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 & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.