News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

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Bowl Games and PR

5W PR is a leading media relations and PR Firm

Image via Bleacher Report.

New Years means bowl season for college football fans. These games mean huge PR opportunities for brands across the nation. But, is the PR, and exposure gained from being a bowl headliner all that it’s cracked up to be? Ronn Torossian discusses:

At one point in history, not that long ago, there were only four college football bowl games: the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta. Then, as more money flowed into the sport, and more schools wanted more opportunities for postseason play, more and more bowl games were added to the schedule.

On the surface, this seems like an incredible opportunity for smaller brands to get in on the action. Many took advantage, and found their brands launched into the national spotlight. Then, more and more followed suit.

But how, exactly, is this national PR benefitting the programs? examines the pros and cons.

PRO – A very public banner mention

Bowl Games, even the small ones, get an inordinate amount of media coverage. A huge win for brands trying to garner a more national following. Just ask Papa Johns, or Meineke.

CON – Perceived levels of importance

Bowl games have levels. It’s unavoidable. In fact, the day on which the games are played can even be an indicator of where they fit in the pantheon of college postseason play. The further away from Christmas, the more important the game. When a brand chooses to sponsor a game, the importance of their brand is tangentially connected to the importance of the game.

PRO – Hours of advertising

When a brand sponsors a bowl game, they are not paying for commercial time. They are paying for hours of advertising, and name repetition, for weeks before, hours during, and days after a game. This is a huge benefit.

CON – Brand type casting

Some brands reach levels of success that plateau. Sponsoring the same mid, or low level game, year in and year out, can create a brand typecasting scenario that pigeonholes the brand. At this point, the brand in question can choose to use this coverage as a way to connect with their audience, or just be content with the name recognition. Choose the former and reap the benefits. Settle for the latter and end up typecast.

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AT&T’s PR is Not Complicated

5W PR is a leading media relations and PR Firm

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One of the most successful commercial series of the last couple of years has been the AT&T commercial campaign featuring a spokesman chatting with a handful of cute grade schoolers. The tagline, if you are unfamiliar, is “it’s not complicated.”

The thrust of the PR is to drive home the idea that AT&T’s service is not complicated. It’s simply “better,” for many obvious reasons. This point is repeated, point by point, over a series of several commercials that each covers a specific point.

Ronn Torossian explains why the use of the kids in the spots is a brilliant way to communicate the message without spelling it all out:

Kids are a great delivery system for messages, because they come across as so honest, and believable. Plus, they carry with them the “kids say the darndest things” cuteness that viewers easily connect with.

But, the kids also reinforce the “it’s so simple” message. They are bottom line, to the point, and honest to a fault. But their answers are simultaneously simple and creative.

These qualities have the combined impact of driving home the overall “it’s not complicated” message, while also entertaining the audience so they forget they are watching a commercial.

“This second dynamic is excellent when it’s done well,” Torossian said. “People love to be entertained but they hate to be ‘sold’. So, entertaining your audience while also convincing them of your message is a gold standard in advertorial PR.”

Plus, entertaining and simple PR has the added benefit of being memorable and fun to talk about.

“Viewers will be motivated to share their entertainment value, and they will remember the content well enough to have something entertaining to share with their friends,” Torossian added. “Never underestimate that power of accurate repetition of a core message.”

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Facebook Changes Walk a Fine Line (again)

5W PR is a leading media relations and PR Firm

Facebook and change…

While it appears that this might come as a shocking revelation to many users, the juggernaut known as Facebook, is in business to (gasp!) make money!

But, this undeniable, and incredibly fair, fact does not deter users from losing their minds every time the social media platform changes its interface or backend programming in an effort to make more money.

This past August, Facebook announced that it was making some changes to how the information displayed on Facebook business pages would be displayed and visible to users. The execs wanted fewer silly memes and more actual content showing up in users’ news feeds. Of course, they also wanted serious businesses to start paying for advertising instead of trying to connect with one billion users for absolutely free, umpteen times every day.

The move sent many social media marketing firms back to the drawing board, and reminded everyone who uses social media what providers REALLY want on their platforms: content.

But, according to Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, while Facebook is entirely within their rights to make any changes they want, their situation presents an interesting example.

“On one hand you have a business that has responsible to its shareholders: to be as profitable as possible. But, on the other hand, you have an entirely volunteer customer base which is, at the same time, also your product. Piss off the customer, and they will MySpace you as soon as an alternative comes along,” Torossian said.

It’s a tough line to walk for any product or service that depends on an active and dedicated fan base, and a lesson to these businesses to always consider their fans in any creative decisions.

“Will people forgive Facebook for these changes and adapt? Probably. They have before, but that doesn’t mean their patience, and adaptability are limitless,” Torossian said.

And this goes for a company whose users flock to it with religious devotion. Twenty minutes per visit, untold times each day. Time one billion. It’s very likely your brand has a much thinner line to walk.

Not that this is a call to fear change, only to realize that most people do not react well to it. Both your messaging and your interface must be on point, or you are sure to generate animosity…which could turn into fans searching for your competition to offer them relief.


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Starting with a Bang in a New Year

media relations

The New Year is here, and with it, a world of potential, possibility, and opportunity. So what are you going to do with it? If you haven’t started planning already, you better get started.

#1 – What will your public face be?

You cannot possibly tell everyone, everything about yourself. Even in a year’s worth of PR. Too much information is a common mistake that far too many brands make in their PR communication. Your company, or brand should be who it is while also projecting a very protected public face. You are not your “image,” but that image must effectively represent you to your various markets.

#2 – What message do you want to communicate this year?

What, exactly, is your overarching message and how will you communicate that to your target market? Say too much, and people lose interest. Say too little, and you confuse them. But, the line’s not so fine as it may seem. In fact, your message can have a wide range, if you know how to properly craft, and deliver it.

#3 – How will the seasons, or quarters affect that message?

Timeliness is one aspect of PR messaging that far too many brands pay far too little attention to. Your brand message may not change very much throughout the year, but you should give some thought to tweaking it to coincide with the ebbs and flows of your market’s seasonal routine.

#4 – When, and why, will you execute your best PR campaigns this year?

Torossian says answering these questions will give you a good start in your quest for success in the New Year. And, if you need help answering any of these questions, contact Torossian, and his team at, today.

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4 Steps to Crafting the Perfect PR Message

How to craft the perfect message

Who What Where When Why

Ronn Torossian has built his firm, 5WPR into one of the top – and fastest growing – firms in NYC through smarts, grit, and a talent for getting the right message to the right people. In this article, he shares just a bit of his expertise to help you craft the perfect press release.

First, know your audience. Messages will differ in tone, and content depending on who you are speaking to. If you try a one-size-fits-all approach, your message will lose impact. Knowing your audience takes work, it requires an investment in time, and resources to get it right. But. make an assumption here, and your PR will suffer.

Second, understand the importance of tone. The vast majority of conversation is nonverbal. You can tell a lot about a person based on their tone of voice. And, believe it or not, written communications have “tone” as well. Is your tone professional, combative, obnoxious, terse? Have you ever even thought about how your messages come across? Remember, messages are more than just the words you write. It’s more about how you put them together.

Third, keep it simple. Press releases should NEVER be the “whole story.” Leave that for the press interview. You need to present the facts in an interesting way, but just enough to draw interest, not so much that you steal all the curiosity from the reader. Don’t try to cover all the angles, and answer all the questions before they are asked. That’s impossible … and can be a tedious read.

Fourth, and most important, answer ALL 5 “w” questions. There’s a reason Torossian named his company 5WPR. The 5 “W’s” are the essential questions all media wants answered in every published article. Your press release should answer all five as concisely and completely as possible.

What are the five W’s? For answers to that question, and any others related to the PR field, click here to contact , and 5WPR today.


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SAG Award Nominees Named

5WPR is a leading media relations and PR Firm

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The annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards are upon us, and nominees were recently released. This “insider” awards show is a very public opportunity for entertainment PR companies to push their screen time, and column inches. It is also a terrific opportunity for individual actors, and brands to insert their names into the public conversation.

Ronn Torossian said there is PR value to be had, whether or not you are nominated.

When you are nominated, of course, it’s a fun process; a recognition of all your hard work. But, when you get snubbed, that can make for even better PR. Getting snubbed unites fans, and draws in curious consumers on the edges who have yet to buy in completely. There will be one day when winners are announced. But, for those that are not nominated, there are days, and weeks for fans, and followers to fume, and foment.

This dynamic should be a lesson to brands in any industry. It’s awesome to be nominated for an award, but you can get tremendous PR leverage, and mileage out of just running. In fact, it can be a bigger pop to mobilize your fans for a competition than it is to actually run the race.

Torossian explains that the time involved in running for a nomination, or working for a win helps to mobilize fans, and makes consumers feel more a part of a brand’s success. They share in the emotions, and the thrill of the chase.

Plus, the time involved allows for countless “touch” opportunities. Brands can invite their fans to take part in a campaign, and then continue to offer them opportunities to connect, and share content with their friends, and social circle.

Do not underestimate the power of the process, is Torossian’s main suggestion. Be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities. Embrace them when they come.

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The Rock’s Herculean PR Effort

Dwayne Johnson, the former wrestler known worldwide as, “The Rock”, continues to parlay his successful career in the squared circle to success on the big screen as the go-to quirky action star. Johnson’s charisma is undeniable, and his fan base makes just about any film a strong contender at the box office.

Set for a summer 2014 release, Hercules: The Thracian Wars, the story of the demigod’s life after completing his legendary 12 labors, is already receiving serious press.

So far, the reaction from both fans, and critics has been relatively warm, and hopeful. This is good news, considering the tragic end of The Rock’s other current movie project. Johnson was set to reprise his role as Hobbs in the latest Fast and the Furious film. However, that project was delayed – and likely scrapped – after the untimely death of franchise star, Paul Walker.

Desperate for some positive PR after that horrific accident, Johnson’s fans are flocking to the web in search of information about the Hercules movie. Where once the film may have been another summer blockbuster, the buzz it is generating may very well push Hercules over the top.

Ronn Torossian says this is a solid example of how life goes on after a tragedy. When something horrific happens, people always seem to ask, “what now?” The eventual answer that everyone arrives at in their own time is, of course, life goes on. But it’s that transition that can create a PR challenge.

Fans want more, but they may feel guilty about leaving aside the pain so quickly. It’s up to the brand – in this case Johnson – to lead the way. Torossian said that this situation is being handled well, and offers three benchmarks for a smooth transition.

Take the time to grieve

Most everyone who knew Walker appreciated him. They took the time to honor him in the best way they could, and did not hide their grief. This allows fans to grieve as well, a mutually cathartic exercise.

Focus on the positive

Without saying they moved on, people then moved on. Dwayne went back to working on promoting Hercules, and did not dwell on what might happen with Fast/Furious.

Respect the reactions of fans

Because everyone grieves in their own way, not every Rock fan will be ready to move on to the next project. Many are frustrated that they will not be able to see their Fast/Furious “friends” on screen, and they may take longer to buy in to the new project. Johnson’s PR team might be focused on promoting Hercules but he – and they – need to be ready to field questions about Fast/Furious as well.

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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.

5WPR is a leading media relations and PR Firm

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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How to Protect your Brand During the Down Times

No matter what business you are in, if there is competition, there will be a winner and a loser. Who, how, and when may not be as clear when there’s no official scoreboard, but the public never wonders. They can always spot a winner.

So what can a brand do when they are in the midst of a “losing season”? Torossian breaks these three attributes down into three powerful words: Accountability, Personality and Inspiration.

#1 – Accountability

Most fans are not bloodthirsty, but they don’t want to feel like patsies either. No one wants to continue to fork over cash, and emotion to a franchise that just doesn’t seem to care anymore. Fans need someone to take the heat when things go sideways. And it needs to be the right someone. Manager, coach, top player … someone. This can be a tough call for any owner. Choose properly, and you earn your fans’ trust for at least one more season. Miss the mark, and fans may revolt. The same could be true for any consumer market. There needs to be a clear cause of the calamity. Otherwise, fans will just pick one, and you will lose control over your brand narrative.

#2 – Personality

When you go through a down time, it can be a tremendous time to redefine your place in the market. Most sports franchises have a type that closely resembles their fan base. They might be flashy, and bright, or dogged, and determined. Strong on defense, or a high-powered offense. One of the easiest ways to start losing in the market, is to lose that personality connection with your consumer base. One of the easiest ways to get it back again is to redefine, or re-energize that perception.

#3 – Inspiration

In the world of sports, there is nothing stronger than possibility. Sure, the championships are terrific, but no force in professional competition matters more to fans than hope. In the consumer marketplace, this translates into two things: empathy, and energy. Your fans want to know that you are thinking about them. That you understand what they want, and are already in the process of delivering it … even if they don’t know exactly what that looks like yet, themselves. That’s the nature of hope. It’s a good vibe for a not quite specific reason, a masterpiece with an unfinished face. It’s your job to come up with the reason, and finish the picture.


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USAF Flash Mob Wows Smithsonian Guests

5W PR is a leading media relations and PR Firm

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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