Trading Spaces

For most people, PR equals publicity and PR pros are publicists. Less appreciated, but no less significant are the many other tools in the PR toolbox, most of which have little do to with generating ink or airtime. They include public affairs, employee communications, investor relations, constituency building, and others.

The last item on this list was on full diplay on the front page of yesterday’s New York Times “Metro” section in a story on the efforts by developer Bruce Ratner to win support to relocate the NBA’s Nets from New Jersey to a hopeful new complex Brooklyn. The article’s title: “To Build Arena in Brooklyn, Developer First Builds Bridges.”

Without the crucial process of bridge-building, e.g., constituency relations, Mr. Ratner would surely fail in a city where almost every significant real estate endeavor encounters potentially ruinous turbulance. This almost happened to the folks building the complex that will house the new Jets/Giants stadium at The Meadowlands, which, judging from Mr. Ratner’s PR acumen, will soon house an abandoned NBA arena.