News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Category: In the News

When Excellence is Easy to Spot

5W PR is a leading media relations and PR Firm

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.

Clever PR

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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WWE Once Again on The Cutting Edge of Social Media

WWE-Undertaker - great Wrestler


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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