|Ronn D. Torossian|
August 25, 1974 |
Brooklyn, New York
|Employer||5W Public Relations|
|Known for||Founder of 5W Public Relations|
|Title||Chief Executive Officer|
Ronn D. Torossian is an American public relations executive, author, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of New York City-based 5W Public Relations (5WPR), which as of 2013 was the 24th-largest PR firm in the United States with over $16 Million in Revenues.
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 conservative 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 founded 5WPR in 2003. The company was ranked the 24th-largest public relations firm by net fees in the US in 2013. Among its clients are corporations such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola, real estate mogul Elie Hirschfeld, and celebrities including Lil' Kim, Ice Cube, and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Torossian and 5WPR have done work internationally for political parties and politicians. His agency has worked in Israel, with current and former clients such as the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Tourism Ministry of Israel, the Likud Party, and Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat, as well as two Israeli Prime Ministers—Ehud Olmert and Benyamin Netanyahu. Torossian has coached Israeli government officials to prepare them for media appearances.
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.
Activities and commentary by the press
A New York Times profile called Torossian "brash and aggressively outspoken", "the consummate scrappy publicist", and "one of the New Yorkiest practitioners of this quintessentially New York profession". Referred to as a publicity guru with determination, Businessweek stated "Torossian has anointed himself the brash new face of PR ... loud, crass, buzz-obsessed ... echoes the raw, unvarnished discourse of the blogosphere." Calling him "The Bad Boy of Buzz", BusinessWeek wrote that "even in an industry fueled by hype, Torossian stands out," and that "few seem better equipped to navigate a celebrity-obsessed culture."
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," although one client has complained that "I saw more press releases on him than any work for my firm." New York Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove said "Ronn is somebody who gets it." 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 Israeli politics. The New York Times said he has a reputation as "an aggressive publicist prone to sending off vitriolic e-mails."
Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan wrote that the site covered Torossian and the firm even though they were “far from the biggest players in the PR industry”, because “[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.”
In 2009, The Jerusalem Post wrote a profile of Torossian which described his career as a "meteoric rise in the business world today". Spencer 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."
Torossian's book, For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations (ISBN 978-1-936661-16-9), was published in November 2011. He has contributed to Newsmax, and "Arutz Sheva", an Israeli nationalist publication. He writes a regular column in FrontPage Mag, an online magazine of the right-wing Freedom Center.
Achievements and recognition
- 2006 – Advertising Age "40 under 40"
- 2007 – PR Week "40 under 40"
- 2010 – Semi-finalist, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year
- 2013 – PR Communications or PR Executive of the Year, American Business Awards – Torossian was honored with a Silver Stevie Award on June 17, 2013 
- Kurutz, Steven (February 20, 2005). "Brash P.R. Guy Grabs Clients, Ink". The City (The New York Times). Retrieved September 5, 2008.
- "Top PR Firm Rankings". O'Dwyer's Public Relations News. October 22, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "5W PR Continues Growth Pattern". Everything-pr.com. January 13, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- 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.
- "Public Relations Firms Rankings – 2010 Worldwide Fees of Independent Firms With Major U.S. Operations". J.R. O'Dwyer Company. March 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Brady, Diane (November 12, 2007). "The Bad Boy of Buzz and His PR Problem". Businessweek.
- Gergorian, Dareh (January 23, 2013). "Abe Hirschfeld’s daughter claims her brother swindled $300 million from the late parking lot baron's estate: court papers". NY Daily News. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "Bubble Trouble: Jay-Z's Cristal War". Fox News. August 31, 2006. Archived from the original on October 23, 2006.
- Blum, Ruthie (August 5, 2009). "One on One: 'It's all about shaping a story'". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Ain, Stewart (January 13, 2006). "Confident Of A Comeback". thejewishweek.com. The Jewish Week. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
- McKenna, Ted (December 14, 2006). "Israel branding effort aims to humanize nation's image". prweekus.com. PRWeek US (subscription required). Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- 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.
- Nolan, Hamilton. "Famous Publicists: Self-promoting publicists and clients who love them". PR Week. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (October 27, 2008). "The Jewish Extremists Behind "Obsession"". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh (December 29, 2011). "Rabbi Pinto’s Followers Blame Aide for Missing Millions". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Wheaton, Ken (March 10, 2008). "Ronn Torossian: No Poster Child for PR Industry". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, And Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations". openisbn.com. OPENISBN Project. 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- "Ronn Torossian – America's Business". Newsmax.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR – Op-Eds". Israel National News. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "40 under 40". PR Week. December 3, 2007.
- "Ronn Torossian Named 5W Public Relations CEO selected as semi-finalist for Ernst and Young". Eturbonews.com. April 27, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Awards Category Stevie Award Winners". Stevie Awards. American Business Awards. Retrieved June 20, 2013.