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.
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.