ronn torossian blackberry

Q3 2014 was not kind to BlackBerry, once again. The company expected a drop in quarter 3, but a larger than projected drop has stock prices falling and management searching for answers. Worse, the missed sales projections included a month in which the BlackBerry Passport, the company’s latest moon shot to regain market control, was released.

Part of the issue comes from an outdated model that doesn’t fly in the current smartphone marketplace. For some time now, BlackBerry has brought in funds by charging fees for things like system access and other services mostly considered “basic.” However, that model simply doesn’t work in the current marketplace. Newer BlackBerry models don’t come with that built-in revenue source, so the company has to make up that lost income somewhere. They’re trying to do that in hardware sales.

And while losing the system fees and other outdated surcharges will help BlackBerry drop the “so yesterday” stigma in the current consumer marketplace, it may be too little too late. In a head to head contest with top smartphone brands, BlackBerry barely registers. iPhone is the clear leader, with Android phones standing strong at number two. Everyone else is an also-ran.

That’s a tough position for BlackBerry, once the undisputed leader of the smartphone revolution. Unfortunately for the brand, it now stands as a modern day object lesson in what happens when your brand fails to keep up with market trends. Not too long ago the BlackBerry was a legitimate status symbol. Now it’s widely seen as an industry dinosaur. Unfair? Probably. The phone still has a tremendous up side. But the company has largely failed to compete. Mainly because it ignored and then misjudged the changing marketplace.

The only way back for BlackBerry is a new form of PR. They need to change in a big way. Clinging to past glory and refusing to try anything new might slow their decline, but they are already living on borrowed time. The brand must do more than rebound. They must re-energize and re-attract consumers in order to make a real play for market relevance.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.

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