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.

Previous articleThoughts on Ford Motor Company PR Campaign
Next articleChallenges in PR Careers & Agency Life
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.