Each year, the highlight of the Cannes Film Festival is not the viewing of the films, or the starlets in their magnificent gowns, or even the endless gossip. It’s the charitable event that raised more than $35 million for AIDS research last year… an event many people don’t even realize happens. B
when you get together a group of people that include Oscar winners, Hollywood legends, and glitterati from across the entertainment spectrum, the wallets come out in a big way.Funds are received via auction or donation, and every guest is there on purpose and with purpose. But, they also take the opportunity to press the flesh, and network with other A-listers and powerbrokers.

So what does all this have to do with your non profit PR? Ronn Torossian explains.

The principle to learn here is the power of celebrity, and the core lesson is that this power is scalable. If you are a national organization, you should look for a way to connect with someone well known in living rooms nationwide. But if you are a local group, you should find a way to connect with the local celebs and powerbrokers in your area.

This is simply having an understanding of the principles and politics of fundraising. People are more apt to pay attention when they recognize the “face” talking to them. The celebrities at the Cannes fundraiser are willing to give, and mentioning them in no way implies that they have ulterior motivations. There is nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying yourself when you give.

Likewise, there is nothing wrong – and a good many things right – with connecting with those who can help your charity achieve influence and connection commensurate with its size and scope.

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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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