Ronn Torossian Book Excerpt From: “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations”

The Rules of Engagement

Working with reporters is not unlike dating: sometimes you have a great date and sometimes you have a disappointing one. There are a few mating rules to keep in mind when dealing with the media, and the first and most important is to be a giver, not a taker. Think about stories in terms of her needs not yours – she wants news. Instead of talking about how great your company or brand is talk about what you and the others in your industry are doing, and trends you are spotting across these brands. That’s news. Plus:

Pitch to the right person. Tailor the pitch to the reporter. Reporters are notoriously thin-skinned and it irritates them to get a pitch that has nothing to do with their beat.

Pitch to the side. Reporters are competitive – they want good stories. Business reporters may be interested in a science story, sports reporters will be interested in an entertainment story, and entertainment reporters could be interested in a tech story, if you angle or position the story properly.

Pitch to underlings. There is value in building relationships with junior-level reporters and producers. They’re also a hell of a lot more accessible than senior people. Give them tips – they’re competing with the old lions in the newsroom so if they can get a great story, they will be more likely to help you out with less exciting ones. Naturally, as they get promoted, they will remember you.

Pitch during holidays and weekends. My PR firm is open the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when nearly every other PR agency is closed. When I get asked about it the answer is always the same: does CNN air that week? Does the Wall Street Journal publish? As long as those answers are yes, we’re open for business and I’m happy my competitors aren’t. On a normal day, we’re competing against every other PR person for time on the phone, on air or in print. Holidays give you a chance to slip through a story that wouldn’t get coverage during “normal business hours.”

The book may be purchased at:



Previous articleMichael Phelps – Say No To Reality TV!
Next articleYes, Mr. Robert Pattinson: A Crisis PR Firm Could Assist…
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.