Front page news in Europe is that Former Metropolitan Police chief Sir Paul Stephenson has joined a crisis PR agency. Stephenson resigned following allegations of his police force being involved with alleged phone taps with The News of the World.

Might be a first that a police chief joins the public relations world – but I am sure it wont be the last, and his new role will have him counseling crisis clients for a firm whose employees according to their press release does everything from “cyber and information security, IP and brand protection, human rights and anti-corruption compliance, financial crime, health and safety, pandemics, medical and evacuation support, geopolitical and business intelligence, cultural and negotiation specialists, due diligence and investigations and wider security.” All of those are necessary skills to succeed at a crisis PR firm.

Stephenson was humble about moving on – when asked about regrets, he said: “That’s for fairytales. You do what you think is right, you stand by it and you move on.” “I don’t know of anybody who’s been in a leadership position as long as I was who won’t have a record of doing some fantastic things and some things they wish they’d done better.

Anyone who claims otherwise is in fantasy land or lying.”

Working in crisis public relations, it’s a non-stop fire drill. Remember:

  • Be prepared for a crisis by thinking about all possibilities before they occur.
  • Online reputation management/online crisis PR matters tremendously – Google search results are more important than one negative story
  • Requires instant attention

A police chief will know that in the world of crisis, this isn’t an option:

“There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” Henry Kissinger


Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a NY Public Relations Agency.

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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.