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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

In City & State's 2021 Political PR Power 50, BerlinRosen again in second slot (though no mention of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park)

Last week, City & State NY published The 2021 Political PR Power 50, its second annual ranking. Such lists are both arbitrary, as well as advertising-driven, but they provide a reasonable benchmark regarding influencers in our midst. The summary:
As politicians, government officials, business executives and nonprofit leaders navigate these turbulent times, they are turning to savvy PR professionals to help get their message across, whether it’s highlighting their responses to the pandemic, drawing attention to demands for social justice or simply maintaining connections with employees working remotely.
Another way of putting it: many of the messages and articles you encounter regarding major projects like Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park--say, "Brooklyn’s Pacific Park moves to fast track," as I wrote in October 2019--are mediated through a public relations firm.

Note that this list focuses on "players directly involved in the world of New York politics and policy," not focused on culture or brands.


At the top list were John Gallagher & Rachel Noerdlinger of Mercury, but at #2 were Valerie Berlin & Jonathan Rosen, Principals and Co-Founders, BerlinRosen. The summary:
BerlinRosen is known for electing and advising Democrats, but its growth has coincided with expansions into other areas, including labor, real estate, technology, issue advocacy and even sports and entertainment. In the past year, its client base grew by 20% and staffing rose by 7.5%, and it launched an in-house video production group and a digital advertising division.

Notable clients: Bloomberg Media, Brookfield, Color of Change, Cornell Tech, Families Belong Together, Ford Foundation, GLSEN, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Northwell Health, Service Employees International Union, SL Green, Samsung, UNICEF USA

Company highlights: During the 2020 election cycle, we worked with candidates and independent expenditure committees in over 170 races and across 22 states – from labor unions working to elect Joe Biden all the way down ballot to school board positions. In the midst of this summer’s historic protests for Black lives, BerlinRosen supported some of the biggest organizations on the front lines. Highlights of this work include supporting Color of Change, the largest online racial justice organization, and launching their campaign, Stop Hate for Profit, which encouraged corporations to pause their advertising on Facebook for the month of July in protest of the social media giant’s role in propping up systemic racism and targeted hate online.
Note that Company highlights were supplied by the firm, and that Greenland Forest City Partners/Pacific Park went unmentioned among clients.

In the inaugural list last year, Political PR Power 50, BerlinRosen was also second, and the summary highlighted real estate but omitted Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park:
BerlinRosen is known for its long-standing ties to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, but its reach extends far beyond Gracie Mansion. Its real estate clients are reshaping the city skyline, from Larry Silverstein’s 3 World Trade Center to SL Green’s One Vanderbilt to Two Trees Management’s River Street Project at Domino Park. Its growing tech practice includes Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and Cornell Tech. In the nonprofit space, it spotlights foster care issues for the Fair Futures Campaign, helped Coalition for the Homeless prod the city to set aside more affordable housing units for the homeless, and is assisting the launch of the $3 billion Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. The Democratic takeover in the state Senate – where Valerie Berlin and Jonathan Rosen both worked before launching their firm in 2005 – has ushered in a new era in Albany that aligns with the duo’s progressive politics. The firm also reps MGM Resorts, which hopes to convert Yonkers’ Empire City Casino to a full-fledged casino, and Drug Policy Alliance in its push to legalize recreational marijuana. It also handles political candidates, including stepping in to assist Queens district attorney candidate Tiffany Cabán in a hotly contested recount. BerlinRosen, which now has 182 staffers, also has offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

That said, it's a neat trick to maintain progressive cred while spinning for developers.

Also on the list

At #3 on this year's list were Josh Isay, Kerri Lyon & Mike Morey of SKDKnickerbocker, no longer involved with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park but once producers of the notorious Atlantic Yards "liar fliers," hard copy printed brochures from another political generation. (The firm was #1 last year.)

And at #23 is Sean Cassidy, President, DKC, a firm that earlier represented Forest City Ratner on Atlantic Yards.