NYCNext, a grassroots movement of 700+ volunteers, was created in August 2020 right as news headlines were claiming that the pandemic had rendered NYC “dead.” A group of passionate New Yorkers banded together and committed to rebuilding a better NYC through civic action.

Through NYCNext’s deep connections to the arts, a special project was born. Billy Joel gave exclusive rights to a video rendition of his iconic 1976 song “New York State of Mind”. NYCNext partnered with an array of artists and entertainers from Idina Menzel to Stephen Colbert to bring an uplifting video to life.

NYCNext enlisted Edelman to drive earned media attention to the video and the organization.


The beauty of New York City is that most national media is based here, so reporters already have a special place for the city in their hearts. In fact, many of our contacts had interviewed or crossed paths with one or more of the talent featured in the video. Our main goal was to get as many eyes and views of the video as possible, making sure each placement linked back to and included our strategic call to action—driving New Yorkers to volunteer and promote civic action in their communities.

Our goal was to drive media attention and awareness of the organization’s efforts via a marquee piece of content. By casting a wide net to a variety of media and elevating specific angles with talent and NYCNext spokespeople and volunteers to drive home messaging, we were able to achieve this goal.

There is truly power in the collective. Between Edelman and NYCNext, we caught the attention of media, celebrities, influencers, local government officials, sports organizations, colleges, publishing houses and high-end retail stores.


In partnership with the NYCNext team, we generated over 1.5 billion media impressions within one week of launching. High-impact placements on national and local NYC outlets included the New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning, TODAY Show (3 separate hits in one show!), WCBS, WPIX, Time Out NY and many others—and interest continues to roll in.