News Flash: Hiring a P.R. Company Works!

When you're looking for Seattle Times coverage.

Interesting to see the front page of this Saturday's Seattle Times. The headline--"Safeco Field views: Going...going...gone?"--advertised what I had thought was a pretty familiar story already. That is, a big Seattle developer is proposing to put up a set of buildings that could potentially block some of the waterfront views from Safeco Field seats. The developer has been talking about this for years. You might, for example, have seen this story in the P-I in 2000, or any of the many stories since. No vote or make-or-break move is currently scheduled, as far as I know, and none was described in the story. So why did it end up on the front page of the paper all of a sudden? One clue might emerge from a Rick Anderson report of a few weeks ago. He noted that the agency that runs Safeco Field hired a P.R. company to help sway the political tide against the development. Anderson noted that the company had been paid $100,000 and claimed to have had "off-the-record" meetings with the Puget Sound Business Journal and the Seattle Times. Anderson quoted internal memos from the Public Facilities District (the agency that oversees the Safe) speaking with alarm about the developer's persuasive efforts. Those same quotes appeared in the Times story, along with a discussion of the P.R. contract. But no mention of any "off-the-record" meeting with the Times itself.

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