Saturday, December 17, 2011

Behind the promotion and press coverage of the Downtown Brooklyn bid for a new engineering school

It's always interesting to see news coverage of an advertising and marketing campaign, especially when it's merely promotional. Remember how the Daily News on 11/12/11 published a preview of the Nets' "latest fan-friendly attraction: 'The Experience,' a state-of-the-art, interactive, souped-up and hooped-up mobile marketing tool."

This week the Daily News reported, in a 12/12/11 article headlined NYU super-school plan for downtown Brooklyn is pure genius, ads say, about an ad campaign to distinguish one of several proposals for a new engineering school. (Cornell, it seems, now has the upper hand, as Stanford has dropped out.)

Meanwhile, the newspaper fails to send reporters to, say, contentious public meetings that raise questions of governmental responsibility regarding Atlantic Yards. Or it covers Atlantic Yards reporter/novelist Stephen Witt, described, in true View from Nowhere fashion, as "often criticized by opponents who called him biased in favor of the project."

Boosting Downtown Brooklyn

From the Daily News article:
Downtown Brooklyn boosters are rolling out an ad campaign backing NYU’s bid to build the city’s “genius school” in their backyard.

The ads, which make their debut Monday in print and online, urge city decision-makers to “Get Smart. Go Brooklyn” - citing the area’s high proportion of well-educated residents and easy access to transit.

They’re pushing NYU’s plan to take over the MTA's derelict former headquarters building on Jay St. and turn it into the Center for Urban Science and Progress, where scientists and engineers would work on problems vexing cities around the world.

...NYU is one of five universities still in the running to build the school. The winner will be eligible for up to $100 million in city money, plus free land.
There's also a full-page ad in this week's Brooklyn Paper.


The Markowitz press release

The Daily News article was apparently placed as an exclusive--an exclusive about an ad campaign! extra publicity!--since the next day, Borough President Marty Markowitz issued a press release:
“Downtown Brooklyn has more college students than even Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support one of our most respected academic institutions and a rapidly growing segment of our economic base by transforming a blighted eyesore into an inspired center of learning, research and economic growth. Brooklyn not seizing this chance? Fuhgeddaboudit! Even if you don’t have a degree in engineering, you know the right formula is: Brains + Heart + Muscle = Applied Sciences in Brooklyn.”

Background

A growing coalition of Downtown Brooklyn’s stakeholders is urging the Bloomberg administration to support NYU’s proposal for a school of applied sciences at 370 Jay Street. To make its case, ads reminding people that “Brooklyn’s Got Heart,” “Brooklyn’s Got Muscle,” and “Brooklyn’s Got Brains” are set to run this week. The ads are being paid for by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and DUMBO Improvement District.

This fall, in response to the City’s request for proposals to develop a school of applied sciences, NYU submitted a plan to create a new academic program at 370 Jay Street to research and develop solutions to the challenges that will face cities around the world—making Brooklyn the epicenter of global thinking on the future of cities.

Known as the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), it will bring together global leaders of science, technology and education with partners that include NYU, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Toronto, City University of New York (CUNY), University of Warwick and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay as well as industry leaders such as IBM, Cisco and Siemens.

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