Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded 5WPR.
Ronn Torossian: I am the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. I am a public relations professional with over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives.
Since founding 5WPR in 2003, I have led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer, and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader. It has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions.
I have worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands, and organizations throughout my career. My strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards, including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.
I have lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appear regularly on CNN & CNBC, am a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and have authored two editions of my book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Ronn Torossian: I make it a point to start my mornings by reading the news, and I’m continuously checking throughout the day. When working with media, there is no excuse not to be up to date with current events that can be affecting your business, clients, or contacts. I also try to end my days by reading. There are a handful of books I would encourage any business professional or entrepreneur to read, as they have greatly influenced my outlook on life and business.
I meditate regularly, which helps me keep focus. Prayer matters, and so does know when to turn off the noise.
I believe being successful isn’t about one huge thing; it’s about a lot of little things.
How does 5WPR market its product/services online?
Ronn Torossian: We execute incredible work on behalf of our clients, and we don’t shy away from sharing that. Daily we update our website and social media platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram with our recent work and news regarding our services. There is nothing worse than a potential client looking for your services and seeing outdated and irrelevant information. Additionally, we’ve always believed the best marketing is word-of-mouth referrals. We never shy away from asking a client to leave us a review or share a testimonial for us to promote online.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Ronn Torossian: We keep our online marketing in-house, which I pride ourselves on. I’ve always possessed a deep understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) as the most powerful tool to improve our online visibility. We’ve created an in-house team and process that consistently keeps us the top resource when potential new clients are looking for PR support.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Ronn Torossian: We have a hiring team that possesses an incredible eye for talent and recruiting employees whose skills and personalities mesh well with our agency. I’ve always said we hire good people, which has been the key to retaining employees. I’m also proud to say we have a handful of boomerang employees, meaning we’ve had employees who wanted to see what other agencies can offer them and decided 5W offered them the best employee experience for any given reason.
How are you funding your growth?
Ronn Torossian: We make smart choices with our growth. We know where we need to invest money and where we’ll see a return on our investment – whether that be a new office space or building a team in a new city. We have grown organically since day one.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ronn Torossian: I like to say we are our own biggest competitor. How can we grow? How can we beat our success from the previous year? For years, we’ve been successful and ranked among the best in the industry. Now we focus on outperforming ourselves, and that is how we plan to stay among the best for years to come.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Ronn Torossian: There are so many different success stories. I am proudest to help companies to grow. We have a brand for whom we serve as a consumer PR agency-of-record who hired us 10 years ago—they were a $100-million-dollar business that paid us about $100k annually. Today, they are a billion-dollar business and pay us more than a million dollars annually. We love growing with our clients.
Ronn Torossian: A NYC native, I live in Manhattan with my two daughters. I am also a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and active in numerous charities. I was also named to Crain’s 2021 Notable in Marketing and PR List.