Not Always Roses Owning a PR Firm

So, while I generally love my work, allow this Friday to serve as a complaining session –

— After spending considerable time preparing a rush proposal for a prospective client who claimed an urgent need for PR – and insisted we were the PR firm after multiple meetings, all of a sudden the executive on the client side resigned. By email she told us she’d pass along our proposal but would like to work with us at her new company. When we called her replacement, he told us she had asked 6 agencies for the previous assignment – and he’s putting the process on hold.  Imagine our surprise when she called from her new job and asked us to participate in a new PR process – we passed. What a royal waste of time.

— Or how about the prospective client who interviewed us, and then randomly called five of our clients to check our work.  When we asked them to please allow us to manage the process, and not to call our clients saying that “5WPR suggested we call you, in fact Ronn Torossian suggested it.” They seemed surprised that we didn’t want our clients being bothered with such calls.  We certainly understand the need for reference checking, but we value our client relationships and respect their time, and therefore offer our clients a heads up before those calls come.

In any case, after that odd exchange (and endless document trading), they informed us they wanted to hire us. A few days later, via a one line email they informed us someone had come along with a better financial offer.

They were surprised that we weren’t happy with how this process was managed. In truth, while irritated over that process, I am happy we will not be working with that client and am sure they will be a nightmare.

— And lastly, am sure 5WPR is one of many PR firms to be inundated this week with calls from Olympians – While it is great, wouldn’t marketing of an athlete be considered before the week the Olympics starts? Olympic-related PR offers tremendous opportunities, and while U.S. Olympic organizations own the athletes during the games, the brand and image have to be carefully managed.

Athletes have full time training tasks, but these days Public Relations has to be considered part and parcel of any preparation.

— And to end on a good note, have been on CBS’ The Insider three times in last 2 weeks – wanted to share the clips:


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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.