Major crisis unfolding in Australia where a publicist sent ABC’s Media Watch an anonymous email saying that the South Australian Tourism Commission was looking to pay high-profile influencers and celebrities to tweet about Kangaroo Island – in a seemingly organic manner. And the SATC confirmed to Media Watch that it was “using influencers in the promotion of great South Australian products.”

As media in Australia has reported it’s “the tip of a marketing iceberg that has yet to hit Australian shores, but is already turning into a lucrative sideline for overseas celebrities willing to hand over a slice of their 144-character tweets to brands.” The managing director of the agency who executed the campaign was quoted as saying “the seemingly innocent marketing effort had turned into a full-blown crisis” – and undoubtedly a crisis PR firm is needed to manage this as its seemingly front page in all the Australian media.

Of course celebrities are paid to tweet – and in a crowded, distracted market, celebrities allow brands to break through the clutter. Influencers create buzz around products, necessary noise and it’s something we do a lot of and will continue to.  America as leader of the pack.

Media reports that Penn State University hired two new public relations firmsthis week to navigate “corporate communications, media relations and stakeholder engagement” in the aftermath of their major scandal.  They already paid $5.3 million to several firms and now, retained two new firms, for the next year for $2.5 million. “Retaining these communications firms puts us more firmly on the path toward accountability, openness and preserving our reputation as one of the world’s leading research universities,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement. Its natural that Penn State should hire top agencies to help them recover from this world-class scandal.

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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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