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New P.R. Campaign: "Bed-Stuy and Proud of it"

by Melissa Grace
March 10, 2005
Daily News

Brooklyn's most famous inner-city neighborhood is trying to put its "Bed-Stuy Do or Die" days behind it with a marketing makeover and a less-street-tough slogan.

"Bed-Stuy and Proud of It" will be the motto of a public relations campaign that kicks off today.

It's aimed at shedding Bedford-Stuyvesant's image as a crime-ridden neighborhood and remaking it as a proud, historic and desirable place to live, shop and do business.

"People see Bedford-Stuyvesant as a dangerous place to be," said Pam Green, head of the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History, who is involved in the "rebranding" drive. "We need a facelift."

As with "Big Apple" and Mayor Bloomberg's move to trademark the slogan "The World's Second Home," Bed-Stuy's marketers hope they've created a catchy phrase that sums up the image they want to project.

"We want to create a cohesive message that becomes the thing everybody thinks when they come to Bed-Stuy," said project consultant Brian Tate, "in the same way way people think of 'I love New York' when they think of New York."

Joel Dabu, an organizer with the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., has already incorporated the new slogan.

"We want to say, 'We're Bed-Stuy and we're proud of it," he said yesterday.

"Brooklyn Icons," a series of enormous outdoor "wallscapes" honoring its most-famous residents, will kick off the privately funded $150,000 campaign today.

The promotional portraits, which are 24 feet tall and 12 feet wide and will loom over Fulton St., will include such famous Bed Stuy-ers as rapper and actor Mos Def, comedian Chris Rock, community activist Hattie Carthan and poet June Jordan.

The neighborhood also was home to Lil' Kim and Lena Horne.

"We're trying to give people more information about the positive aspects of Bedford-Stuyvesant, its heroes and cultural assets," said Green.

Chrystal Bobb-Semple, owner of Brownstone Books on Lewis Ave., said, "We need to attract people from outside of the community. That is a high priority. It's a revenue driver."

Posted by: Gary Pang


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