News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Category: In the News

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 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 5WPR 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 5WPR 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 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.

Now, Yankee faithful know that Derek Jeter could have made that catch, no problem. But, as the video went viral on , 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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PR Firm Plans to Rebrand a top Tourist Destination

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Disney’s entertainment PR touting “taste of hometown Florida.” Ronn Torossian of noted that when it comes to entertainment PR, there’s no doubt Disney has it mastered. From the top down, Disney’s corporate PR firm protects its properties and artfully manages the reputations of everything from individual child stars to cartoon characters, movie franchises and major international resorts. So it came as no surprise that Disney’s latest PR announcement generated excitement the world over. “Pleasure Island,” the central entertainment attraction in Orlando’s “Downtown Disney” would soon have a new name, a new face and a new theme.

Disney World is already well known for its themed destinations. Each “world within a world” (or “Land” in California) creates its own unique vibe and offers its own menu of entertainment venues for visitors.

These names evoke the vibe and culture of the place, giving guests easy options. Do I want luxury? Then it’s the Grand Floridian for me. Rustic vibe with a camping option? Fort Wilderness. Given this trend, it can be easy to see why “Pleasure Island” didn’t exactly feel right. Disney’s PR firm originally crafted a campaign to promote Pleasure Island as nightclub scene only loosely tied to established Disney brands. The idea had been to attract more local visitors to Downtown Disney’s shops and restaurants.

But Orlando already had the Church Street club scene. The two areas battled for years to garner the most local trade. Tourists still came to Downtown Disney to shop, but they weren’t partying in large numbers. While it’s fun to go window shopping after an all-day park trip, or cruise over to the Hard Rock for a show or Planet Hollywood for a meal, rock ‘n’ rolling all night was not on the agenda. Back in 2009, Disney officials abandoned the Pleasure Island nightclub format. They went back to the drawing board to design a free entertainment destination that would appeal to its longtime target market–young families. But the new brand would still be geared toward local guests.

Over the next few years Downtown Disney will be transformed into “Disney Springs,” an entertainment, dining and shopping venue offering “a taste of old hometown Florida.”Disney’s corporate PR firm announced that Disney Springs will more than double the current Downtown Disney attractions, both in size and scope. And it will do so while evoking the spirit of a Florida many locals fear forgotten.In its initial releases, Disney’s PR firm hit all the right notes. The new venue would be bigger, cooler and more charming. Plus the new project will increase jobs in one of the hardest-hit industries in Florida–construction. In addition, the new venue promises to add thousands of permanent jobs.

Crafted in this way, Disney’s news appealed to fans, dreamers, local politicians and families going through tough economic times and desperate for some happy thoughts.

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Four “Tricks” You Must Use Before you call me

Ronn Torossian CEO of 5W Public Relations ( ) PR explains what you need: Four “Tricks” You Must Use Before you call me about your . Every day potential clients contact 5WPR, my New York PR company, to “help us with our social media.” Their pages are up, they tell me, but they aren’t attracting fans, followers, or subscribers.

Okay, we can help with that. So one of our social media PR experts logs on and finds what was described as a “ready to go” site is actually a hot mess. Now we are starting behind square one. Instead of a blank slate, their social media wall is a graffiti-covered eyesore. Our PR firm can change that. But it would be better, and more cost effective, if you do the following BEFORE you call 5WPR.

What I am about to teach you will only take 30 minutes of your time. And the value far outweighs the investment.

#1 – You need a professional photo

Sure, all your Facebook friends love your cute headshot from your Florida vacation. But, in business, that screams: “I don’t take this seriously.” Think of your profile photo as the first impression you want to make at a corporate event. That’s the headshot you should post.

#2 – Keep your headline crisp and professional

This is no place for “clever” quips and teasing titles. Your name and description should be professional and clearly stated. Say what you bring to the table in four words or less.

#3 – Stock your description with keywords

In a social media context, your “ABOUT” description is not the place for brochure text or extended biographies. Pepper the summary section with keywords related to what you do. Don’t overstuff it with keywords, but include at least two to three.

#4 – Choose your skills on purpose

LinkedIn allows users to request and offer recommendations. These “social testimonials” can be incredibly powerful. Choose several that describe your top strengths. But be selective. Too many choices and you will get fewer “recommendations.” Plus, you end up looking like a jack-of-all-trades and master of none.

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Apple’s PR Agency Steps Up to Diffuse Rumors

Issues that have MacBook buyers steaming mad were handled properly when Apple’s PR Agency Steps Up to Diffuse Rumors.  In a market flooded with technology PR, Apple has managed to stay in the news with impressive consistency, though not always for reasons their PR agency might choose. Not long ago, Apple was the darling of American voters, lauded by President Obama in his State of The Union address.

The company was bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. This was exactly the sort of PR coup Mac needed to bolster consumer confidence after the death of Steve Jobs. Every competitor with a US PR firm went to work to enhance its pro-America image. But Mac’s honeymoon was short-lived. Shortly after the release of Apple’s newest MacBook, message boards and support forums were abuzz with bad news for Apple’s PR agency. Entry-level MacBook buyers complained (loudly) about an overheating issue. Mac buyers, typically very brand loyal, were not yet defecting. But they did have some questions. First, what was happening? Second, what was Mac going to do about it?

Apple’s PR team did not hide from the rumors. They stepped up and admitted a problem could exist. Then they set out about finding it and fixing it. After reviewing the complaint, Apple published an article on its main support page. Yes, some 13-inch MacBooks were running “warmer than normal.” The article explained a simple fix for the problem. “Check the rear vent of the MacBook to make sure it’s not blocked. Owners who find a plastic film covering their notebook’s rear vent should ‘simply remove and discard it.’”

Apple diffused rumors and strengthened consumer confidence by directly addressing the concerns. When facing a potential public relations problem, this direct approach is almost always the best way to proceed.

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Google applauds PR mixing with SEO

When Google does an update SEOs are hanging on to every last word to find out what modifications have to be done. The latest trend that is that Google is giving more weight to content that is shareable via social media channels.

At the moment it’s about social shares and you can’t fake it that easily apparently. But Google is anticipating that some will try and “fake it” by opening fake profiles.

One of the top SEO gurus Adam Torkildson tested this theory out. He created 1000 fake Facebook accounts a year ago and they all have been banned today. He confirmed that social signals are a much bigger part of the Google algorithm.

With social becoming more important, having relevant content that is engaging is more of a priority in SEO. Creating that buzz or the PR in your content will now weigh heavily on rankings. This is where mixing PR with SEO has now reaped some benefits.

A company that does this well is Dell. They have over 1 million followers on Twitter and their team answers every direct message from their community. They are truly staying on top of their brand and their reputation online.

So what does Google really want? They want content that is relevant, shareable and that engage audiences online. Interactions must be real and have community value. Those interactions will help bring a brand up in their search engine rankings.

So what does this mean? It means that in the future there will be less of a focus on traditional SEO methods. PR will become more prominent in SEO practices and social PR will rise to the occasion and become more relevant.

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