|Ronn D. Torossian|
August 25, 1974 |
Brooklyn, New York
|Alma mater||SUNY Albany|
|Employer||5W Public Relations|
|Known for||Public relations|
|Title||Chief Executive Officer|
|Spouse(s)||Zhanna Osna (m. 2003)|
His public relations firm, 5WPR, in 2014 had revenues of about $19 million. As a public relations executive, Torossian is known for his aggressive tactics, which have won him both praise and criticism.
Torossian was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in The Bronx and attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City. While at SUNY Albany, Torossian became national president of the North American branch of Betar, the international Zionist youth movement associated with Israel's Likud party. After college he moved to Israel, and co-founded with fellow Betar members and current members of Knesset Danny Danon and Yoel Hasson an organization called "Yerushalayim Shelanu" (Our Jerusalem), which promoted Jewish settlement in Eastern Jerusalem. He returned to the US after a year and a half.
Torossian began his career in public relations in 1998, working with then New York City Council speaker Peter Vallone, Sr. during Vallone's trip to Israel. He also worked for the Likud Party in Israel.
Torossian's political work has included various interests in the former Yugoslavia, including Serbian President Boris Tadić and the Albanian American Civic League, in Lebanon and elsewhere. He has worked in the former Soviet Union, including representation of Maira Nazarbayev, the wife of Bolat Nazarbayev (brother of Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev), Vitaly Klitschko during his candidacy for Mayor of Kiev, Ukraine and representation of Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in Ukraine.
Torossian's public relations agency, 5WPR, grew from two employees in 2003 to over 100 in 2014, with The New York Observer ranking it the 35th "most powerful" PR company in New York City. Initially known for representing celebrities such as Ice Cube, Lil' Kim, Sean Combs, Snoop Dogg, and Pamela Anderson, the company's client base has broadened to include major firms such as Anheuser Busch, Barnes & Noble, Coca-Cola, Evian, McDonalds and Microsoft; religious personalities such as Benny Hinn and John Hagee; and organizations such as the American Bible Society, the Likud Party of Israel, Regent University, and the Trinity Broadcasting Network. 5WPR has also represented such well known brands as Girls Gone Wild, Gray Line Bus Tours, Gummi Bears, and LifeStyles Condoms.
Torossian's aggressive PR tactics have won him both praise and criticism. Business Week called him "loud, crass, buzz-obsessed... The Bad Boy of Buzz." Atlantic Monthly writer Jeffrey Goldberg called him "the most disreputable flack in New York", particularly criticizing his representation of what Goldberg called the "lunatic fringe" of right-wing Israeli politics. Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan wrote that Torossian "embodies the public’s worst ideas about what a PR person is: loud, brash, more flash than substance, dirty, manipulative, amoral, and, in the end, not particularly bright."
On the other hand, clients have cited his "unlimited energy" and his unique approach to public relations as reasons for hiring him. Jameel Spencer, former CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment-affiliated Blue Flame Marketing and Advertising, called Torossian "one of my most trusted business counsels," A The Jerusalem Post profile of him cited his "meteoric rise in the business world today". Another client compared Torossian to former basketball player Dennis Rodman, whom "Everyone hated to play against. But if he was on your team, you loved him". A Forward story said, "His aggressive style may not always be pretty, but the results speak for themselves."
Some commentators see Torossian's style as a sign of the times. He is "one of the New Yorkiest practitioners of this quintessentially New York profession... the consummate scrappy publicist"", wrote the New York Times. Businessweek wrote, "Torossian has anointed himself the brash new face of PR ... echoes the raw, unvarnished discourse of the blogosphere... Few seem better equipped to navigate a celebrity-obsessed culture."
- Torossian, Ronn (February 23, 2015). "Nonprofit Tax Sparks Outrage [author information]". The Ronn Torossian Foundation. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
- Kurutz, Steven (February 20, 2005). "Brash P.R. Guy Grabs Clients, Ink". The City (The New York Times). Retrieved September 5, 2008.
- "Worldwide Fees of Top PR Firms With Major U.S. Operations (Updated March 2015)". J.R. O'Dwyer Company. March 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- Popper, Nathaniel (April 2, 2004). "Publicist scores with rappers, right-wing politicians". The Forward.
- "World Zionist youth movement – Home". Betar. September 23, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Popper, Nathaniel (August 28, 2009). "Birthright Scored for Picking P.R. Firm Tied To Scandal, Hard Right Politics". Forward. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- "Special Report – 40 under 40: Ronn Torossian". Adage.com. Advertising Age. August 7, 2006. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Herskovits, Beth (March 10, 2005). "Lebanese organization challenging Syrian occupation taps 5WPR for strategic counsel". PRWeek US (subscription required). Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "Info – US lobbyists work for both sides". B92. October 26, 2006. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Fenton, Reuven (July 10, 2001). "$20M apt. 'thief': I’m still happily married to Kazakh accuser". New York Post. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "5W Public Relations". Holmes Report. October 1, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "Business Books Top Five US". Shanghai Daily. June 12, 2012.
- Hamilton Nolan (November 15, 2011). "Incompetent PR man writes incompetent PR book". Gawker. Retrieved 30 Sep 2014.
- "40 under 40". PR Week. December 3, 2007.
- Kaminer, Michael (November 19, 2014). "The Power 50 List". The New York Observer.
- Jim Edwards (12 January 2012). "What It's Like To Work Inside New York's Most Aggressive PR Spin Machine". Business Insider.
- Brady, Diane (November 11, 2007). "The Bad Boy of Buzz and His PR Problem". Businessweek.
- "5W Public Relations: Agency Business Report 2012". PRWeek US. August 28, 2012.[dead link]
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (October 27, 2008). "The Jewish Extremists Behind "Obsession"". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
- Wheaton, Ken (March 10, 2008). "Ronn Torossian: No Poster Child for PR Industry". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- Nolan, Hamilton. "Famous Publicists: Self-promoting publicists and clients who love them". PR Week. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- Blum, Ruthie (August 5, 2009). "One on One: 'It's all about shaping a story'". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Garvey, Marianne (August 16, 2003). "Bride and gloom - powerless city leaves couple at altar". New York Post.
- Rogers, Teri Karush (January 8, 2009). "Goodbye, Suburbs". The New York Times.