Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W PR, offers valuable public relations advice

Change is inevitable. If you want to succeed in life, and in business, you have to be willing AND ABLE to change. But even if you are ready, willing and able to change, your customers and fans may not be as ready or able to deal with it as you are. Don’t damage your connection with your clientele by making a clumsy hash of your decisions to make a change.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, has 3 tips to help you communicate messages about your change without discouraging or alienating your customer base.

Leak the Possibility and Watch the Reaction

One strategy that can help to inform your developmental public relations is to “leak” the possibility of a change far ahead of any action steps. Because social media encourages instant reactions, and those reactions get handled like actual news, it can be a simple way to discern how your customers will react WITHOUT actually subjecting them to a change. Remember, the key here is to let the information come out, but disguise the source. Don’t actively deceive, just don’t volunteer the source of the information.

Offer Minimal Explanation

Once you have decided to make a change, do not get bogged down in explaining WHY the change has to be made. That is not really what people want to know, even if that is the main topic of questions or complaints. Offer brief and direct explanations, while avoiding self-serving speeches that come across as making excuses or coddling.

Offer Specific Benefits

When you do discuss why changes are being made, the goal should be to focus on the benefits to the consumer. THAT is what they really care about. Sure, they might bristle at the “why”, but it’s the benefits that will actually land in their heads and hearts. The benefits will call them to action, not the rationale for making the change.

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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.