5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

More than a month ago Greg Smith slammed Goldman Sachs in his high-profile public resignation letter. Since then its been continual crisis management for the investment firm.  The job of their crisis PR team wont be getting easier anytime soon – In the newest scandal to hit Goldman Sachs, Prosecutors have started a new insider trading probe against a current employee of the firm.  Combine that with the upcoming insider trading set to start May 21 for former Goldman Sachs Group director Rajat Gupta and it ain’t looking too pretty.

The Goldman Sachs brand is continually being chipped away at and it is very harmful to “Brand Goldman Sachs.” Liken it to a boxer who is continually taking body blows in the midst of a fight – how many bodyblows can Goldman Sachs stand before it does real damage ? Publics need to know that Goldman Sachs is secure – and that these negatives are isolated, and these continued negative occurrences damage the Goldman Sachs institution.

Google Goldman Sachs – On page 1 & 2, 30% of the entrees are negative. A very negative reflection of one of the world’s largest financial institution – and proof that Goldman better immediately get to work on managing their online reputation. Goldman Sachs has to realize there are two courts involved when it comes to crisis PR: the court of law and the court of public opinion (think Casey Anthony, who may have been found “not guilty” in a court of law but is certainly guilty in the court of public opinion). Both courts matter immensely.

Brand Goldman Sachs is being defined by courts and negative op-eds in high-profile papers. Goldman has a real problem – The legal system at odds with the media system; court proceedings are, by design, long, complicated, and tedious. And media goes on and people form opinions from media (which demands immediacy). Customers, employees, and others are following the media and forming opinions.

Goldman Sachs is facing a court of public opinion which is immediate and viral. Reporters, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, 24/7 cable news, search engine results, etc., aren’t waiting for the next investigation of Goldman Sachs – they are making decisions now.  One of the world’s largest financial institutions – so talented and amazing in so many areas needs to handle their public relations with the same efforts as it handles money.

On May 21, 2010 Lloyd Blankfein said in a public address: “We did a good job managing risk; we did a less good job managing our reputation.” Smart people usually learn from their mistakes – clearly that isn’t the case here as the Goldman Sachs brand doesn’t have a communications plan – and needs a crisis PR Agency asap.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading NY PR Agency.  He is also author of “For Immediate Release”, a best-selling PR book.


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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.