News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

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Office for iPad – Yeah, That is Happening!

5W PR is a full-service PR agency in NYC

 

Apple purists may not know what to think, but the legions of consumers who are caught between a Mac and PC world are rejoicing. Microsoft Office will soon be available on the iPad.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, said this is tremendous PR news for both Apple and Microsoft.

This trend reverses a line in the sand that Microsoft drew when it began marketing its own handheld mobile devices a few years back. Office has been available for Mac desktop and laptop OS-es for years now, but it looked like the software might never be available for iPad users.

Then, Satya Nadella held his first ever product unveiling as CEO of Microsoft. While many were struck by Nadella’s rapid-fire cadence and kinetic presentation, it was the product he unveiled that drew the most response. It may just be the biggest announcement from Microsoft since the XBOX1, or the Windows phone…the long rumored, and long-delayed, Office for iPad.

The devil is officially buying a snowboard. Microsoft product manager Julia White blew minds even further by announcing that, “The iPad has a reputation for helping you look cool. With Excel, it can make you look smart, too.”That line was both a backhanded compliment and admission that Microsoft has never, and likely will never, attain the “cool” status of any Mac product.

But, knowing who you are, and what your brand represents, is part of effective PR. No one in that crowd would ever argue that PCs were for the “cool kids.” But those smiles on the faces of Microsoft reps reveal that they believe they will get the last laugh. They envision a world where iPad users, familiar with Office software at work or on their laptops, will opt for the Windows product over the made for Mac word processing and database software.

Early tests have proclaimed that the iPad Office suite looks even better than the desktop or laptop versions. Time will tell if the app actually catches on, but in the meantime, Microsoft once again has the opportunity to enjoy being the darling of the technology consumer market…even if the buzz only lasts until the next iPhone is released.

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Show’s Over! 4 PR Secrets Program Finales Can Teach Us

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5W PR in New York

TV finales have been all over the map with viewers. Most go quietly, having lived long past their relevance to all but the fiercest fans. The phrase, to “jump the shark” that is used to describe something that has gone over the edge into silliness even comes from such a program, an episode of Happy Days where The Fonz literally jumps a shark while water skiing in a leather jacket. It may have made perfect sense to producers at time, but even fans just shook their heads and looked away. Here is how you create a great strategy marketing for a show.

#1 – The end isn’t always the end

Fans decide when you are over, even if producers have other ideas. For shows that live past their expiration date, there is shark jumping infamy. For others, whose fan bases refuse for them to die, there is syndication. The Internet is where products and services that “won’t die” can live forever. Does your brand have an effective Internet longevity strategy?

#2 – Some things need to be finished

Leaving too many things unfinished can frustrate fans. Sure, you want to keep your options open so there’s room for growth, but don’t just drop something that people enjoy without giving them an alternative. Storylines that keep “evolving” but never get anywhere might be intriguing in the short term, but long-term they leave fans frustrated and unfulfilled. The same could be said for a brand that keeps promising but never delivers.

#3 – You can’t let viewers down

Similar to the previous point, the end must give viewers real closure. They are emotionally connected to these characters and their stories, so the shows must honor that. In recent years, programs like The Sopranos and Seinfeld ended in ways that frustrated and enraged fans. They wanted more, and the producers chose to get “cute.” In business, when you deliver you have to do so in a way that appreciates your customers and honors their expectations.

#4 – Set ups should create conversation

Some shows just demand spin-offs. Secondary characters that deserve more of the spotlight and universes in which many different stories could be told are excellent opportunities for spin-offs.. The same could be said for products or services. Some are one-offs. They do “this” and that’s it. But if your product or service has an alternative, better use, the time to start developing that is when your current application is still popular. Don’t wait until the “show’s over” to start thinking about where to go next. If you plan ahead, you can begin to acclimate your customers to the new “character” well before your current offering jumps the shark.

Any time something ends there are several dynamics in play. There’s a reason commencement means both “beginning” and “end.” That being said, all shows – like all products and services – have an optimum life cycle. The end of said cycle does not mean the end of the company, or even the product or service. Only that the time for change has come. Understanding these dynamics and applying relevant PR techniques can help a business reach the next level. Miss these, and you may end up being the “once great” that got left behind.

 

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Using Social Media to Connect with Customers

It’s hardly any secret that is where your customers are. And, increasingly, they are neatly packaged into nice little advertising aggregates for you to market to. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about that marketing. Ronn Torossian explains.

#1 – Be consistent

Getting on a consistent posting schedule is one of the most important steps you should take when building a social media plan and platform. You need to create an expectation in your fan base, then reward that expectation to continue to build habits in your users.

#2 – Be specific

Not just in what you post, but in who you target. Most social media platforms allow you to laser target exactly who you want to serve, but before you can do that effectively, you need to know exactly who you want to connect with. Social media will allow you to use content to determine who is your best target audience.

#3 – Be worthwhile

Consistency is terrific, but your content also needs to matter. Take the time to study approaches, and content, that works, then follow that pattern with your own content. Position it to be interesting, and compelling. Not just – or ever – advertorial.

Apply these tips to a plan already in progress and use them to determine how you should build campaigns in the future. Remember, while methods may change, and will certainly continue to evolve, the basics remain the basics. Customers want to know they can depend on you to be there, be quality, and to be what they are looking for. Succeed based on those metrics and you will build a foundation for future success.

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GoldieBlox Debacle Continues

Ronn Torossian is a PR expert and CEO of 5W Public Relations

Image via The Huffington Post

It seems like the GoldieBlox story just won’t go away. The company is back in the news again, and what started as a huge publicity boon, might just end up blowing up in their faces. Will they need a crisis PR Agency?

GoldieBlox is a toy company that markets engineering toys for girls. Their message is essentially, “skip the ‘pink aisle’, and get what you really want girls.” Now, putting aside all the political and social arguments that stem from that sentiment, the idea is fair and marketable. However, how the company chose to do its marketing may not have been. In an initial video commercial for the company’s products, GoldieBlox chose to use a version – they call it a parody – of the Beastie Boys song, Girls.

Fair use being what it is, they never bothered to check with the artist who created the music. As it turned out, Adam Yauch specifically amended his will to keep advertisers from EVER using their music for ANY advertorial purpose. When the surviving Beasties sent a letter to the boss at GoldieBlox essentially saying the same thing, the company SUED THEM.

The blogosphere and entertainment media erupted. Suddenly, the tiny toy company had all the PR it could want. Then it went and promised to do what the band – and its legions of fans who now had kids in the exact age range GoldieBlox is targeting – wanted. It would pull the commercial, and drop the lawsuit.

Fast forward a year. The ad has been pulled, but the lawsuit remains. In response, the Beastie Boys have filed a strong countersuit. And this is where the PR fallout could get really messy. GoldieBlox got the pop it wanted from the controversy, but they may find out that the sentiment now being attached to that popularity is not what they are looking for.

Who really wants to be the company that sued the friends of a dead icon for the right to steal his work against his expressed will? Apparently, GoldieBlox.

Brands can fall even faster than they rise and public opinion is notoriously fickle. That sun today might just be torches burning tomorrow.

 

 

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Even the King Gets Caught in the New Publishing Norm

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5W PR in New York, and a frequent commentator on current events

Image courtesy of James Leynse/Corbis via TheGuardian.com

Stephen King, the undisputed “king” of active American novelists, is the latest author to find himself swept into the “GIVE IT TO ME NOW” world of modern publishing. Authors with fewer bestsellers to their name have been feeling the pressure for a few years now.

In the salad days of the 1990s, a popular author could get away with publishing a book just about every year. Sometimes, every few years was good enough to keep their fans happy. Today however, fans are asking for more to keep themselves content. While there could be several different reasons for this – and every publisher, author, and fan has their own favorite boogeyman – this fact won’t change even if the motivation does: People want more to read … and they want it faster.

Because of this, it was not surprising to learn that even a name as huge as King would announce that he would be releasing two books this year. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, offers 3 reasons why this move will be good for King.

#1 – Even if King doesn’t need to, he is meeting expectations

There is no doubt that King could get by on what he has already written, or just write at the pace to which he has been accustomed since CARRIE came out in the 1970s. But he, more than just about anyone, understands the market and has chosen to respond to it.

#2 – The other book allows him to market to new readers

One of King’s two books is a traditional gumshoe detective novel, a first for King. King’s forays into “genre” fiction have been few and far between. This is an opportunity to branch out.

#3 – It keeps his name out there

King is definitely a household name, but today’s households have gotten busier and more forgetful. Shelf life just isn’t what it once was. If you want to stay relevant, you have to keep your name in the mix. Even if you are one of the most successful authors of all time.

 

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4 Ways to Judge a Book By its Cover

Ronn Torossian writer

You may not realize this, but not all book covers are created equal. In fact, published books can have wildly different looks based on where those books are being marketed. Even the titles sometimes change to fit the culture. As an author, I know well that the reasons for this are simple to understand. These reasons can inform the marketing decisions of just about any consumer brand.

4 questions book covers consider that you should as well:

#1 – What do the colors mean?

When it comes to cross cultural marketing, one of the easiest things to miss is the color meanings. Not only do popular colors change across various cultures, what those colors represent changes as well. You need to know what these mean before you make a mistake.

#2 – What do the pictures mean?

Imagery, like color, is easy to overlook. You may think an image is perfect for one market, but it might serve as an instant turnoff for another. Sometimes, this can be a fine line, and sometimes these images don’t even exist in the same universe of thought.

#3 – Is there a potential language barrier?

What will your PR sound like in another language? Moreover, what will the literal and figurative translation mean when those various markets interact with them? Just throwing something up on the internet without considering this can create an endless PR disaster.

#4 – Will your market change in a different culture?

One question many marketers fail to consider is whether crossing a cultural zone will impact their target market. Not only in gender, but in age, socioeconomic, and many other considerations. What might be a hit in one demo somewhere, might be better served for a different audience in a different market. This circumstance might call for an entirely different visual approach.

 

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Marine humiliated on Delta flight?

5W PR, led by CEO Ronn Torossian

This was one of those things that everyone who was involved wished didn’t happen – not very smart. Even people who love to be angry wish something like this didn’t happen. But according to one Marine, and several witnesses, on a particular Delta flight … unfortunately it did happen.

An amputee Marine, injured during service in Afghanistan, was on board a recent Delta flight when he was, reportedly, paraded down the aisle in his wheelchair to his seat. Along the way he was accidentally bumped into other passengers, all the way to almost the back of the plane. When several passengers in first class volunteered to give up their seats so that the wounded veteran could have more room, the flight crew ignored these requests.

It is important to note here that the complaint did not come from the offended Marine. Instead, it came from Army Col. Nickey Knighton, a fellow passenger on the flight. Col. Knighton sent a complaint to Delta Airlines about how the Marine was treated. Then, the Washington Post got hold of the complaint and published the story.

Many other major media outlets picked it up and ran with it as well. While Delta has released no official findings since the incident, the airline did say it would investigate. But stopped short of even admitting the incident happened. Regardless of the accuracy of the story, the airline will likely have to deal with a crisis PR firm for this one.

Delta should have acted more quickly to diffuse the rage that came from this. They may eventually issue an apology, but one should have come already. In fact, it should have been the first thing that happened. Instead, Delta opted for  the response that“this in no way reflects how Delta treats customers.”

In fairness, this official statement did end with an apology. However, that admission is more omission, and one that will ring hollow for most consumers. While Delta may not treat their customers poorly, the incident in question begs to differ. As of this writing, that point has yet to be addressed.

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Priceless Public Relations Tips

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5W Public Relations

Public relations is both an art and a science. It’s a combination of knowing and understanding people, and crafting a message in a way that is understood and appreciated. These aspects are equally balanced in all the most successful PR campaigns.

According to Ronn Torossian, founder, and CEO of , priceless can be boiled down to a few basic tips:

#1 – Tell a great story

Nothing sells quite like a story. Whether you are depending on images, words, video, or a combination of all three, you need to craft and communicate a story that your audience will remember well enough to share.

#2 – Partner with good messengers

The message is only as good as the messenger. With most PR, you will be working with someone else in the media to get your message out. Whether you are crafting a paid advertisement or a news story, you need to know that you have the right people working with you. How are you nurturing the best relationships with the right media people for your market? If you can’t answer that question, you have some work to do.

#3 – Trust is a two-way street

While who you know is vital to your PR success, what those people think of you is every bit as important. Reporters and other media gatekeepers need to know they can trust you. Invest the time in treating them right and you will find your PR stories get more traction.

#4 – Get people talking

Some of the most impactful public relations begins with paid media or advertising. If you can get the media talking about your advertising, you can parlay that conversation into a priceless amount of “free” publicity. This is a simple and highly effective strategy, if you are willing to invest in what it takes to make it happen.

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Five Tips For Creating Content That Enhances Your Reputation

Ronn Torossian is founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations

PR is essential when it comes to companies, business, and organizations. It gets the word out about what is going on within a company, rather than leaving the public speculating over imagined plots or associating brands with the sinister caricatures of a faceless corporation that is only out for profits.

Writing content that makes your company look good however is not always easy. Follow these five tips I have learned as the CEO of 5WPR on writing winning PR, and you just might be able to show that your company is part of a community and NOT just another business on the block bent on making a buck at all costs.

1. Grab attention right away. The media is saturated with information, and consumers will skip over many things that do not catch their interest. says that a great headline is one way to quickly capture the eye and attention of your audience so that you can reel them in and give them more information. In fact, headlines are so important you should often spend more time on the headline than on your article.

Sometimes the headlines and bullets are all anybody reads. Don’t believe me? Think about which parts of this article you looked at first? Was this the second line you read, or the first?

2. Get to the point right away. People are busy, and they will often only skim public relations material before moving on. Be clear, be concise, and get to the point. If you do that early on, they just might stick around for the rest of the article.

3. Provide access to more information. Whether it is a link to your company’s website or information on where to read more, always provide a way for your audience to learn more. This ensures that consumers can easily find out more about your company as well as more information about whatever topics you are sharing with them.

4. Lead with the “why” instead of the “what”. It is often tempting to start by explaining what is going on with your company, but research has shown that people become more interested when they understand the why, or the reasons, behind it. Knowing the reason makes your audience care more about the topic and gets them more invested in what is going on with your company.

5. Do not try to force big news out of small news. Making something seem more important than it actually is can cause your company to lose credibility. It is the same as the boy who cried wolf. Instead, give your news its proper due. Your audience will appreciate the distinction.

 

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Guinness Stands up for the Pub Experience

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5W Public Relations, a leading media relations and digital media PR firm

Image via Business Insider

One of the most well received images to emerge from the world of social media PR has to be the latest Guinness advert that reminds viewers why they came out with their friends for a Guinness in the first place. The image shows a Guinness logo with a stack of cell phones. The stack itself resembles a tall, cool glass of the dark stout, with the foamy head. A brilliant, yet simple, piece of design work that has the social media world talking.

But what is it about this ad that has struck such a chord? Ronn Torossian has the answers.

#1 – The simple message connects

Without saying a word, Guinness gets to the bottom of something many in the pub crowd have been thinking for years: What happened to create so many phone zombies, even at the pub???

#2 – The image is recognizable

Anyone who has ever seen a Guinness ad can almost immediately recognize what the stack of phones is meant to represent. The glass of Guinness is an almost universal brand, that it is created out of smart phones makes it no less recognizable.

#3 – The message is clear and universal

One of the most important issues for any international product is not letting the message get lost in different cultures. Limiting language is a good first step, but eliminating it altogether is a brilliant move in this context. Wherever there are bars, and smart phones, there are people sick of seeing their friends sucked into their phones in a social setting.

#4 – The single image plays across media

This advert is truly a multimedia tool. It works on , and it could work on a billboard, or a magazine ad, or in any other visual medium Guinness chooses to use it in. The message would not be lessened, and more importantly, needs no embellishment.

This final point, is important in a social media context. You really don’t want users trying to add on to your point, or “make it better.” You want the advert to say all that you want to say.

 

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