Media Relations PRIn a digital age, maintaining proper media relations is a make or break proposition. If you do not have a knack of reaching the public with just the right message, conveyed in just the right manner, you could be turning your back on millions of dollars in revenue, as well as countless opportunities for growth and public branding.

While public relations is an ongoing entity unlikely to cease to exist, it’s important to realize that the days of controlling your public image and your corporate brand through exposure via traditional media channels are soon to end.  Sure, companies still advertise through newspapers, circulars and leaflets, for example. But the proportion of time and effort they spend on such activities is minuscule compared to the amount of attention they give to advertising and public relations via social media platforms.

Indeed, knowing how to use proper SEO techniques is a skill that is becoming more important than ever. It isn’t merely a question of driving as much traffic as possible to your site. It’s more a matter of attracting a highly specialized and selective form of traffic to your site: The kind of traffic that you can not only convert into instant sales, but also retain as long-term customers.

Maintaining a proper system of PR and reputation management ensures that your attempts to develop and promote your brand will meet with a positive reception from the percentage of the public that you are most anxious to drive to your site. This traffic could come from accounts on social media sites, ads on mobile app platforms or even indirectly through such sources as a few well-placed comments on someone else’s blog or Facebook page.

The Internet has boosted the chances of mass viral exposure for your brand by an exponential factor. However, along with this massive explosion in potential comes a very serious responsibility. As noted above, the tiniest misstep that you make on your official company account can possibly be seen and shared by an audience of millions.

You are thus faced with the responsibility to ensure that each and every syllable you pass for publication on each and every one of your official social media accounts is 100 percent accurate, verifiable and without controversy This applies not only to you, but each and every person you entrust with the ability to post content of any kind on behalf of your company.

One of the best examples of the need to cultivate proper media relations comes in the event of a serious public relations crisis. Imagine that a partner or employee in your company is convicted of serious criminal charges. A story that starts off as a two-inch column on a local TV news site can suddenly go viral and appear on the front pages of thousands of sites with readerships in the millions—and all within a very short time.

If you aren’t prepared to deal with the massive controversy engendered by such a shocking media revelation, you could lose thousands of existing customers, as well as the trust of millions of potential customers. What is more, you could be pestered by reporters, or even forced to appear on television in an effort to defuse the damage before you are fully prepared to meet the challenge with an appropriate and measured response.

It isn’t enough to encourage people to sign up for your periodic email updates and social media notifications. Once you have the attention of a potential new customer, you need to convert them to a paying customer by giving them plenty of eye-catching content that shows them the full potential of the goods and services that you offer. This is why it’s so important to provide them with plenty of quick soundbites, video content and other visual goodies.

By making use of the full power of social media through constantly updated SEO techniques, you can increase your worldwide audience and ensure that you have the accumulated staying power to last through market reverses and other lean economic times. In such matters, it’s an excellent idea to call on the accumulated knowledge and experience of a media relations professional.

While no one can predict with one-hundred-percent accuracy the course of future events, it’s good to have a tried and trusted expert in your corner through good times and bad. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have an expert public and media relations handler in your corner is a sure fire indication that you are prepared for a whole new level of media and market exposure.

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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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