Journal Square Restoration Corp.
The recession of the late 1980’s, coupled with a national decline in inner-city development left Journal Square, one of New Jersey’s busiest business and transportation hubs, desperately in need of an economic boost. The central business district also suffered unjustly from a reputation as being both dirty and crime-ridden. The business leaders, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and major national real estate companies and banks, joined together to form a Business Improvement District in order to revitalize the once bustling business center. Within two years, Journal Square was in the midst of a significant turnaround. An infusion of capital funds and new leadership had a tremendous impact. Nevertheless, very few outside the area were aware of the success.
Soury Communications was retained to draw attention to the revitalized Journal Square in order to attract new businesses and to improve public perceptions about the “Times Square” of New Jersey.
Working closely with the advertising agency to ensure the delivery of a consistent message, Soury Communications began an intensive public relations campaign promoting the “new” Journal Square. We targeted the local media, who had been reluctant to cover the good news, as well as regional and even national mainstream media, real estate and public affairs press. Press conferences were held to announce a major capital plan that would transform the public spaces, as well as one to release a university-sponsored crime study that reported a major drop in crime and graffiti in the Journal Square area.
The public relations campaign has been more successful than anyone expected. Front page stories in the Bergen Record and Jersey Journal, along with the Associated Press and regional radio reports, touted the drop in crime. Front-page stories in the real estate trades reported on the vitality of the business and real estate markets, and a half-page feature in The New York Times Sunday Real Estate section told of a major improvement effort due to the work of the Business Improvement District. WABC-TV produced two separate half-hour news programs on the turn-around which reached viewers in the tri-state area. Along with the news stories came calls from businesses looking to relocate and investors seeking new opportunities.