Public Relations Tips from Ronn Torossian

“Publicity geniuses are different from you and me. They have the stomach for it. This temperamental combination of imperviousness and egomania that allows them, compels them, to dominate the media . . . means, too, that they dominate reality, that’s their world and we just . . . well you know.”

—Michael Wolff, writing in Vanity Fair

10 rules for success in Public Relations:

1. Attention is the most valuable form of currency in PR and marketing. Getting the right attention must be done strategically and consistently.

2. Digital media and self-created content give everyone a voice. For good and for bad, self-created content is tremendously important—and realize with today’s media world everyone’s opinion counts. Blog, comment, and join the conversation when it suits your purposes and goals.

3. PR works best with evolution rather than revolution. If you gradually take two steps forward, you might fall back a step. That’s okay. It’s easier to recover from one step backward than it is if you hurry and take four steps at once and then another four. You might trip and fall three or six steps behind— It’s much harder to get back up to speed from that point.

4. PR has been and will always be about building relationships. In an earlier era, you needed only to worry about a few beat reporters, gossip columnists, or talk show hosts. Today it’s also about knowing bloggers, Twitter communities, influential Diggers, Facebook groups, or other collectives.

5. Everyone loves a great storyteller—become one. Your story is your ticket to people’s hearts and minds. A great story can motivate a person to go from passive to participant. Participate in media training and then rehearse and prepare. It matters.

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6. Write well. Understand the value of communicating properly, particularly in press releases, because they will often be used verbatim as news stories—it’s called “churnalism.” Yes, there’s a name for it now.

7. Gossip is information delivered personally. Make it work for you and not against you. Think strategically: how can you use what you hear to do better, be better, and serve better?

8. Success and media attention come with a price; learn to accept it and adapt accordingly.

9. Don’t try to be something you’re not: authenticity may mean saying no to opportunities that may not fit your brand or work against your core mission and values. Politicians need 51 percent of a market to succeed; brands can win with a much smaller market share and become very successful.

10. Don’t expect privacy. Privacy doesn’t exist in today’s open social media world. If you post something on Facebook, employees, clients, and the media can see it.

Writing my book was a major accomplishment of which I am very proud and I hope many more read it. The book can be bought here, or any major book website or bookstore.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a Top 25 US PR Agency.

 

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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.