest ad tenant (Corona), we helped cement Sherwood’s relationship with that company.
Partly as a result of our efforts, the new development was completely sold out quickly (at prices few would have expected), a brand new, internationally known retailer found ideal space for its flagship store (at a rent few thought Sherwood could secure), and a rejuvenated advertising campaign for one of Broadway’s newest and most important “guests” garnered much attention.
Also for Sherwood: some years ago, Sony informed Sherwood – which was also a principal owner of One Times Square, the historic Manhattan building where the New Year’s Eve ball is dropped – that it would not be renewing its lease on the extraordinarily high-profile space where its Sony “JumboTron” was displayed. Our client told us that he was very concerned that such a potentially big story as the Sony defection would leak out without direction, that it would be difficult to put in proper perspective, and that our client’s point of view might not be adequately represented.
Accordingly, I recommended a strategy with two goals. First, we wanted to prevent a negative leak; second, we wanted to alert others that the famous sign space would now be available. With all this in mind, we proposed a selective and carefully orchestrated publicity campaign. The result was not only that our client was repeatedly quoted, placing the Sony decision in proper perspective, but that NBC read (in a major story we placed in The New York Times) about the availability of the space and then signed a lucrative multi-year contract to rent the space for its own high-tech display.
We were retained by Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects when the firm was hired by the New York City Transit Authority to renovate several of the City’s subway stations. The firm wanted to increase its presence in a city known more for its architectural gems above ground.
After approaching seven different reporters at the New York Times, I struck gold. A lengthy feature article about the architect and his subway work appeared on the cover of the Metro section. Photographs and architectural renderings accompanied the article. The architect received numerous phone calls after the story appeared, and he was even asked to give a commencement speech at his alma mater.
We also arranged another article in the key trade magazine ENR (Engineering News-Record), which profiled the renovation from a more technical perspective. At the same time, we arranged for a bylined article on architecture and transportation to appear in American City and County, a magazine distributed mostly to municipal and state government officials.
Additional interviews with the New York Times resulted in a major article that further discussed one of the redesigned stations.
I represented the Malkin family, which has branded as Empire Real Estate Trust since it went public, for almost three decades – from 1986 until 2015, when I left the company I had sold. At one point, one of their properties, 1185 Avenue of the Americas, faced the prospect of some 350,000 square feet coming back on the market. We began an intensive media campaign to reinforce the owner’s direct marketing efforts by tailoring numerous trade articles, news releases and newsletters to highlight the available space. For example, in support of a brokers’ party, we placed many articles about the event, which attracted more than 300 brokers. In one year alone, leases representing more than 200,000 square feet were signed or awaiting completion.
Subsequently, the Malkin family purchased the MerrittView office complex in Fairfield County, Conn. MerrittView was then an isolated suburban facility, lacking an identity and sophisticated amenities, and struggling to maintain 40% occupancy. The building had developed a reputation for problems, resulting largely from a series of previous owners with too much debt and too little cash flow, who had neglected maintenance and had done little to improve common areas. As a result, MerrittView was then surrounded by negative publicity.
Recognizing good turnaround potential, our client upgraded the building and refocused its marketing strategy. Our task was to place stories about the improvement program in trade and local business publications, and to promote an awareness of the new MerrittView as a Class-A facility. We arranged for numerous positive stories in the general press and numerous trades – not only promoting the property directly but also associating it with the client’s reputation for achieving successful turnarounds. While publicity was of course only a part of the marketing program, it played a major role in the fact that MerrittView became more than 90% leased.
On behalf of the Durst Organization, we undertook a campaign to publicize a housing renovation it was doing in Manhattan.
As a result of our efforts, feature articles on the project, most with impressive photographs, appeared in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, Manhattan Cooperator, The New York Law Journal, The Real Estate Reporter and Real Estate Weekly.
The articles – especially those in The New York Times, News and Post – brought a great deal of traffic to the onsite sales office. In fact, on the Sunday that The New York Times story appeared, a couple of hundred potential buyers came to view the apartments. The developer also used the articles as reprints to hand to people who came to the project.
When we were retained by Sumitomo Realty & Development on behalf of 666 Fifth Avenue, the 40-year-old office building was struggling to compete with more modern towers and fill much vacant space, despite its prominent address. We began a media program that imparted a modern, forward-looking image to both the building and its management, focusing on high-tech upgrades and a range of other improvements. The building was repeatedly mentioned in The New York Times, Crain’s New York Business, the tri-state-area real estate trades (especially those read by the all-important brokerage community), and other media.
In part because of our efforts, the building became almost 100% leased. When the program ended, Sumitomo’s head of leasing here wrote to me: “The exposure this property received through your efforts was even more than we hoped for . . . You gave us significantly greater results than had the same dollars been spent on pure advertising.” And he told us, “After I got all that press, whenever a tenant sat down to negotiate with me in a touch market, your stories made it easier to make a deal.”
For almost 30 years I represented Sholom & Zuckerbrot Realty, a Long Island City-based commercial real estate brokerage firm. When the client approached us about a deal it had just completed (moving a Manhattan art gallery into an old and unattractive warehouse space), I immediately saw the potential for a story. One of the results of our efforts was that the client was featured on page one of The New York Times Sunday Real Estate Section. Because of this publicity, a broker at S&Z was approached regarding a new deal, which was ultimately closed, worth a commission more than $1,000,000.
For several years, we represented a dentist who had developed a successful non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. While his patients spoke glowingly about the results, word of mouth – pun intended – was not enough. He wanted the medical community to take note of this new treatment and to educate the public about alternatives to painful and costly surgical procedures.
I began an intense media campaign to generate awareness. Our client’s procedure was profiled in the Wall Street Journal, various Internet health sites, several women’s magazines and the NBC-TV affiliate in New York. That story alone, which aired on both the evening and late-night news, brought him 250 new patients.
Our efforts in a year-long publicity campaign for the Parker Meridien Hotel in Manhattan resulted in network, cable network, and local television news coverage; exposure on TF-1 (French national television); articles in The New York Times and in such magazines as Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Cosmopolitan, and McCall’s; articles in daily newspapers throughout the country; coverage on page one of The Wall Street Journal; stories in influential publications in the metropolitan area, including the “Best Bets” section of New York Magazine; extensive attention in the travel industry trades; and exposure in several in-flight and business-travel vehicles.
When hired by the Parker Meridien, our mandate was to increase rack-rate use. During our relationship, transient business at the hotel went up by more than 11 percent — at a time of growing competition in the Manhattan hotel market.
Union Valley Corp., publicly owned developers of adult housing in New Jersey, asked us to introduce a new housing concept – homes for preretired people – and a new housing community tailored for this new market.
We were successful in placing feature stories on the concept in The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Post, New York Daily News and Newark Star Ledger. We also placed stories on the sales opening of the community, the introduction of new models, sales updates and other subjects in these publications and in relevant local newspapers covering the areas in which the complex is located.
Similar articles on the concept and the new community were placed in major builder trade journals, which were used as reprints in the sales office. We also obtained supplemental exposure on radio and TV, to reinforce the print coverage.
The client was able to sell more than 150 homes in less than a year an impressive record in light of the economic climate at the time, and certainly attributable in no small part to our efforts.
To help market 60 Pineapple Street, a landmark cooperative conversion apartment building in Brooklyn Heights, we undertook a publicity campaign on behalf of MJR Development Corp.
In addition to trade publicity, and placing a variety of press releases in mass media, we were able to arrange a very favorable New York Times Friday residential column, and – some weeks after that – a New York Times Sunday real estate section lead article covering the inducements being offered by developers in Brooklyn Heights.
The client told us he took binders on onefourth of the building the weekend after the Friday column appeared. That building became the most successful in its area.
When the Republicans chose Madison Square Garden as the location for its 2004 convention, we recognized it as a prime opportunity for our client, the New Yorker Hotel. Not only was the hotel very close to the Garden, but it had planned to significantly strengthen its security during the event.
We believed we could garner good exposure for the hotel from reporters covering the convention, by focusing attention on what the hotel was doing about security: to wit, hiring extra staff during the convention, working closely with police and intelligence agencies, designing special ID cards for guests, staffing the outside (as well as inside) with security guards, and running security infomercials on lobby and guestroom television screens. To help insure that the news coverage would be as positive as possible, we worked closely with our client, reviewing effective interviewing techniques, and developing talking points and key messages. We also were in the hotel every day leading up to the convention, helping prepare the client for interviews and potential crises.
Our efforts produced excellent results. The hotel was included in a front-page story in The New York Times, and our client was quoted in Newsday and other local papers, as well as the city’s key business publication, Crain’s New York Business. Broadcast coverage of our client included Time Warner’s NY-1, MSNBC, Nightly Business Report and Noticias. And after telling us how draining all of the preparations had been, our client grew so comfortable during interviews that he said afterward that he actually missed the excitement of the convention.
For the same client:
With a flood of new hotel openings in Manhattan, combined with the slowing economy, the New Yorker Hotel found itself competing with more players for a smaller share of the market. Working with us, the hotel introduced a creative and aggressive program to lure more business travelers. My award-winning “No-Bull” program pegged room rates to the performance of the stock market. The program was extensively covered in business media, including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today, CNBC and CBS Marketwatch. In the process, the hotel witnessed a significant increase in calls and bookings from corporate America. Wrote our client: “Not only was this promotion very good for business, it was great for staff morale . . .It was cheaper than a Sunday ad in any of our major newspapers and got us a lot more ‘bang for the buck.’” And my company won the coveted “Best Apple” award from the New York chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
An Atlantabased computer terminal manufacturer, Chromatics, Inc., asked us to help introduce a new color graphic terminal without benefit of significant advertising support.
By planning a series of properly timed product demonstrations with key editors in different cities, and through the release of press announcements designed to accommodate the various interests of many different computer and electronics industry publications, our client received more than 3,500 inquiries about this new product even before any ads appeared. This was the result of major placements (either front page or lengthy article with photo) in 12 important publications.
As publicists for the TV series Nature, produced by PBS flagship station WNET in New York, we devised and executed a special campaign for a Nature mini-series called The Nature of Sex, which concerned animal reproduction.
A problem in promoting Nature was, ironically, its long-term success. TV writers had been ignoring the show, because it had been on the air more than a decade, and had inspired so much competitive programming. Journalists felt there was nothing new to write about.
To overcome this, we took advantage of the controversy surrounding sex on television and developed a theme that suggested the new mini-series would change the way people thought about the subject. An elaborate and eye-catching press kit included a quiz titled, “How Much Do You Really Know About the Facts of Life?” It drew attention to many of the fantastic occurrences seen in the mini-series.
The result: feature stories in such publications as TV Guide, USA Today and The New Yorker, two mentions on the Tonight Show, articles by almost all the syndicated TV writers, and reviews in most major cities, including New York and Los Angeles. Consequently, The Nature of Sex achieved an average 5 rating and 8 share, which was more than twice the seasonal average for Nature and extremely high for a public television series.