In New York politics, there’s always some kind of calamity or scandal. What made 2020 so unusual was that several once-in-a-generation crises – the deadly spread of COVID-19, the economic shutdown, the uproar over the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, a chaotic election cycle – disrupted everyone all at once.
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.
City & State’s second annual Political PR Power 50 features the top communications pros in New York who are confronting these unprecedented challenges. While other PR lists feature firms representing leading brands and cultural attractions, this list focuses on players directly involved in the world of New York politics and policy.
The list includes scrappy one-person operations; leaders of mid-sized outfits with such specialties as nonprofits, tourism and hospitality, or progressive candidates and causes; political consulting firms with thriving communications practices; and New York-based executives at PR powerhouses with a national or international reach. And given the unique environment we’re in, we asked each firm to describe how the world changed in 2020 – and how they’re adapting in 2021.
22. ANAT GERSTEIN & JEFF SIMMONS
Founder and President; Executive Vice President, Anat Gerstein Inc.
Other key employees: Zac Roy, Jake Oliver
Notable clients: AARP New York, Girl Scouts of New York City, Citizens Union, Project Renewal, BronxWorks, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Queens Chamber of Commerce
Company highlights: Through a national media relations and social media campaign, we helped the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany successfully pressure Facebook to ban Holocaust denial posts. As BronxWorks experienced a 500% increase in food pantry demand, we developed and executed a press plan that consistently delivered local and national stories that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in new support for the organization.
How did the world change in 2020 – and how are you adapting in 2021?
Anat Gerstein Inc. is the only firm to exclusively represent nonprofits with comprehensive communications services. In 2021 many nonprofits may shutter without increased support from stakeholders. We are ensuring our clients are seen and top of mind with individual, corporate, foundation and government supporters through a wide range of communications tactics.