digital public relations

As the media industry continues to shift, the world of Public Relations is moving as well. Digital communication, the nearly universal use of the Internet, and the fast-growing dedication to social media and podcasting as news consumption venues are combining to transform how we create and distribute messages and measure the impact of narratives.

That’s not to say public relations as a whole is changing dramatically. The tools are different, but the principles are steadfast: people still want to communicate, and they still want to present a specific message to a specific group. Brands still need to represent concepts and ideas that increase consumer appreciation and decrease the potential for creating drama or crises.

That said, the way people consumer content is definitely shifting. People have been saying “print is dead” for some time now. While there’s no doubt there’s been a shift, that pronouncement continues to be proven premature. There will come a time when print is a less-viable business model, but it’s not now… at least not yet. Print publications still have massive power and influence, although the smart ones are crafting a robust online presence as well.

And it’s no longer good enough to just have a website. You need a robust and multilayered online environment, an engine that creates experience and relationship. That’s why video marketing and podcasting have become so popular.

Video and audio media have the benefit of feeling more relational, sometimes more personal, and options like Facetime, livestreaming or other forms of “real time” interactive marketing not only allow for but encourage deeper audience participation.

This shift in available tools has also created some interesting new opportunities. PR pitches are more focused on specific groups, rather than ‘big tent’ messaging. Sure, you can have a central idea or message, but you are often better served to have several versions of that central message all geared toward a specific group. This specificity is both driven and encouraged by online marketing options.

As information crunching computers and big data machines get “smarter” and more precise, more able to process greater and more diverse amounts of information, the opportunity to refine your audience will continue to increase.

But your pace will likely need to increase as well. These days your messaging has to be quick and nimble, as well as diverse and targeted. Clients are expecting faster results and consumers are looking for real-time conversations. The pace of the entire industry has increased… and all indicators point to that pace continuing to move even faster in the future. Just as the 24-hour news cycle changed media consumption habits and expectations, the speed of and access to stories will change the way PR companies successfully interact with their audience.

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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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