It seems like every article on Detroit lately has to mention how lousy the city is. Terms like “America’s Baghdad” and the “nation’s poorest” punctuate most business stories concerning Super Bowl XL’s host. It’s a shame, since Detroit leadership missed a golden opportunity to reshape the image of the Motor City.You’re probably thinking, “Ronn Torossian, tell us what you would have done,” so I will. As soon as Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the City Council learned that they were hosting the Super Bowl, they should have launched a comprehensive PR campaign that touted the strengths and cultural attractions of the city.

Off the top of my head at 5WPR:

  • Remind the public of Motown Greats like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and more.
  • Discuss how Detroit is the cradle of the American Automobile industry.
  • Discuss the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership – an innovative public and private sector effort to revitalize the city’s commerce and industry.

What if they put trained spokespersons in front of business, entertainment and travel reporters? Hosted special events and conferences that drew decision makers from other states? Engineered in-depth feature articles on how the city is struggling to improve itself through inventive means? Recruited a well- liked Motown singer to give back to the city through a series of televised or pay-per-view concerts?

Imagine a Public Relations campaign similar to the above; one which culminated with this weekend’s Super Bowl. Missed opportunities are painful to behold.

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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.