News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Category: In the News

WWE Once Again on The Cutting Edge of Social Media

WWE-Undertaker - great Wrestler

#domination

Since the advent of , many companies have been in the vanguard of using this technology for the best possible promotional purposes. World Wrestling Entertainment has always been one of those innovators.

This, of course, is not new ground for the McMahon family. They pioneered closed circuit and pay per view programming in the 1980s and jumped ahead of the curve in cable programming domination.

Now the WWE has body slammed social media. In every episode of every televised WWE event, the TV audience is brought into the action. Viewers not only get to share match details and promote hashtags, now they are being asked to decide matches and matchups. This is genius.

Here are three ways see the WWE is using social media and how the 5WPR CEO believes you can apply it to your business in a similar way.

#1 – Keep your audience engaged

One of the key goals of any TV program is to keep their audience engaged. Even during the commercials. This is tough in a world where everyone watches TV while holding their smartphones. But, instead of moaning and groaning about the potential distraction, WWE encourages the viewers to USE the phones. They CONTROL the distraction.

#2 – Control the conversation

One of the most difficult things to control online is the conversation of your fans and detractors. Talk radio does a fair job of this by giving listeners soundbites to regurgitate on social media and in comment threads. The WWE does this by actually suggesting hashtags and telling viewers which social media pages to visit and what to ask for and when. It’s an active and direct form of control the fans actually love.

#3 – Encourage downline promotion

Sometimes you don’t get because you don’t ask. The WWE consistently asks their viewers to promote their events by, one, giving them something specific and memorable to talk about and, two, asking them directly to talk about it. When was the last time you asked your fans to discuss a specific product or aspect of your business? Has it been a while? Have you never done so? If that’s the case, you are definitely missing out on some easy PR points.

Follow these tips and you could be pinning your social media and PR goals as quickly as one, two, three. Ignore them and expect to end up counted out.

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Public Relations In The Face Of A Tragedy

Milo Meeks: Brandon High basketball player dies after collapsing during conditioning drills

Milo Meeks: Brandon High basketball player dies after collapsing during conditioning drills

A child is injured at your facility, what do you do?

Recently, a high school athlete passed away during a sports practice. This unspeakable tragedy seems to happen almost every year someplace in America. While the family grieves, other onlookers try to find someone to blame. Then there’s the organization – a school, most often – left in the nearly impossible position of protecting its name while grieving with and for the family and friends of the child.

It happens far too often, and most of the time it is the result of an accident, not an avoidable mistake. But how do you start or continue a dialog when a child is injured or killed on your watch? What can teach us about what to say when there are no words?

Ronn Torossian, founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, has the answer. “The number one factor is to communicate without accusing or pretending to understand. You can’t compare or correlate grief, so don’t try,” Torossian said.

But there are a few factors you can consider and aspects your PR communication should include.

#1 – Before anything else, express empathy

Don’t try to hurt for people, tailor your communication to be as circumspect and respectful as you would like someone to be if the roles were reversed. Sympathy in this situation will likely just come off as empty words and just drudge up hurt feelings. Empathy knows when to be silent.

#2 – Explain without accusing

Human error may be involved in the tragedy, but you have to figure out a way to communicate facts without pointing fingers. To explain the situation without accusing anyone.

#3 – Never pretend to comprehend

You do not understand what the loved ones are going through. Even if you (God forbid) went through exactly the same situation, you cannot understand exactly how they are feeling. Don’t pretend to.

#4 – Do not assume or presume

In these terrible circumstances, do not attempt to assume what the parent is thinking. Also, do not presume to understand what they know and how they feel about it. Or what they will do next. Everyone responds differently to shock and to grief.

Follow these guidelines and carefully consider each and every step in the communication process. While this may not feel like the time to be careful of your image, people will judge you and your brand by how you react.

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Miss America Gets an Unexpected PR boost

Controversy creates cool public relations

The 2014 Miss America Competition - Show
The Miss America pageant is known for showcasing the best and the most beautiful girls from each of the 50 states. The pageant is renowned for its squeaky-clean, pure as the driven snow, sweet as cotton candy young women. The kind every guy would love to have on his arm and hope to bring home to mother.

But this year, that image is getting a millennial overhaul. And it may be the best PR the pageant has received in decades.

The contestant from Kansas, on paper, looks like every other overachieving pageant entrant. College co-ed. Check. Professional career goals. Check. Sings opera. Check. Volunteer activities…military service. Check and check!
Theresa-Vail PR is great
But when she shed her clothes and donned a bikini, Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, revealed something no other contestants have ever dared. Tattoos.

Not one, but two. The most visible is the Serenity Prayer, etched in thick lines of script along her rib cage. While, so far, pageant officials have been mum about this display, the carefully cultivated pageant world has been buzzing.

What is most clear is that, though many contestants before Vail have been inked, none have chosen to show their tats.

Ronn Torossian said this story will likely be the most press the Miss America pageant has received in years. “The Internet is an emerging visual medium, and stories like this are tailor made for the web. Particularly in the age of mobile devices and quick click page views.”

Tattoos Are In

Torossian admits the fact that Vail is not only tattooed but also gorgeous certainly play into the appeal. “Sure, but the Miss America pageant has been trading on beautiful and poised young women since its inception. It’s the tattoos that are breaking the mold. Miss Vail is inked, but she’s not a bad girl. She’s as All American as any other contestant.”

Torossian said this may signal a sea change in the perception of both tattooed women and pageant contestants.

“Tattoos don’t mean you’re a ‘bad girl’ anymore, and pageant girls have always been ‘real’ girls underneath all the illusions.”

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Who will be the next Miley Cyrus?

Entertainment media needs a vixen, so who’s waiting in the wings

While the jury may be out on this, some pop culture experts are saying Miley Cyrus may have taken it just a little bit too far. Even her target market is disgusted with her VMA performance.

The former Disney star admits she was never the clean-cut character portrayed on ‘Hannah Montana.’

Strange, since there is absolutely nothing unusual about the racy and raunchy Video Music Awards performance. And nothing new either. When nothing scandalous happens, the VMA ratings are in the tank. When Britney makes out with Madonna, the ratings go through the roof and people talk about it for – well – years.

But, if Miley is out, who’s coming next? Why ask this question? Simple, because says pop music needs a vixen.

“Pop music works best when it is promoted by type,” Torossian explains. “You have a vixen, a rebel, a bad girl, a diva, a good girl and a tough girl. Sometimes this manifests in groups – think Spice Girls or the Bangles or even Destiny’s Child. Other times you see a group of solo performers hit the scene at roughly the same time.

Consider: At one point Pink was the tough girl, Katy Perry was the rebel, Christina Aguilera was the diva, Taylor Swift was the good girl and Britney was the vixen. Then Britney married K-Fed, lost it and shaved her head. So there was an opening in the vixen department.

Christina tried to take that spot but no one was really buying. There, waiting in the wings was another wholesome Disney star, the mega popular prepackaged commodity that was Hannah Montana.

Torossian says Cyrus or someone in her camp saw the opportunity and went for it. One booty-shaking dance craze later and Miley is fondling a foam finger in prime time.

But, much like the Britney transformation, this “new” Miley Cyrus might just be too much for her fans to take. Torossian says that’s an inherent danger anytime you try to rebrand anything. People may love the last brand and might welcome the change…but not too much change. At the same time, you really have to sell that change to a potential new audience.

A recent example of an entertainment transformation is the former 90s rock singer, Darius Rucker, who was the front man in Hootie and the Blowfish. Now he’s a top-selling country solo artist, a gambit that could have failed spectacularly but turned out to be a big win.

The moral? Be careful when you try to change who customers have accepted you to be. It can be a very fine line…and crossing it can make you look like a real “twerk.”

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How the NBA Uses PR to Build Hype

nba pr

Americans love their sports.  We talk about how the year moves with sports seasons more than the actual seasons themselves.  The flowers bloom in the beginning of baseball season, the leaves fall in football season, and no one plays hockey in the first half of hockey season.  But with the daily reporting of box scores and stats, and the 24/7 news treatment given to sports by the multitude of stations dedicated only to athletics, it is sometimes difficult to not lose the big news in the deluge of information.

Ronn Torossian acknowledges that the NBA has come up with a number of different ways to keep fans interacting in between the games, and working them into a frenzy even when their favorite players aren’t balling out on the court, reaching out to them through and traditional media.

Step one has been to fill out traditional media.  Making sure there is plenty of coverage of every dunk and every shot blocked back into the face of a superstar is plastered across ESPN is step number one that the sports businesses have been using for over 30 years.  Replays of the best and worst of each game, countdowns of the most exciting moments of the playoffs, and interviews with the sports superstars are a great way to ensure fans relive all the moments that got their teams to the finals.

Other traditional media, like radio, print, and even the internet, which at this point can be considered traditional media, also play a big part in this. If you’re not convinced of the importance print, take a look at Ronn Torossians 3 reasons why print media matters.  Radio ensures outreach in talking about the finals when people traditionally aren’t in front of a screen, such as when they’re driving, jogging, or working away from computer access.  Print media, while in decline, is still a primary source for older fans who are significantly less likely to jump online to see what’s going on with their favorite team.

New social media outlets are being utilized to keep fans up to date as well, with twitter feeds for every team, every player, and every news source a fan would want to hear from.  Facebook updates with up-to-the-minute news reports on the health status of players, trash talk between teams and fans, and even what your favorite superstar had for breakfast to power him through the day are all available, feeding the beast of sports fan mania!

Much of this is done at the behest of the National Basketball Association because they understand that engaged fans are happy fans, and happy fans spend money.  5W firm CEO Ronn Torossian plans to be watching, not just to see who wins the championship, but who wins the media outreach game as well.

 

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Five Reasons Your Press Release Got Rejected

In the world of , there is no sweeter achievement than the perfectly timed, masterfully worded press release.  If done right, your story will be immediately carried to the world, and control of the news cycle will be yours. Victory means the story will be carried how you want it interpreted, ensuring PR success.

However, most press releases get filed immediately in the T-drawer (the “T” stands for trash).  Fortunately, public relations phenom and CEO of 5W Public Relations, Ronn Torossian, has highlighted the five reasons that your press release was just rejected and how to fix the problem.

Weak, Uninteresting Headline

The first thing a journalist will read when receiving a press release is the headline.  If that doesn’t immediately catch the imagination and feed the desire to read the rest of the release, it will be dumped in favor of something that does.  Like any kind of writing, you have to grab the reader instantly, or else you’re lost.

It’s Too Long

The first rule of a press release is to keep it pithy.  Depending on the size of the news agency, they could see dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of press releases on any given day.  Experienced public relation firms know that if the release is too long and involved to get a sense of in less than a minute, there’s a much higher likelihood that it gets dumped.

Not Enough Information

Most news outlets are pressed enough for time as it is.  Unless you’re release is announcing the kind of story that breaks once a decade, the media just does not have time to run down the issuer of said release and play 20 questions.  Followups on good press do happen; but if you don’t give them the full who, what, where, when, how, why, and reason it’s newsworthy, don’t expect that phone to ring.

No Quotes

A press release is almost always issued to alert the press to an event.  Whether it’s a grand opening, a political announcement, a jury ruling, or a bake sale, there is an element of human interest in it.  As highlighted in the last point, with cutbacks in the news industry, most journalists and researchers don’t have the time to follow up a story with questions and quotes.  Making sure your quote is packaged in the press release ensures that there’s article filler and makes it easier to carry the story.

Bad Writing

Spelling and grammatical errors can happen, especially when rushing to get a press release out.  Minimizing them is important, but no one is perfect.  However, if the press release reads like a fourth-grader wrote it, don’t expect the New York Times to publish it.  Writing, especially for mass consumption, is an art and requires that the effort put in reflects the seriousness of the writer and the story being pitched.

 

Follow these rules, and your next press release will be a public relations coup instead of a PR disaster.

Here are 4 more tips from Ronn Torossian on press release writing.

 

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What Separates Good Media From Great Media

I read an article in today’s Times with great interest. According to those in the know, the outlook on Medicare is not nearly as bleak as originally anticipated. While I won’t get into the specifics here, the article is an interesting lesson in several approaches to impactful PR campaigns.

With that in mind, here are three questions you must get answers to when crafting an impactful campaign.

#1 – What’s your market’s definition of “good?”

Changes and improvements may be legitimate, even if they are statistically insignificant. However, your market may not necessarily see it that way. Keep them from responding with a yawn when they should be clapping. Make sure those interacting with your public relations campaign understand WHY this is a big deal. In other words, if they don’t have a definition of “good,” or they have unrealistic expectations, the PR firm should take the opportunity to change that expectation and create a workable definition of “good.”

#2 – What are they comparing this to?

In most cases, there are multiple competitive products and services that can help provide both context and expectations for your market. In the case of giant entitlement programs such as Medicare, you really don’t have many options. The typical go-to “this and that” comparison is either Social Security or Medicaid. While one name sounds similar, this is sort of like comparing apples to rutabagas because they are both “produce.” It is important in your PR campaign not to attempt to compare apples to oranges. Much better to stick with features and benefits people can comprehend than comparing one thing they don’t understand to another just as incomprehensible.

#3 – What should they understand that they don’t?

This could seem like a bottomless pit, particularly in technical and complicated issues such as healthcare. But it is a necessary question to answer. While Ronn Torossian understands that most people have a consumer mindset and they “just want this to work right,” it is not impossible to address misunderstandings or incomplete knowledge that may hinder their perception. In simple terms, you don’t know what you don’t know. But a well-planned PR campaign can fix that.

For more on the best way to craft effective and affective public relations campaigns, contact and 5WPR here.

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NYC ballet season offers prime NYC PR opportunities

ronn torossian ballet

New York’s spring ballet season opened quietly with an American music theme. The themes were lively, the music popped and the dancers basked in the spotlight. Ballet season in NYC is both a perfect metaphor and a prime opportunity for various aspects of public relations and brand development.

What does Ronn Torossian mean when he says ballet season is both an opportunity and a metaphor for good PR? The 5WPR CEO explains…

Timing is Important

When dancing to music or as part of a company you have to stay in time, on beat and in step. PR campaigns work the same way. They must be choreographed precisely and performed with proven expertise. suggests using a combination of proven techniques and an experienced team to get it right the first time.

Public Image is Only as Good as Your Last Performance

In ballet at this level, one false move can mean losing the lead role. The same is true in public relations. Your reputation is determined by what people are saying about you “now.” At 5W Public Relations we work with our clients to make sure their latest performance is their best yet.

Taking Advantage of Time in the Spotlight

When you have your chance on stage, you have to seize it. In public relations, when you have a chance to get your message out there, you can’t miss it. To do this effectively, you must have an action plan in place. Just as a dancer cannot just walk out on stage without knowing the show, a PR firm cannot move to benefit its client if it has no plan in place. This is why works with its clients to go over several “what if” scenarios in each public relations campaign.

Brand Development

Ballet season allows a wide range of companies to put their products and services on display. From the costumes worn by performers to the equipment used backstage to the technology that keeps everything running smoothly, contractors can make or break ballet season. If performers and producers are happy, your reputation can be set. If not, you will have a lot of work to do to catch up. Ronn Torossian explains that the same can be true when using public relations for brand development. If you put yourself out there but the message doesn’t ring true to your target market, your brand development is set back and must make up that ground before moving forward.

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Audi’s Spock Showdown Brilliant Social Media PR

Many of us at have been interested to see what the next YouTube-released major product commercial would be. We talked about the hilarious Jeff Gordon “test drive” commercial previously. Now Audi has grabbed the baton at a full sprint with their Star Trek “Challenge.”

The two-minute commercial spot stars two generations of Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto, in an escalating series of competitions that leaves them racing to the golf course. Loser buys lunch.

Movie promotion

It’s not surprising to see a star from an upcoming summer blockbuster getting some crossover PR from a quick commercial spot. What’s unique about this particular commercial is that Audi not only tipped its hat to Zachary Quinto’s “summer job,” they built their entire commercial around it. This spot is a blatant appeal to Trekkies. A mixture of hot cars and cool technology – without the almost obligatory hot model – this commercial aims directly at people who are already planning to see the movie.

Crossover appeal

Car guys will love this commercial because the cars involved are stellar. Star Trek fans will love this commercial because, for them, this pairing is interstellar. The cool gadgets and luxury amenities are cool and luxurious no matter why you are watching the commercial. So, even though it appeals directly to Trekkies, it has genuine crossover potential.

Quotables

At 5WPR, we believe that with any multimedia PR campaign, quotable takeaways are a must. This commercials excels in this area. When another fan asks what the commercial is about, it is easy to give them the “highlights.” Any time you want content to go viral, your viewer needs to be able to tell someone: “This happened, then this, then this happened…” and so on. The more specific memorable points you can drive home, the more successful your PR campaign will likely be.

Nimoy sings Bilbo Baggins

This sort of short clip breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to a very specific subset of viewers. It’s likely that many younger Trek fans have never seen the eclectic circa 1970s music video with Nimoy singing about a Hobbit. But those who have seen it will laugh out loud and immediately tell their friends.

Ronn Torossian’s bottom line…

Timely movie promotion, crossover appeal, surprises and quotables – this commercial hits on many levels. This is simple, classic entertainment PR, cutting-edge PR and a terrific win for Audi.For what you need to create your own viral YouTube super hit, contact Ronn Torossian and 5WPR here.

 

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Is The Gilette Longoria Stunt Staged Or Real?

longoria gilette stunt

As the CEO of top NYC PR firm, , I hope I don’t lose my Yankee Card for this one. But as a PR guy, there is a lot to admire about a recent YouTube video featuring Tampa Bay Rays star, Evan Longoria. In the video, a reporter is interviewing Longo when a foul ball rockets toward her head. At the last second Longoria reaches out and grabs the ball out of the sky barehanded, obviously saving the woman from grave injury or death.

Gilette Longoria Stunt

Now, Yankee faithful know that Derek Jeter could have made that catch, no problem. But, as the video went viral on social media, questions about it began to arise. Fox Sports, Huffington Post and even Snopes weighed in on whether or not the video was staged.

But every single one of those reports had one thing in common. They included the video. A video that was watched again and again and again. Now people who never watch baseball know who Longoria is. They know who the Rays are and they have reason to be … ahem … impressed.

But here’s the rub …

There are several reasons to believe this impressive feat is actually clever PR wrapped in a fairly realistic package.

  • First, the reporter’s microphone has no media identification, and the Chyron graphic has no media logo. So, either the outlet filming this is incredibly shy or there is no media outlet filming this.
  • Second, in a stadium where every section of the baseline is sponsored, only one logo is visible … the one in the center of the entire video. Gillette.
  • Third, Evan Longoria happens to be one of Gillette’s new “Young Guns” spokesmen.

So, what’s my verdict? I’m saying “ad.” But I’m also saying this is a very smart use of both solid film work and clever social media PR. The graphics are clean and the clip has all the hallmarks of a very viral bit of media.

Whatever the sponsor, whether it was Gillette, the Rays or an unnamed PR agency paid to produce this video, it was money well spent. Brands have been strengthened and both Gillette and the Rays are part of the national conversation.

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