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.”

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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.