Stay business minded while riding the wave of positive PR

The article above which appeared in yesterday’s New York Times is a worthwhile read.  As the CEO of a PR agency, I often field questions about how PR positively impacts a brand and the aforementioned article illustrates how First Lady Obama’s super star power brings buzz and affects the businesses of the designers she chooses.

Key Points to Take Away….

By reinforcing the quality attributes of a brand, PR can often result in increased awareness amongst core consumers. As the article states, the young designer, who was lucky enough to dress Michelle Obama on Saturday night commented: “By the next day, traffic on his Web site had shot up. By Monday, he was hearing from stores that do not carry his lines but were now, suddenly, very interested.” Now, its on him to close.

That being said, it is important to stay business minded as the increased attention and sales flood in. As the article states, “you can definitely win the PR race, but there’s still a business to manage.” Certainly, good PR doesn’t mean you can ignore business fundamentals. It is the important to realize that PR is a means to an end, but it is the responsibility of the company’s leadership to take the attention and turn it into a profitable, and sustainable boost to the bottom line.

Different segments are impacted differently by different types of PR. As one designer noted “…clients who have the taste and the money for high-end designer clothes are looking for something they feel is special — not, say, a dress that everyone has seen on magazine covers and on TV.  As a designer of a $3,000 dress noted, “I can promise you I have not sold one Alaia dress because Michelle Obama wore it.”

Via sustained positive buzz and increased visibility, PR remains one of the cheapest ways for a company to build their brand. Food for thought.

Ronn Torossian



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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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