PR Firm Turns 50 With Homey Party

July 16, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Edelman Public Relations Worldwide's 50th anniversary party New York Botanical Garden Thursday, 07.11.02, 6:30 PM onward
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In a city where public relations firms pop up like Starbucks coffee shops, the ones that stick around aren't shy about their success. To mark its 50th anniversary, PR powerhouse Edelman Public Relations Worldwide brought its global managers to New York for a week of meetings and events that culminated in a simple, stylish party at the New York Botanical Garden, which toasted firm founder Daniel Edelman and long-term clients.

The company chose New York for its celebration to show its loyalty to the city after the September 11 attacks (it was founded in Chicago). Taking inspiration from Edelman's family-run business strategy, the party was designed to feel like "the family was having you over for dinner," Edelman staffer Kate Kennedy told us. Family matriarch Ruth Edelman chose many of the night's elements, including the flowers from Diana Gould and the band Jump Street, from Steven Scott Orchestras.

A shiny 1952 Packard was parked outside of the garden's Garden Terrace venue to remind guests of an early client from the year the firm was founded. A photo display of company milestones—including a blow-up of its first invoice—lined the indoor reception area. A tented cocktail area housed four food stations with down-home country appetizers, like biscuits and preserves served in wood baskets on gingham tablecloths from Abigail Kirsch Culinary Productions.

After cocktails, more than 200 guests were herded into the ballroom for dinner, speeches and dancing. Tables were decorated with bright yellow, orange, red and violet rose bouquet centerpieces in glass bowls surrounded by rose petals. Fujifilm's disposable cameras were also placed at each table. (Fuji's a client.)

A commemorative video showcasing the past, present and future of Edelman played in between an appetizer of vegetable tart Provençal and arugula salad. While guests ate crispy mahogany seared salmon and mahogany glazed filet mignon, long-term clients like KFC and Unilever were presented with tokens of appreciation: crystal bowls from Steuben. During another round of tributes after dessert, the senior Edelman received a large diamond-shaped 3D collage of the company's milestones made by artist Lawrence Romorini. And each guest received a simple—but truly PR firm-worthy—gift: a Parker writing pen branded with Edelman's logo.

For the week, out-of-town guests stayed at the Royalton, while other venues, including the Harvard Club, Guastavino's and the New York Historical Society, hosted meetings and events.

Jill Musguire

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