|Ronn D. Torossian|
August 25, 1974 |
Brooklyn, New York City
|Alma mater||SUNY Albany|
|Employer||5W Public Relations|
|Known for||Public relations|
|Title||Chief executive officer|
5WPR had revenues of about $21 million in 2015. As a public relations executive, Torossian built his firm's brand through aggressive media tactics, which have, at times, enmeshed him in controversy.
Torossian was born in Brooklyn, New York, 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. In 1994, Torossian and Rabbi Avi Weiss publicly protested against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Price to Yassar Arafat, and were detained and released. After college, he moved to Israel, and co-founded with fellow Betar members who also became Israeli politicians, Danny Danon and Yoel Hasson, an organization called "Yerushalayim Shelanu" (Our Jerusalem), which promoted Israeli settlement in Eastern Jerusalem.
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.
He worked at two firms, including The MWW Group, before launching his own firm. In 2002, Torossian opened 5W Public Relations. The New York Times called him "brash and aggressively outspoken."
Torossian's public relations agency, 5WPR, was ranked in 2014 by The New York Observer as the number 35 PR company in New York City. In 2016, the public relations reporting organization J. R. O'Dwyer Company ranked 5W Public Relations at number 18, with revenues at $21.5 million. 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, McDonald's 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 Sparkling Ice, 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.
- O'Dwyer, Jack (March 1, 2016). "Worldwide Fees of Top PR Firms With Major U.S. Operations". O'Dwyer Company, Inc. ODwyerPR.
- Ciarallo, Joe (October 20, 2009). "ABC News Reporter on Being Interrupted By Publicist: "That Frequency and Aggression of Interruption I Have Not Seen Personally Before'". Ad Week. PRNewser.
- Editor (August 22, 2015). "Apology". Jerusalem Post.
- 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.
- Holmes, Paul (December 22, 2002). "MWW, KCSA Vet Torossian Launches New Firm". Holmes Report.
- "Business Books Top Five US". Shanghai Daily. June 12, 2012.
- Shenkman, Peter (2013). Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management Is Over—and Collaboration Is In (First ed.). Macmillan. ISBN 1137333502.
- Torossian, Ronn (2011). For Immediate Release Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations. New York: BenBella Books, Inc. ISBN 9781936661275.
- "40 under 40". PR Week. December 3, 2007.
- Lima, Deobora (24 Nov 2016). "JetSmarter boosts annual membership fee for fourth time". South Florida Business Journal. American City Business Journals.
- "Company Overview of JetSmarter Inc.". Bloomberg Company Overview. Bloomberg LP. 24 Feb 2017.
- Kaminer, Michael (November 19, 2014). "The Power 50 List". The New York Observer.
- Edwards, Jim (January 12, 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 Our Story" (PDF). 5W Public Relations. 5WPR.com.
- "5W Public Relations: Agency Business Report 2012". PRWeek US. August 28, 2012. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014.
- PR Newswire. March 31, 2014 Press release: Ronn Torossian-Led 5W Public Relations Launches Israel Practice
- Michael Bush for PR Week. February 18, 2007 Defiant Torossian takes pride in pushing buttons
- 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.