Wherefore Art Thou, Ron Sher?


Someone should tell developer Ron Sher, owner of the giant Soviet-style parking garage downtown that used to be J.C. Penney, that the wrong way to cultivate an image as a maverick is to get your picture in the Seattle Times holding a Starbucks cup.

However, this has made me realize there are many relevant tidbits that could be useful to developers and public relations professionals planning to reap the potential fruit that Bremerton dangles like so many concord grapes.

And we here at the Bremerton Beat are tired of being part of the problem. We want to be part of the solution, or something.

Read the Seattle Times story here.

Or, for a trip down memory lane, read a very similar story written in June 2007 by my predecessor Steve “Death Grip” Gardner here.

And note after reading both stories that very little has changed.

Now, I would never advise amateurs tangle with all this high-brow media stuff. Leave it to us professionals. However, if you must try to write a economic development story about the Paris of Kitsap County, the Bremerton Beat has created a to-do list to guide you through this sometimes confusing and usually boring process.

Step 1: Send photographer to Bremerton on a ferry to replenish the stock photo inventory of Harborside Fountain Park and/or the immediate vicinity of the ferry terminal. Don’t worry, the longest they will have to stay here is an hour.

Step 2: Place phone call to PR-approved newsmakers. Avoid talking to people on the street, who are much more skeptical than those who earn their living as cheerleaders.
-Avoid questions like, “So, Ron Sher, you told the Sun last year the earliest parts of the Penney’s building would open would be in 2009. Now, you told the Times you hope to ‘break ground’ in 2010. Any chance you’ll back off of the project entirely?” Or, more directly, “How long will the center of Bremerton be a block of concrete next to a hole in the ground?”
-Also, stay away from, “How come you won’t return calls to the Kitsap Sun’s Bremerton reporter?”
-(Disclosure: I haven’t even tried to call Sher recently. It hurts my feelings when rich and powerful people don’t call me back.)
-Here’s a question suggestion: “From a holistic perspective, in terms of proactive synergy, how do you generate goal-oriented results without sacrificing core principles while at the same time enhancing your commitment to demonstrating solid maximization?”

Step 3: Think of a vague yet upbeat headline, like “Bremerton Rising” or “Bremerton Rearing Its Head” or “Bremerton, Walk With A Purpose And Don’t Make Eye Contact.”

Step 4: Have the city post your story on its Web site.

Step 5: Pat yourself on the back.

One thought on “Wherefore Art Thou, Ron Sher?

  1. Yeah, the Starbucks thing bugged me, too. And, hey, even if you do like supporting the mermaid, heading across the street to Fraiche Cup does that as well — they serve Torrefazione coffee, which is owned by said mermaid. It also has the added bonus of being much, much tastier than Charbucks. And, oh yeah, you’re supporting a great local business!

    And, yeah, the story was just like every other annual feel good piece on Bremerton, but I’d rather read another one of those in the Seattle Times than the other type of Bremerton cliche story. You know, the ones that start with, “Man tries to change channel with nail gun, shoots dog, self instead.” Cringe factor 10, Mr. Sulu.

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