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Clients in the News

November 1, 2011

The three preceding “Clients in the News” entries are a shorthand version of what played out over the space of several weeks in October.  Traditional print and broadcast media were targeted outlets, but social media — especially twitter and Facebook — figured prominently.

October 27, 2011

Here’s an example of how to set, or at least, affect the agenda …  part 3 …

It was clear the City was going to get it’s way and reduce Peavey Plaza to rubble.  We contacted the Star-Tribune to offer an op-ed by Birnbaum and Friedberg.  The offer was accepted and the piece had to be turned ASAP.  It ran opposite an op-ed by the Mayor.  Our title was “Winners Make the Rules”, the paper changed it to this:

Seems the public has been shut out from meaningful input on the changes

We are two of the three members of the team originally selected at a very public meeting chaired by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak last November to develop proposals for Peavey Plaza’s revitalization. As you might know, that didn’t work out, and our later exclusion has become a sideshow. Our agenda in writing this article is to do what is right for Peavey Plaza. Our motives are not financial — we support the plaza’s revitalization, but not just mere lip service to its past.

So, let’s move on and talk about the core issue — process.

An important part of this piece was to stay on message.  The issue that had been argued was the integrity of the process and to the end, our client stuck with that message.

October 25, 2011

Here’s an example of how to set, or at least, affect the agenda …  part 2 …

Birnbaum then penned an article for the Huffington Post decrying the design decision-making process.  As soon as the Huffington Post piece went live, it was spread via twitter and Facebook.  Amazingly the Mayor tweeted in response: 5%reality/95%fantasy“@TCLFdotORG: @MayorRTRybak Peavey Plaza Hits Huffington Post http://t.co/FUhJxPYQ”

This prompted several on twitter to ask the Mayor to clarify his remarks.  At that point, he went silent.

The Huffington Post piece was picked up by the Star-Tribune and resulted in a line of questioning at the City Council. Here’s the headline and opening line:

HuffPo blogger blasts Peavey Plaza plan

Charles Birnbaum posted a broadside about Peavey Plaza plans at the Huffington Post website Monday night, calling for the City of Minneapolis to reopen the entire decision-making process.

October 11, 2011

Here’s an example of how to set, or at least, affect the agenda …  part 1 …

Minneapolis’ modernist Peavey Plaza is facing a revitalization.  A year ago, The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Charles Birnbaum and Peavey’s original landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg were selected as members of a team headed by Minneapolis-based landscape architect Tom Oslund to develop plans to revitalize Peavey.  Many months elapsed and ultimately Birnbaum and Friedberg found themselves excluded from the design decision-making process, and ultimately learned that the only plan for Peavey was a complete redo.  The process, they believed, had been high-jacked.  The PR strategy we developed was designed to get out in front of the City’s announcement of Peavey’s new design and attempt to sway public opinion and ultimately the City Council forthcoming votes.  Brinbaum and Friedberg authored an open letter to the Citizens of the City of Minneapolis that was reported about in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

October 9, 2011

National news with a local twist …

National news stories are always important in bolstering a client’s renown and building support.  But a national story with local legs is very helpful.  The Cultural Landscape Foundation recently announced is Landslide slide list, an annual compendium of threatened or at-risk landscapes.  The thematic list this year is titled “The Landscape I Love” and focuses on the sites and the people working to take care of them.  With twelve sites, that’s an opportunity to get media coverage in multiple markets, along with the national hits.  Here’s one example, an article from today’s print edition of the Portland Oregonian.

Residents of Southeast Portland’s Ladd’s Addition honored for saving their elms

Ladd’s Addition in Southeast Portland is indisputably unique in its layout and abundant greenery.

The neighborhood, its trees and the group that looks after them, Save Our Elms, was recently honored by the Cultural Landscape Foundation of Washington, D.C., an organization that calls attention to parks, gardens, horticultural features and working landscapes that face significant risks.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Ladd’s Addition Elm Grove, Portland, OR.
Photo © C. Bruce Forster, courtesy the Cultural Landscape Foundation.

September 28, 2011

Always the provocateur … Charles Birnbaum at The Cultural Landscape Foundation …

Getting Charles Birnbaum a gig as a contributor to the Huffington Post meant attaining a powerful new platform for broadcasting his ideas and reaching new audiences.  We’ve provided editorial assistance on the dozen articles he’s done for them including his most recent City Shaping III: The Philadelphia Story.  Here he weaves together a thought provoking look at urban design, landscape architecture and civic patronage.  Or, as he puts it:

Currently, there’s a great deal of attention focused (justifiably) on the much-talked-about opening of the second phase of the much-talked-about High Line in New York, which has put yet more vim into that city’s vigor. But if you want to see some serious va-va-voom, set your sites on Philadelphia (and don’t get all snarky quoting W. C. Fields now). Philadelphia’s exceptional array of parks and open spaces, and the visionary, entrepreneurial and civic-minded people behind them, is where to really see a city center in high gear (and the BYOB restaurant scene is taste bud nirvana).

Here’s a link to all of his other blogs.

Race Street Pier, Philadelphia (image courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation)

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