Category: Insight

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 5WPR.com, today.

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This is Your PR on Tebow

Tebow TeeBowing

Tebow TeeBowing

Even before lining up under center for the first time in the NFL, Tim Tebow has been a public relations juggernaut. He hardly played in the NFL but he landed major endorsement deals, had a Super Bowl commercial and landed speaking engagements.

The headline-stealing QB may be finished in the NFL

Even though he won a playoff game in Denver, Tebow’s play never matched his popularity, and he struggled to make it on three NFL teams. The worst spot was definitely at New York. To this day no one quite understands why the Jets wanted Tebow. Rex Ryan was set against him from Day One and he was never going to be the starter.

Now, after being – reportedly – cut from the Patriots, the Tebow era in the NFL might be over. And it was an “NFL era.” The Tebow PR machine was bigger than any one team. Bigger even than the NFL.

But why?

Teams hire countless talented players each and every year. Some have even won National Championships, as Tebow did (twice). Others have won the Heisman Trophy, as Tebow did. But none have achieved the transcendent fame of Tebow.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, explains the Tebow phenomenon from and public relations perspective and explains how you can apply some Tebow magic to your own brand.

Torossian tip #1 – Tebow was tough not to like

Even if you didn’t want him as quarterback, you wanted him on your team. He offered intangible benefits that caused people to look beyond his skill. How can you position your brand that way in the marketplace.

TebowTorossian tip #2 – Tebow is more than a football player

Tebow developed a strong brand outside of football by just being Tebow. He is sought after for his testimony, volunteer efforts and squeaky-clean image. How can you set your brand up to offer more to your potential customer base? Do this, and you will be able to multiply your market potential.

Torossian tip #3 – Tebow gets people talking

There are hundreds of players in the NFL no one ever talks about. Yet, people can’t seem to keep away from the topic of Tebow. How can you create a conversation about your brand that continues, crossing markets and never stopping?

When you think of the NFL as a business, it’s easier to apply the lesson learned from the Tebow brand that can allow you to increase your brand reach and market development.

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Will Apple’s Tax “Scandal” Tarnish Its Image

5wpr apple

Recently it was announced that Apple may have benefited from certain corporate tax loopholes to avoid paying billions in corporate taxes. While the facts of this case are still in dispute, the headlines are flying fast and furiously. Questions are being asked about the future of the computing and experiential technology giant, and dire predictions are being tossed around. But Apple has been remarkably silent, choosing not to respond to the cacophony of criticism.

And this PR approach seems to be working. CEO of top PR agency, 5WPR, Ronn Torossian explains why.

#1 – Apple is focused elsewhere

Customer experience and continuing to establish and expand the Apple brand have always been Apple’s chief focuses. By remaining silent amidst these accusations, Apple reinforces two images. One, that they firmly believe they have done nothing out of order. And, two, that they are going to spend their time continuing to deliver a customer experience their fans have come to expect. Top PR agencies, such as 5WPR, know the effectiveness of shifting the focus away from negative media.

#2 – Customers care more about experience

This approach works because the majority of Apple’s customers do not mind if Apple has good tax attorneys. They just want the latest and greatest products and the best apps to use on them. Although it’s a PR agency’s job to refuse situations such as this, it helps when the company has build a solid foundation with their brand.This is not to say that Apple’s consumer base is not concerned about corporate tax law, but that they simply care more about having great consumer experience using Apple products. This is evident in two prior issues with the iPhone and Macbook Air. Consumers responded immediately, compelling almost instant reactions from Apple. The response to these accusations has been decidedly more tepid.

#3 – No one really enjoys paying taxes

This is not really a public relations point, and 5WPR is a PR agency who very carefully follows the tax laws to a “T,” both quarterly and annually, but most of us are thinking it, so it needed to be said. If this corporation continues to do good things for its consumers – particularly after the announcement that Apple will be bringing more jobs back into the United States – most people will look the other way until egregious violations have been effectively proven.

#4 – The responsible parties are already engaged

From Apple’s perspective this is an issue for their attorneys and PR agency. And their consumers seem to be comfortable with this arrangement. And why not, no wrongdoing has been proven, and Apple makes a very poor corporate boogieman. After all, this is a company that has a definitive and beneficial impact on the vast majority of US households … most of whom just want to know what Apple gurus will think of next.

As long as these four factors remain true, and any potential wrongdoing remains nebulous, Apple’s silence on this issue will not hurt them. This only goes to prove that, sometimes, the best public relations response is to say nothing until the time is right.

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3 Reasons PR Firms Use Youtube to Build Brands

When building a reputation online, image is paramount. Your image is your brand. It’s what people understand you to be and how they talk about you to their family and friends. This is why social media has such incredible public relations potential and why YouTube, in particular, offers a tuned-in PR firm their best shot at getting their clients entrenched online. Here are 3 ways PR Firms like 5WPR use Youtube to build their clients brands.

1. New product releases

Releasing a new product on YouTube can be a huge bump for a company trying to establish itself in the market. Look at the success the GoPro brand had with their YouTube marketing program. To date there 10,700,000 company and user-generated YouTube videos related to GoPro on YouTube alone. One of the latest releases, less than a month old, already has more than 1.2 million views. As a company, GoPro chose YouTube for its public relations push largely because it is a video-based product. But the success of the program is based not on product but on content. If the GoPro content was less dynamic, the campaign may have failed. If they had made a few “review” videos and never showed people how their product could change their lives, GoPro may have been a flash in the pan. But instead, they struck a nerve, delighted millions of users and turned their CEO into a billionaire.

2. How to’s

That’s not to say reviews are unimportant. User reviews, specifically, can be Internet gold. Manufacturers spot and correct potential defects and communicate directly with reviewers. And enlisting an army of excited, enthusiastic users as their review team allows them to reach markets that analytics never could. Some people want an overview. Others want to know how a product performs under very specific circumstances. User reviews have a better chance of covering all the potential scenarios than traditional market testing. Plus, the sort of unbiased endorsement users can offer is a type of targeted public relations that no campaign could ever match.

3. Viral potential

YouTube is the single most dynamic public relations tool available to anyone, anywhere. With some production know-how and an understanding of what engages and motivates viewers, you can turn this free multimedia resource into a public relations goldmine. People say that no one can predict what may go viral on YouTube, and that may be true for amateur videographers making movies for fun. But it is the responsibility of a professional PR agency to understand how to make content that pops, that is sticky and dynamic. For example, this video which went viral, was actually staged for a Gillete PR campaign. This is why it’s important to create the sort of content that will push buttons and get people clicking.

Embracing all available tools and platforms is vital for a PR campaign to succeed.

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Public Relations Firm Counsels Caution in Crisis

ronn torossian update blog

When you live your life in the public eye, chances are sooner or later you will find yourself dealing with an uncomfortable situation. Mistakes may have been made or, perhaps, you or your company may have been accused of errors. At that moment, the facts of the case matter much less than your reaction to the situation.

While it is understandable to vigorously defend oneself in the face of negative PR, 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian suggests a careful and considered response. Sure, when something potentially negative happens, most strong people wish to address it as soon as possible. That is an understandable response, and it can be the right one. As long as that response is measured, planned and controlled. Let’s look at some scenarios.

#1 – You make a mistake

We’re all human, but there is some truth to the idea that the only thing some people love more than a success story is a fall from grace. Think of that mistake as an unexploded bomb. It may feel like you are already getting shelled, but if you immediately fire back, chances are that mistake you’re holding will really explode. Instead, your response must be cautious, careful and tactful. A difficult proposition in a highly emotional situation. But it is possible when you have the right representation.

#2 – You get accused of a mistake

You did nothing wrong but now at least some people are convinced of your guilt. It’s humiliating, frustrating and can leave you angry – with nowhere to direct that justifiable anger. Here’s the problem, if you decide to respond while angry, no matter how justified, you may make matters worse. While it is true that many people like to think the worst, many will believe the truth if presented properly. It is not enough just to tell the truth, it must be packaged in a way people want to hear it.

#3 – Your employee makes a mistake

Depending on the severity of the offense, it may be tempting to fire them and just move on. But doing so can leave far too many questions unanswered. In 2012, a major media network was accused of doctoring a recording to implicate a potentially innocent man of a crime. It worked. The producers were subsequently fired and the network moved on as if all was right with the world. Then, months later, another mistake was made. Guess what the first thing that came up was? Yep. That “old” news was suddenly breaking news again. Instead of dealing with the current mistake the network was dealing with accusations of institutional corruption. They could not deal with the actual issue because an unresolved issue was in the way.

In all of these instances, your first response may be defensive. That’s understandable. But you must squash that reflex and think about the response to your response. Your first call should be to a public relations firm. Agencies like 5WPR handle crisis PR on a regular basis, and we know exactly how to address these situations.

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All Press Is Good Press Is Indeed A Myth

With well-known PR phrases like these, you may be tempted to believe they are true.  But as 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian knows, this “All press is good press” idea is one of the biggest myths in the public relations industry. Reputation is everything, in any business. Bad press can have significant negative ramifications.

Adoring fans and interested spectators will tune into the red carpet pre-show on awards night just to see what celebrities are wearing. And the day-after coverage will not only cover who won which awards, but who looked the best and, more importantly, the worst. The best dressed will have their careers discussed and other positive accolades. The worst dressed will have their horrific fashion fail dissected in embarrassing detail.

A fashion fail during a highly publicized event can completely derail a promising narrative. On a night when they were hoping to elicit positive TV commentary, tweets and glowing press coverage, an unsuspected celeb may just end up as fodder for TMZ.

Ronn Torossian of 5WPR further explains that this doesn’t just apply to public events either. Being in the public eye means that somebody is always watching. It may not be fair, but it is the price of fame.  The paparazzi know that they can just as easily sell a candid picture of a disheveled, frumpy celebrity as they can a red carpet glamour shot.

While some celebrity fashion flops are simply a matter of poor taste or ill-fitting garments, some celebrities will take a fashion risk and wear something wacky, risky, or flat out risque just to generate some attention. This kind of flash in the pan publicity can do more harm than good, causing that celebrity to lose credibility and respect in the public eye. Cheap gimmicks and “wardrobe malfunctions” rarely pan out as intended.

Look at it this way, that fashion faux pas may have made front page news, but it may have also replaced a potentially priceless fashion PR opportunity. 5WPR knows that when so much about celebrity is public image, that image needs to send the right message at all times.

A bad fashion incident, either accidental or “accidental,” could burn up precious time in the spotlight.  Worse, it can follow you for years. Look back at the BEST and WORST dressed lists of fashion mags and post gala reports. There’s a reason why the same names seem to grace both lists each year. Think about it.

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Harnessing Technology for Workplace Productivity

 

There seems to be an ongoing debate when it comes to technological advancements as far as the latest digital devices and software and workplace productivity. While some harness these developments such as project management software like Asana or Basecamp, others are slow to adopt these new advancements.

Although, the answer isn’t always black and white, as an entrepreneur who has developed one of New York’s top PR agencies from the ground up, I’m always on the lookout for new technology, whether it be a device or piece of software that can help improve efficiency and productivity across my company.

Over the years I’ve seen the PR industry go from Bacon’s to Cision and faxes to smartphone emails. The fact of the matter is that the technology industry as a whole is ever-evolving and will continue to be day-by-day, week-by-week and year-by-year. CEOs, senior leadership and business owners should embrace the fact that these new capabilities are springing up at such a rapid pace.

Now, am I saying that folks should use and experiment with every new piece of technology or software that is released and find a way to integrate it into their business, no. Use a practical and strategic approach when it comes to doing so. Perhaps you’re looking for new CRM software that will help your sales team or a specific tool that will help streamline social media efforts. Do the research and implement these changes into your everyday efforts to ensure that they will help your day-to-day processes while also keeping the big picture in mind.

5W Public Relations has seen quite the change in the tech world over the last 10 years since our inception in 2003 and we’re looking forward to what the next 10 brings.

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The Value in Social Media for CEOs and Business Owners

Today, many CEOs believe that social media is merely a fad and a byproduct of a new generation. A recent study released by Domo shows a wide margin in the way young and old CEOs approach social media and its strategies.

According to the survey’s findings, younger CEOs (those under 50) value social media more so than their older counterparts. While there are numerous social media platforms out there, when it came to the major players such as Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, blogs, YouTube and Flipboard, younger CEO’s ranked these almost twice as valuable as their elder counterparts.

As a CEO of a PR firm who sits in the young demographic and uses each of the above listed social media platforms, I can say whole-heartedly that social media and digital media in general isn’t just a fad and can add a wealth of benefits and value to any business if used correctly.

Granted, as a CEO there are competing priorities and time spent on something like a new business proposal can’t compare to time spent on Twitter. However, social media is a place where important conversations are taking place. It’s in these communities where real business benefits can be realized while utilizing the relationship-building capabilities that exist within each specific platform and network.

Take a look at some of the Domo findings below. Out of the hundreds of social media platforms available, which do you find most valuable as a business owner?

Social media infographic

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Stop attacking the PR Industry

 

For some reason, the Public Relations industry always seems to get a bum rap… and the latest is in the UK where headlines blare that “16 Labour MPs used taxpayers’ cash to hire a PR firm run by two ex-party workers..” 

Read the full article at: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4845459/Labour-spends-taxpayers-money-PR-firm-ex-party-members.html

While it’s true that £151,474 was spent in the last three years, it’s necessary for politicians to have PR firms – and who better than a former political secretary for the Prime Minister?

Why is it a surprise that a pro is communicating for politicians? And if they didn’t have relationships I am sure they wouldn’t be able to do the job the right way.  It’s time for the media to stop attacking the hard working people of the PR industry. 

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The Right Approach to Crossover PR

You’ve probably noticed, but it seems like no sooner has a celebrity attained a certain level of fame – call it “the One Name Club” – then they decide to branch out into new markets. Some musicians try their hand at acting. Actors cut a record. And superstars from both camps often crossover into the beauty marketplace. Any of these endeavors, given the right product, placement and marketing plan, can be a resounding success. At least as long as the superstar’s PR approach gets one thing right.

Understanding the nuances of specific PR applications.

Not all PR is created equal. While there is certainly some overlap in the respective beauty PR and entertainment PR business models, these approaches are not interchangeable. To make a success foray into a completely new market, you need one of two things, preferably both – high level name recognition and a PR team that understands the do’s and don’ts of, for sake of this example, both beauty PR and entertainment PR.

Of course, the dynamic works the other way as well. If a beauty PR firm has a client, say a spokesperson, product “face” or model, interested in crossing over into music, movies or television, the transition needs to be handled by a PR agency with a strong performance record in the entertainment business. Ronn Torossian covered some ‘Do’s and Don’ts for celebrities in this article 5WPR’s Ronn Torossian What’s No-No” for Awards Season regarding cosmetics and make-up.

One of the most common examples of this cross-market transition is the musician who lends his or her face to a new fragrance release. Cosmetic companies understand that name recognition is key to their success, hence the endorsement deal that borrows the name star power of a known brand in return for both monetary and intangible benefits to the star. Handled well, this expansion can work well for both companies. If either the beauty PR firm or the entertainment firm fumbles…both lose.

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