News and PR Insights from 5W Public Relations CEO Ronn Torossian

Tag: Media Relations

Starbucks Offers Double Shot of Holiday Cups

starbucks pr

Remember “Cupgate” a few years ago? When Starbucks tried to go minimalist on their traditional holiday-themed cups, some people were fighting mad. Then there was last year’s cups, which invited customers to draw on them in order to “to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity…” Once again, fury erupted in some quarters, leaving Starbucks to defend their aesthetic choices. While that upset passed quickly each time, leaving a general feeling of silliness about the whole episode, Starbucks has clearly not forgotten.

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Coffee Competition is Heating Up

Move over Cola Wars, this is the decade of the Coffee Wars. Starbucks is the clear leader, with brand saturation coast to coast, but the former “Dunkin Donuts” brand is retooled and ready for battle.

Slowly, over the past few years, Dunkin’ has been increasing its breakfast menu of quick to-go items and expanding its coffee and beverage offerings, both in the stores and on grocery shelves. There were rumors that the brand might be setting itself up to go toe-to-toe with Starbucks, but, until now, that was mostly speculation.

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Mattel Responds to Criticism Over Diversity Toys

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If you’re going to be in the public square, you learn quickly that not every criticism is going to be fair, legitimate, or sensible. Most folks say they understand that, but when they’re confronted with something entirely ridiculous but presented with credulity, they freeze up, unsure how to respond. Toy brand Mattel recently found itself in that position after a pundit ridiculed the “Thomas & Friends” TV program by placing KKK hoods on the eponymous trains.

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Apple’s Makes Pitch For The Four-Figure Smartphone

“It’s essentially a computer you carry around in your pocket” is the way countless people have described the smartphone over the years. Now, Apple is testing that cliché, and asking consumers to put their money where their mouth is. The age of the four-figure smartphone price is here, and, once again, Apple is leading the charge both in hardware and messaging.

As smartphones became both more complex and more ubiquitous, most people thought it was inevitable that, at some point, they would eclipse some laptops in price. But, with the recent reveal in Cupertino, CA, Apple released not one but two different iPhone X models that will cost you more than a grand to take home. Sure, the original iPhone X was $1,000, but that was positioned as a premium model, the top of the line, rather than the average cost of the newest model.

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Usain Bolt: Now the fastest man in space, as on Earth

usain bolt public relations

It’s one small sip for man, one giant leap for mankind.

The former Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who now plays for Australian A-League football team Central Coast Mariners, has entered new heights as part of a campaign by French firm Mumm’s Grand Cordon Stellar to showcase a new Champagne bottle- developed specially for use in zero gravity.

On board an Airbus Zero-G aircraft, the usually grounded star floated in zero gravity as he sampled the goods: namely, a specially-designed clear glass bottle that uses pressure within the bottle to expel champagne into a ring-shaped frame. In zero gravity, the effect looks like a droplet of bubbles, that can then be gathered into a custom-made glass.

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Papa John’s Treading Water in Crisis

papa johns

When Papa John Schnatter was ousted by the successful pizza company he founded, it may not have been an existential PR crisis, but it was certainly a walk through a proverbial minefield for the board deciding the company’s immediate future.

First, Schnatter was on everything. He was, literally, the face of Papa John’s and at the center of nearly all marketing and advertising. And, then, he was not. Schnatter was gone, persona non-grata at the office and in the commercials. As he continued to proclaim his innocence, Schnatter, by default, kept the company in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

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Indecision Over Meyer’s Fate Clouds NCAA Season

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Kickoff of the NCAA football season is right around the corner, and one of the nation’s premier programs will be without its celebrated head coach for most of the first month of the season. Ohio State University Coach Urban Meyer continues to defend his honor even as his suspension remains in place.

The Meyer situation continues to exert significant public relations pressure on both Ohio State and the NCAA at large. Over the past few seasons, college football has benefitted from a largely scandal-free existence, even as pro football has been a hotbed of controversy. Many jilted NFL fans have given up that game and focused entirely on college ball. Now, as they look out at the impending season, they see yet another scandal and, worse, yet another group of leaders that seems undecided on exactly how to handle it.

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Lohan Walking Back her ‘MeToo’ Critique


Years ago, actress Lindsay Lohan watched her brand peak, as she was on the fast track to becoming America’s sweetheart. Then, a series of decisions to shift her brand backfired, and Lohan ended up being more of a tabloid target than a Hollywood draw.

Recently, though, the actress chose to re-enter the public conversation. She spoke her mind in an interview with The Times, and the backlash was almost immediate. Lohan’s comments centered on her thoughts related to the MeToo movement, about which she said she was “very supportive” of women, but “can’t go along with the ‘attention seekers’ or trial by social media…”

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Why Do We Care So Much About the #SummerOfBreakups?

summer of breakup

Back in 2015, a new hashtag jumped onto the Twitter scene, pushing people to question everything they thought they knew about love and romance. The #SummerOfBreakups hashtag was the beacon for every celebrity breakup that took place that year. Importantly, the breakups didn’t just happen throughout summer either, the hashtag continued to trend well into Autumn too.

While obsession over celebrity love lives isn’t anything new for the modern world, the rise of social media has drawn extra attention to just how much time people spend thinking about the relationships of their famous idols. Psychologists and other people in the media have been left to wonder why people care so much about things like the #SummerOfBreakups. Now that summer is here again, we thought it was time to find out.

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WWE Takes Big Step in Evolution

wrestling public relations

You would be hard pressed to find another more testosterone-drenched entertainment niche than pro wrestling. Buff superheroes have been bashing, slamming and vanquishing evil “heels” for generations as fans ate up the show, with its mix of acrobatic spectacle, soap opera theatrics, and carefully-scripted good versus evil morality tale.

For most of those storied decades, the women of pro wrestling were sideshows: props reduced to peripheral antagonists or eye candy. Even in-ring performers were used more for the spectacle than the athletic prowess. It was not said, but it seemed self-evident, that the industry did not feel women brought the same booking power as the men. That may still be true, but it’s much less true than it once was, and many believe there’s never been a better time to be a woman in pro wrestling.

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