Major crisis unfolding in Australia where a publicist sent ABC’s Media Watch an anonymous email saying that the South Australian Tourism Commission was looking to pay high-profile influencers and celebrities to tweet about Kangaroo Island – in a seemingly organic manner. And the SATC confirmed to Media Watch that it was “using influencers in the promotion of great South Australian products.”

As media in Australia has reported it’s “the tip of a marketing iceberg that has yet to hit Australian shores, but is already turning into a lucrative sideline for overseas celebrities willing to hand over a slice of their 144-character tweets to brands.” The managing director of the agency who executed the campaign was quoted as saying “the seemingly innocent marketing effort had turned into a full-blown crisis” – and undoubtedly a crisis PR firm is needed to manage this as its seemingly front page in all the Australian media.

Of course celebrities are paid to tweet – and in a crowded, distracted market, celebrities allow brands to break through the clutter. Influencers create buzz around products, necessary noise and it’s something we do a lot of and will continue to.  America as leader of the pack.

Media reports that Penn State University hired two new public relations firmsthis week to navigate “corporate communications, media relations and stakeholder engagement” in the aftermath of their major scandal.  They already paid $5.3 million to several firms and now, retained two new firms, for the next year for $2.5 million. “Retaining these communications firms puts us more firmly on the path toward accountability, openness and preserving our reputation as one of the world’s leading research universities,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement. Its natural that Penn State should hire top agencies to help them recover from this world-class scandal.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.