Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PR battle in Greenwich Village

There's a great story on the The New York Times' City Room blog today about a PR battle being waged between The Jane Hotel, on Greenwich Village's Jane Street, and its residential neighbours.

Residents of the street are irritated by the loud music and the rowdy behaviour of the hotel's night club patrons well into the night, and they're using PR to instigate change. According to the Times story, their coalition, "Jane Street Neighbours United", has established a blog called "Nightmare on Jane Street," has aTwitter feed documenting the troubles, and has hired veteran PR consultant Ken Frydman of Source Communications to develop a media strategy to help them. According to the Times blog:

"Mr. Frydman has looked after big, blue-chip clients like Pfizer and BMW, worked for The Daily News and served as Rudy Giuliani’s press secretary during his 1993 mayoral campaign, according to his profile on the Source Communications Web site.

He was retained a month ago and thinks a good media campaign is essential for opposing a bar. It attracts the attention of the local community board and government,” Mr. Frydman said by phone.

While he refused to discuss strategy in the coming weeks, he did say he “had a hand” in some of the negative coverage of the Jane in recent days.

“It seems to me that the neighbors know what they are doing and I could take some pointers from them,” Marilyn Dorato, director of the Greenwich Village Block Associations, wrote in an e-mail message.

Mrs. Dorato advised residents who succeeded in getting another nearby hot spot, the Beatrice Inn, closed down this year and lobbied against the Waverly Inn until her neighbor, the Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, bought it and quieted it down. She said she is not directly involved in the battle but is following events on Jane Street with interest. When asked whether it made sense to hire a P.R. company, she responded: “Why do you ask that question? Is there a down side to hiring P.R.?”"


We'll be talking about the influence of PR on public opinion -- and the influence of public opinion on government and business -- later this semester in my first-year PR classes. This will make a great real-time case study.

No comments:

Post a Comment