Case Study

Jack London Square


Jack London Square hired Landis Communications, Inc. in 2011 to spearhead the public relations for the redevelopment of this 11-block mixed-use property situated on the historic Oakland waterfront. Although the Square had been in existence since the 1800s, it had gone through many changes through the years and had recently come under the direction of Jack London Square Ventures, a partnership between two developers: Ellis Partners and Divco West. The partnership desired to both elevate the visibility of the Square as an ideal and one-of-a-kind destination for waterfront dining, shopping and commercial use, as well as overcome any negative perceptions about the general area in which the Square is situated. The management team also wanted to better manage expectations for the much-ballyhooed public market, a development project that had been stalled due to unforeseeable circumstances.


Landis Communications Inc. (LCI) created a strategy to bolster both the Square’s extensive offering of free events for the public, such as its weekly farmer’s market, Pedalfest, 4th of July celebration, annual holiday tree lighting and myriad of summer events including dance lessons, concerts and movies. The strategy included wider outreach to Bay Area media, plus the development of a monthly calendar of events to streamline communications with key constituents. A portion of LCI’s strategy consisted of telling the story around Jack London Square’s commercial leasing success. When LCI suggested a headline in a press release about 90% of the Square’s office space was leased, the release was picked up multiple times and led to stories in all Bay Area News Group papers, CNN’s iReport, San Francisco Business Times and SF Curbed.

Landis also stepped in to counsel the client team in crisis situations. In one instance, Landis was able to minimize media damage when a shooting occurred at the theater across the street from the Square. When the San Francisco Chronicle came calling as a result, the LCI mobilized quickly to assess the situation, craft talking points, brief the spokesperson and manage the interview. As a result, any potential damage of the Square’s reputation was minimized, evidenced by a record number of visitors showing up for Square events in the subsequent weeks.


  • More than 500 media placements generated directly by LCI over the course of two years
  • Increases in visitor participation in Jack London Square free events; for example, attendance at Pedalfest, a free bike expo, increased by 30% in 2012 over 2011.
  • Successful positioning of the Square as Oakland’s hottest restaurant corridor
  • Redirection of the Square’s reputation from being “sparsely populated” to a thriving area full of businesses and commercial activity, dining options, free events and other waterfront amenities
  • Key media placements included: Today Show, Bloomberg Businessweek, San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Area News Group (Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, et al), San Francisco Magazine, Diablo magazine, 7×7 magazine, Via magazine, KQED-FM, KGO-AM.

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