ronn torossian pr week

The following is a feature of Ronn Torossian from the printed version of PR Week. We have uploaded for digital preservation.

Say the name Ronn Torossian and words like ‘aggressive,’ ‘brash,’ ‘competitive,’ and ‘egotistical’ come to mind. And Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, likely won’t even argue with you about most of them. He says he couldn’t care less what his contemporaries think about him or his firm.

‘A lot of people in the industry have a perception of who we are,’ he explains. ‘I’m happy that very few of them really know who we are. 5WPR will always be described as the most aggressive firm in the country. For me, that means working harder than the other guy.’

Still, over the past four years, Torossian perceives a change in what people think.

‘Our peers are recognizing we’re not just a loudmouth agency,’ he says. ‘We’ve had that perception for a while because I’m a different type of CEO. I’m not active in PRSA (or) in industry organizations that don’t do much for the industry. I don’t know what PRSA does. I don’t know what any of these organizations do.’

The agency’s clients range from Pamela Anderson to the government of Israel. More often than not, Torossian says, the client’s personality mirrors that of 5WPR.

‘All our clients are risk-takers,’ he says. ‘Anyone who’s not willing to take a chance with their brand probably isn’t a good client for us.’

Last year, 5WPR scored what could probably be described as one of the biggest product placements in history when Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt appeared to the world wearing a shirt from Belly, a 5WPR client. Torossian won’t discuss details on how 5WPR secured the no-fee product placement, but says it involved months of back and forth with various people in the Pitt-Jolie camp and shipments of a variety of different products to Africa. ‘It was a phenomenal placement,’ he says.
Torossian says his unwillingness to ‘play in the sandbox’ with his competitors makes it easier to compete against them for clients.

‘One of the challenges I’ve had is that my peers don’t understand me,’ Ronn Torossian says. ‘I’m not mellow. I’m not close friends with Dan Edelman or APCO. I don’t want to be. There are very few people in this industry I have relationships with because it makes it easier to be competitive with them. There are other firms I respect and like, (but) I’m really good at what I do, and that bothers some people.’

When5WPR started four years ago, it was a one-man operation. Today, it has 75 employees – that number is expected to surpass 100 this year, Torossian reports – and closed 2006 at dollars 9.5 million in business. Ronn Torossian is projecting 5WPR will reach dollars 11 million in 2007.

Joe Fisch, president & CEO of United States Beverage, a marketer of domestic craft beer and specialties, began working with Torossian when he was with another firm. Fisch decided to switch agencies in hopes of finding one more like his company.

‘We’re a small company, and we wanted to partner with an up-and-coming aggressive agency that had very entrepreneurial ideas,’ Fisch says. ‘I found 5W went the extra step. Ronn is very aggressive in strategic planning and making sure the plan is executed.’ When the company wanted to reposition its Seagram’s wine coolers brand, Fisch says other agencies said it couldn’t be done, but Torossian believed it could.

‘Ronn said we have to go young and run a much more contemporary platform,’ Fisch recalls. ‘Ronn was instrumental in turning my mind around by saying we can be aggressive with a much younger consumer.’

Fisch says Torossian’s aggressiveness and dedication have been the foundation of a relationship that goes beyond agency and client.

‘I use Ronn not only for PR and brand strategy, but as a consultant for my company,’ Fisch says. ‘He’s honest and doesn’t pull any punches. When he says something, he gets it done.’

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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.