News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Category: In the News

French “Nudecast” Translates into PR Coup for Saucy Weather Girl

She may have meant it as a cheap bet, but one French weather girl made good on her promise. Doria Tillier said that if France qualified for the World Cup, she would do her weather cast in the buff. Most took it as a joke, but many tuned in to see if she would keep her promise.

The PR boost didn’t stop there – See, Tillier actually did go through with her nudecast. Sort of. And the result is one part saucy, and two parts hilarious.

Showing a faux sultry face and wearing a long overcoat, Tillier begins the report by promising to keep her promise. Then the scene cuts to a long shot of a green field far away in the distance. Suddenly, a whooping, vaguely female figure sprints across the field seemingly wearing only boots.

The production is not remotely sensual, or sexual. It’s actually quite funny. Tillier races across a field in a far off shot that leaves pretty much everything to the imagination. Whooping, and leaping, she communicates just how cold it will be over the next several days.

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Whether due to promise, or the presentation, the clip went viral over the next several days, vaulting the model turned weather girl into international fame, and providing a laugh for nearly everyone who saw the video.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR in New York, says, while stunts like this can easily backfire on all involved, particularly in countries with less relaxed views on nudity, the clip worked because everyone involved knew exactly how to manage the situation.

No one really expected Tillier to make good on the promise, but they tuned in “just to see.” Then, when she ACTUALLY DID IT she, and the crew pulled it off in such a funny way, people could not help but laugh with them.

“This could have gone all sorts of sideways,” Torossian observed. “But, they pulled it off with exactly the right sense of humor. And that’s tough when you might be relating to a foreign crowd.”

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USAF Flash Mob Wows Smithsonian Guests

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PR may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the armed forces, but, as Ronn Torossian points out, our men, and women in uniform need to keep their brand out there, too.

Gone are the days when Uncle Sam’s “I Want You” commands attention. Today’s armed forces advertising has become about adventure, and being a global force for good. But, a recent production by the USAF Band and Chorus raised the bar on military PR.

Ronn Torossian explains: “Guests at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum were treated to a holiday-themed flash mob performance like no other. Beginning with a single cello player, eventually the entire USAF band came out, playing their own arrangement of ‘Jesu.’ Then, just when the viewers were completely blown away, the chorus came in, transitioning from ‘Jesu’ to ‘Joy to the World’.”

Of course, the entire event was captured on video, and placed on the DOD YouTube page. The video has since gone viral, with enchanted viewers spreading it across .

Why is this great PR for the Air Force? First, it’s a goodwill offering by the armed forces, which is always a great idea. Second, it tells people, in a spectacular way, that there are a LOT of other ways to serve in the Air Force. Who knew you could play a French horn for Uncle Sam?

Further, the schedule for the band scrolls after the video. That’s information that most people would never even think to look for otherwise. Now, not only have they heard an amazing performance, they know where, and when they can hear some more.

And that, friends, is the real PR lesson here. If you leave them wanting more you better tell them how to get it.


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Singing Star Shares Medical Condition with Surprised Fans

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British singing sensation, Susan Boyle, first blazed into the public eye through a knockout performance on a British talent show. Since wowing the judges, the singer has become an internet sensation, and released a massively successful album of holiday music. Recently, Boyle announced to the world that she has Asperger’s. Throughout her life, Boyle has struggled with learning disabilities, and other physical, and emotional issues. But why reveal these things to the world?

According to Boyle, she is releasing this personal information because she wants her fans to have a better understanding of why she sometimes has struggled with her fame, and the attention it brought.

Boyle told a local newspaper: “I would say I have relationship difficulties, communicative difficulties, which lead to a lot of frustration. If people were a bit more patient, that would help.”

While this personal request may seem strange of a star to make to adoring fans, Ronn Torossian says Boyle’s heartfelt request strikes exactly the right tone. “She is not being overbearing, or obnoxious. She is just asking for a bit of understanding. That’s something we can all connect with.”

And that connection, Torossian says, is the key to knowing when to release personal information to the public. If a brand, or performer, wants to connect more openly with a fan base, releasing personal information can be an effective way … as long as that information is released with the right tone, and message.

People want to feel opened up to, not whined to, or complained to. Whining is whining, no matter who’s doing it. This creates a terrible PR situation. However, expressing real human emotion – something all of us can connect with – can be a real PR win.

“Being open with your fans is a way to pull them up to your level, to say, ‘hey, we’re all human, and I appreciate that you appreciate me’”, Torossian says.


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When Excellence is Easy to Spot

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Recently, there was a story down in Florida that gained national attention. A central Florida mother got upset when her son brought home an honor roll citation along with a report card that had a “D” on it. According to that county’s school system, honor roll is determined by cumulative GPA, not the typical “all As and Bs”, that many parents remember.

Well, this mother didn’t feel like her son deserved to be honored since he was, reportedly, slacking a bit in the class where he scored the “D.” According to the mother, standout effort and standout results deserve standout honors. Slacking in one area does not. Now, parents, and educators across the nation are taking sides on the issue.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations, says there’s something all young entrepreneurs can learn from this situation.

“Look, if you want to be successful, you need to understand that it’s not the bar someone else sets that should be your target. You need to find a way to surpass what you have believed to be your best. You need to find a way to do ‘more’ and to do that more in a better way,” Torossian said.

Torossian says that’s what the mother in this case is really trying to say. It’s not that she doesn’t want other kids to get an honor, and it’s not that she isn’t proud of all the A’s her child has earned. It’s that the system is allowing for children to meet a minimum and be honored the same as those who far exceed that minimum.

“That’s not the way the world works. Our economy is set up to reward those who work better, and do a better job. Not just those who work harder, but those who find a way to be the best,” Torossian says.

That should be your ultimate goal. Not to do as well as all those guys out there doing “alright for themselves.” Your goal should be to surpass the status quo. To find a way to do what’s being done better, or to do something new in an attractive way.

“If you can make that standard a foundation of your business plan, you are setting yourself up for success. Fail to do so and you are setting yourself up for mediocrity.”



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Beauty in the eye of the beholder

The “embarrassing car” list raises eyebrows and gets people talking

Few things are more subjective than vehicle design. While most sedans, and many compact cars seem made from the same mold, other models stand out from the rest. Ronn Torossian points out that, while these “different” designs certainly turn heads, some have also been known to turn stomachs.

Recently a list of the 12 most embarrassing recent car models has been making the rounds. Most major automakers had a model on the list. Those receiving votes included Honda, Nissan, Pontiac, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Subaru, and Hummer.

Some models receiving votes, like the Honda Element, or Chrysler PT Cruiser, or Volkswagen Bug have huge numbers of ardent fans. Others, like the Nissan Cube, Smart Fourtwo, and Chevy SSR were popular among drivers looking for something different.

How can the makes that made the list spin this PR in their favor? Torossian says it may be easier than you think.

#1 – Focus on the positive

Look for, and promote the good things people are saying about the vehicle. There will always be people out there that don’t like it, but what is it about the car that draws fans?

#2 – Aim for your group

Most of these “different” vehicles have a very specific target market in mind long before they rolled off the assembly line. Makers should concentrate on their target market, and see what they are saying about the product. That lesson transcends across nearly all markets. While what other people are saying may be somewhat important, your buyers are who you should be out to please.

#3 – Don’t listen to the detractors

If you are selling well, and your customers are happy, let those negative vibes bounce right off. It’s one thing if everyone is panning your product, and it’s not selling. It’s something entirely different when a group of people who weren’t going to buy from you in any case criticize your product.

In the end, subjective is subjective. No matter what you do, someone out there is bound to hate it. Don’t sweat it. Focus on keeping those who love it happy.

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Little Tikes Scores Big By Answering “The Question”

Online addition eases fears and increases time on site

When it comes to toddler toys, the number one concern all parents have is this: “Is it safe?”.

Companies do all sorts of things to allay those fears. They print age restrictions, warn about small parts, and sharp edges, and follow industry safety guidelines. These steps help reduce those fears, but they don’t assuage them. Not really.

Little Tikes has taken those efforts one step further and created a huge digital media win for their preschool toy brand. In a recent print advertisement – you know, the ones kids shove relentlessly in their parents’ faces – Little Tikes invited parents to tour their manufacturing facility. Online.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of , explains the successful , “Parents can go to the website and see exactly how those toys are being made. This is a tremendous way to answer that number one unspoken question that every parent has when buying toys for their kids. They can see the safety measures, put faces on the “faceless” people monitoring the process, and feel that much more reassured.”

But, Torossian adds, from a digital media marketing perspective, this move has other, huge benefits.

#1 – Massive time on site increases

A factory tour is no 30-second clip. Watching it keeps viewers glued to the page for an extended amount of time, measured by web standards.

#2 – Opportunities to market to parents

Little Tikes knows it will be parents checking out the video. So, they would be smart to place coupons, special offers, and exclusive deals right there on the same page as the video screen.

#3 – Opportunities to market to the target

Many times parents will watch those videos with their kids. Clever product placement motivates kids to add a few things to their wish list while their parents watch the movie.

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Entertainment Weekly’s social media PR blitz paying off

Print vs. Digital Media

Ever since the first publication launched an online version, people have been predicting the end of print. Over a decade later, print is still with us, and many publications are legitimately flourishing. How is this possible when print has huge overhead, and the web has virtually none? Ronn Torossian has the answer.

People still love to unplug and read

This has to be said. While the entire world is going digital, there are still tens of millions who love to curl up, and read … or not take their device into the restroom.

Clever Marketing

Embracing the new media world has helped old media success stories continue to thrive. Apps, sites, and other digital content keeps the new school happy without completely abandoning the old guard.

Outstanding or Expanded Content

One of the perks of print material is that the style, and content differs from web applications. Web articles are quick, and to the point. Print stories allow for more expansive thought, consideration, and content. This often allows for “better” storytelling, and more overall enriching content.

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This is where Entertainment Weekly, and other print publications following a similar PR plan really shine. EW has been offering daily exclusive content to fans of its publication, online. This amounts to millions in free advertising for the magazine. It also allows EW to reach consumers who might never otherwise consider picking up one of their mags off the rack. Every day the publication releases new exclusive content. So every day there is an exceptional amount of teasers, and quick views that entice readers. Plus, the magazine is teaming up with the brands it promotes for crossover marketing that really takes the PR campaign to the next level. Want to see an exclusive clip of an upcoming show? Gotta LIKE EW. Want to hear an exclusive cut off that upcoming album? Ditto. This is both brilliant PR, and brilliant crossover marketing. Take note.

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Carrie advertisement is awesome PR

In the world of movie marketing, TransMedia has become the ultimate calling card. Not just multimedia, but media that expands the story on the screen beyond what people can see at the movies. In an ultimate example of both TransMedia, and modern movie marketing, the producers of Carrie staged an incredible stunt and then put the results online for everyone to share.

The scene was set in a NYC coffee shop. One patron accidentally spills coffee on another’s computer. What happens next – sorry, no spoilers – created an internet sensation, and propelled the upcoming Carrie remake into the national conversation. How did it work…and more importantly, why?

Ronn Torossian, CEO of , has the answers:

#1 – It grabbed your attention

The scene in the coffee shop was not only a conversation starter it, was a heart stopping exercise for all those there. Most whipped out smart phones to film what ended up being a movie commercial. They instantly interacted with the media. It wasn’t just a “hey look at this” it was “hey, I can’t look away from this.”

#2 – No revealed secrets

As far as the people in the café knew, it really happened. When they told the story later, the people they told would be looking for a true incident online. And believe me when I tell you, this was one that flat out DEMANDED people look for it. In this way, the preview created a call to action that was impossible to ignore. Hitting that sort of message out of the park, one that people are all but powerless to ignore, makes for HUGE entertainment PR.

#3 – Captured and connected

The production grabbed people where they were and shocked them out of the normal routine. For the rest of the day, if not the week or the month, they will remember where they were when they saw this happen. Connecting with your audience on that level should be the goal of every solid PR campaign. You need to capture, and connect.

This campaign created the sort of viral word of mouth that motivated people to drop what they were doing – literally in some cases – and totally focus on the message being presented. Best of all, the interacted with the content, and never even knew they were being sold. That’s the brass ring right there.

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Charlie Hunnam Leaves “Grey” In A Lurch

5W PR is a leading media relations and PR firmThis past week, the producers (and many fans) of the anticipated movie adaptation of the huge bestseller 50 Shades of Grey, had a bit of ‘splainin’ to do. Charlie Hunnam, the superstar actor known best for portraying Jax Teller in the megahit Sons of Anarchy has – once again – stepped away from the role. Though the producers were clearly caught off guard, the move could not have been a complete surprise. Hunnam had initially turned the role down, but later agreed.

The story being told now by both sides’ entertainment PR departments is that Hunnam had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. That may have been it, or it may have been the somewhat bipolar response to the announcement that Hunnam had been tapped to play the lead character, Christian Grey.

The purpose of this article is not to toss salt in a wound, but to take a look at how both sides responded to a potential negative PR firestorm.

Fans of this book are legion, and they are rabid. The expectations are going to be off the charts. Seeing this sort of shakeup will not inspire them to positive feelings, and will not play well online.

So, what will Universal Pictures, and Focus Features say to get ahead – and stay ahead – of the story? Well, they are already talking, and there’s plenty for you to learn about how to handle “oops PR”.

1 – They made the announcement

The producers didn’t get scooped; they got there first. This is huge from a PR standpoint. You want to be as far out ahead of the story as possible. Leading the story is always best. This gives you the best opportunity to control the narrative.

2 – Embrace the embarrassment and move on

5W PR is a leading crisis PR FirmThey didn’t quibble, posture, or point fingers. They just told the truth, and announced future plans. Was it embarrassing? Likely. Was it fatal to the project? Not hardly. And it was certainly not as negative as it would have been if the producers had turned this into a circus.

3 – Remind fans what is going well

In a release, the producers were quick to remind fans that the female lead, Dakota Johnson, is still under contract, and they are moving quickly to find a replacement. The application here is to remind people that things are under control, and positive action is already underway.

You will never be able to steer clear of all embarrassing situations or PR issue. But, when you have to face the music, keep these tips in mind.

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How Will The NHL Soothe Frustrated Fans?

5W PR is a leading media relations and PR FirmThe best ways the league can reaffirm supporter loyalty after the lockout

The National Hockey League has begun preseason games and fans seem pretty excited. But the league still has to be wondering how loyal fans will be after last year’s shortened lockout season. The league still has to play the games, and it can expect the die-hards to be in the seats…but what about the fringe fans every team needs to balance the books.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, has some PR tips for the league to help them win back their fans.

Torossian tip #1 – Be generous

Nothing says I love you fans like opening your wallet…or, more to the point, sparing theirs. For many people, going to a professional sports game is expensive. Make it less so and they will be more encouraged to leave the flat screen at home and go to the game.

Torossian tip #2 – Be competitive

Even fair-weather fans love to support a winner. But even if you lose as many as you win, your team can fill the seats if it looks and feel competitive. This has as much to do with as it does with the scoreboard.

Torossian tip #3 – Be fan friendly

This is definitely as much about PR as it is about anything. The approach and the conversation matter. If you can do things and say things in a way that conveys, ‘hey, we appreciate you!’ that will go a long way toward mending hurt feelings. But don’t skimp. Make this a culture, a reality. Some teams do a great job at this. Learn from their examples.

Torossian tip #4 – Make it about them

If the NHL can manage this sort of approach, it will bring the fans back for the long run. There have been far too many lockouts and strikes in pro sports in recent years. The fans are tired of it, and now it’s time for the league to step up and prove how much it values its fans.

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