5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian News & Updates

What’s New, Pussy Cat?

Remember this 1965 movie? It received mixed reviews when it debuted, in part because it focused on male sex addiction and was considered tasteless by some critics. Yet, the movie received an Academy Award nomination for best song and still another nomination for best-written screen comedy from the Writers Guild of America.

Business and marketing have been accused by some critics as being unethical in exaggerating claims to encourage people to buy products they don’t need. Instances like this are what led to the formation of organizations like the Ethical Corporation, a group formed to promote discussion about purpose-driven business.

What Does All This Have To Do With My Company?

Today’s businesses and marketing environment are going through tremendous changes that, like yin and yang, have good and potentially negative sides.  Being aware, alert and prepared for both can potentially save a lot of problems in the future.

Today’s fast-changing environment, especially in social media, has produced nearly instant incidents of false stories and “live” coverage of incidents we would have never been exposed to 10 or 20 years ago. Socialized blockchain (distributed but not copies information), which can instantly engage a community or your customers do well in empowering participants but can also ignite ill will as well. To minimize problems, establish protocols and standards as to what is permissible and who is authorized to lead this effort. The plus side of the blockchain is that it is transparent, so leverage that.

Influencers, including celebrities and everyday folk with thousands of followers, promote and market a variety of products every day on social media. What happens to their brand if a celebrity is accused of an egregious crime or a super embarrassing faux pas?  How quickly can the sponsor respond? Have a plan in place…just in case.

Podcasts have gained major popularity. Some companies even produce their own podcasts to engage customers. Offering free tips and advice are popular while also inviting questions. Done well, it’s a low-budget way to leverage an alternate platform while absorbing customers with a soft sales approach.

But what are the consequences of a company executive appearing on a podcast and then inadvertently slandering a competitor’s brand?  Since the podcaster may not likely have insurance, it makes your company an even larger target of a lawsuit. Worse yet, what was said and was allegedly slanderous, was also recorded. Ensure that your spokespersons are properly trained and know their boundaries.

Generation Z and their successors, Generation Alpha, are more active and more vocal than their predecessors.  And while they’re not yet adults, they do have a lot more influence today than kids of similar ages in the past century. Again, this is due in large part to social media. Consider the message and impact that students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have had on our nation. Don’t dismiss these generations.

Be prepared to refocus your storyline if your company sells a product that’s controversial. Rather than avoid the critics, consider messages that address the criticism in a positive manner.

Embrace these changes. Leverage them and don’t avoid progress or it will pass you along with your competition.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations


Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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