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Tag Archives: Ronn Torossian

FedEx Delivering Cheer This Season

When it comes to delivering cheer this holiday season, FedEx may have the inside track. According to reports, the company expects to ship out 290 million packages, 9% more than this time last year. What’s the uptick all about? Well, fuel is getting cheaper and e-commerce is increasingly more prevalent…but Ronn Torossian says FedEx might have a different motivation.

When it comes to PR there is rarely ever only one person or group you are trying to please. And that’s the case here as well. Sure, all of FedEx’s customers are going to be excited to see the truck pull up this month, but you know who’s even more excited? Stockholders. Already this year FDX has jumped 25%. And the future looks even brighter.

Online spending on Cyber Monday was up 17% over last year. People have a bit more to spend, and they are doing it more and more online.

That increase in online spending means more opportunity for shipping companies such as FedEx. This is a prime opportunity for a massive PR push. At every level of its organization, FedEx will have a chance to make a difference, not only in how they do business but, more importantly, in how they are perceived both in the company and in the marketplace.

If the warehouse workers feel the love, they will be faster and more efficient, bettering the company’s relationship with drivers and other transport workers. Then, if the drivers are feeling that holiday spirit, it will show in how they conduct themselves at each step of their job. That might be a tough sell. This time of year, working for any shipping company means long hours and a grueling work environment. Extra packages, extra traffic and tighter shipping deadlines.

But…if the company manages to excel at each level, their customers will have plenty of opportunity to notice. That means FedEx should take every opportunity now to make specific positive impressions during the gift-giving season. Accomplish that and the positive PR will be a gift that continues giving throughout 2015.

Raise more with PR: Why all Startups need a Strong PR Strategy

In 2011 a surprise hit book reached the cyber shelves. Three social scientists no one had ever heard of published The Retirement Maze, which highlighted that retirement basically sucks. 60-year-old retirees are more depressed, have less sex, and don’t relate as well to others as 60-year-old workers.

The information was compelling, the book was flawlessly written, but who were these guys? One of them was the subject of the book. Dr. Rob Pascale was the all-American success story, building a company from zero to the stratosphere over 25 years, and then retiring a multi-millionaire at the age of 51. What could be better?

According to Dr. Pascale, as he sat at a bar drinking a martini with a lot of olives, ‘nobody has it better than me,’ but he was depressed to no end, leading him to spearhead and fund his own research into the social aspects of retirement. The result was The Retirement Maze, the only book of its kind.

A Story Needs Cash to Fuel it

Dr. Pascale’s book has a story, just as Twitter, Facebook, and Cannabis Solutions does, but the story alone will not get your company, book, or band to the top of the charts.

You need a strategy, and that strategy usually comes from a skilled PR team that costs money. This is why Demi Lovato is always coming up with all kinds of weird things about herself, despite being only in her early 20’s. She’ll say that she’s been through so much, and that the reason she sang “Let it go,” for the movie Frozen was because she could relate to the lyrics (as could every toddler, according to the many many YouTube videos of them belting out the song).

The story matters, though, and Ms. Lovato knows that the anecdote – true or not – is what she needs to feed to the DJ so that he can segue from the bit about her into the song so that listeners will be engaged.

How to Raise PR Funds

The source of your funds is the result of your personal holdings and what you are willing to forfeit in control. If you don’t mind sharing control, then you can easily welcome funds from outside sources. This also allows you to reach more people faster.

If you have money and your start-up is less likely to succeed, then you can self-fund the venture. However, most have already poured their capital into the project and need more money. This means you need to appeal to venture capitalists. This includes amateur investors as well as large hedge funds.

In conclusion, your business needs what Dr. Pascale’s book had. A story and cash to get it out there. It’s the reason people donate money to the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, and it’s also why there was a surge inFacebook sign-ups after the “The Social Network” came out.

Without these elements, you won’t get anywhere.

A Last Note: Why Does PR Raise More Funds?

The major reason PR raises more money for your company is that along with getting your message out in a more skilled manner (depth), it also reaches more people (breadth).

The truth is that you don’t really know who will be open to investing in your company. By lacking an effective delivery you will be self-rejecting your idea. On top of this, by reaching out to less people, not more, you are going against the old wisdom that you cannot make a shot you don’t take.

Examples include a liberal author getting interviewed by Bill O’Reilly. While O’Reilly will shred the author and his/her message, there will also be an increase in sales due to increased exposure. The same goes for an entrepreneur reaching out to various types of investors.

Inspirational Quotes on Education Curated by Martin Russo

In order to excel – it’s crucial that you are well educated. Education is not achieved exclusively in a school setting – and it is vital for us to seek out education in our day-to-day life. Attorney Martin Russo has been kind enough to curate a list of quotes on Education that should serve as a motivational force for those looking to take their careers to the next level.

Here are Martin Russo’s favorite quotes on Education:

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
  • “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” John Dewey
  • “Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” B.F. Skinner
  • “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Albert Einstein
  • “One must always seek to continue to learn.”  Eric Vainer
  • “What sculpture is to a block of marble education is to the human soul.” Joseph Addison
  • “It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time — for we are bound by that — but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time.” T.S. Eliot
  • “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” John F. Kennedy
  • “Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought.” Napoleon Hill
  • “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” Robert Frost
  • “Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” Aristotle
  • “An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.” Anatole France
  • “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” Horace Mann
  • “Education is the knowledge of how to use the whole of oneself.” Henry Ward Beecher
  • “Education is that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.” Ambrose Bierce
  • “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” Malcolm Forbes
  • “Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.” Edward Everett
  • “Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.” James A. Garfield
  • “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn
  • “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”  G.K. Chesterton

Generating Buzz for your Medical Spa with Effective Marketing

For a Medical Spa Company or a Medi Spa to gain regional attention, it is crucial for these Spa to engage in an effective Marketing Strategy. Adding medical treatments to your menu of offerings at your traditional spa can easily boost your client roster. Clients looking for something that falls between spa pampering and medically based therapy will love finding both combined in one business.

Just like any other new business, the only way you will reach your target audience is by finding the most effective marketing to generate buzz that motivates potential clients to call and make an appointment. Even more important for you to keep in mind is that the fact that a medical spa or medi-spa, is a popular concept makes it even more important for you to find a strong marketing strategy since others in your area might turn their standard spa into a medi-spa. Prepare to stand out among your competition with the following five marketing strategies.

  • Generate a Solid Client List. This strategy actually features a number of steps to help you generate a list of clients who will visit your medical spa and return again and again. First, identify your target audience. Since most of your services tend to attract the bulk of your prospective clients from the demographic that includes women, ages 25 through 55. Appeal to these prospective clients.
  • Create a Strong Public Relations Campaign. Clearly define your business so the media and your target audience understand exactly what types of services you will offer.
  • Design a Website. Your website gives you the chance to define your business, offering details about your services, physicians, medical spa attendants and the atmosphere in your office. Even better, you can add photographs of your space that will entice clients to contact your business to make an appointment. The design itself is critical, so contact a professional designer to help you visually capture the mood of your business so your clients will have a sense of your business as soon as they open the page. Continually update your website with your contact information, new services and upcoming events and special offers.
  • Increase Your Local Visibility. Offer free services, such as massages, for events such as local 5K races. Hand out stationary, pens, mugs, hats and T-Shirts to advertise your medical spa.
  • Use Social Media. Keep a current Facebook and Twitter page where you post special offers and other news about your medical spa. Make it easy for prospective followers to find you by providing a Facebook or Twitter link on your website.

Winning Matters:  Bill Parcells, Martin Russo & More

Winning really matters – as we all know.  Here are some great quotes on winning:

  • “There is winning and there is misery.” Bill Parcells
  • “You always get a buzz from winning. Winning is… everything.” Tony McCoy
  • “I am only about winning and getting better.” Daley Thompson
  • “Winning is very important to me. I wouldn’t be happy with anything less. And I work towards my goal.” Nafisa Joseph
  • “If winning isn’t important, why do we spend all that money on scoreboards?” Chuck Coonradt
  • “I am not one of those who think that coming in second or third is winning.” Robert Francis Kennedy
  • “Ever notice that people never say “It’s only a game” when they’re winning?” Ivern Ball
  • “Work hard – and make it happen in the win column.” Martin Russo, Attorney
  • “Develop the winning edge; small differences in your performance can lead to large differences in your results.” Brian Tracy
  • “There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” Napoleon Hill
  • “Your ability to be a winner 100 percent of the time is based upon giving up the notion that losing at anything is equivalent to being a loser.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • “Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don’t like to do.” Albert Gray
  • “I felt I had to win. It seemed very important. I didn’t know why it was important and I kept thinking, why do I think this is so important? And another part of me answered, just because it is.” Charles Bukowski
  • “When you’re a winner you’re always happy, but if you’re happy as a loser you’ll always be a loser.” Mark Fidrych
  • “When you win, nothing hurts.” Joe Namath
  • “The most distinguishing feature of winners is their intensity of purpose.” Alymer Letterman
  • “The winner persistently programs his pluses; the loser mournfully magnifies his minuses.” William Arthur Ward
  • “Does anyone out there want to lose?” Jonah Engler
  • “Despite varied opinions on the subject, becoming a winner may be the most important thing a person can do in life and does matter in very big ways.” Jeffrey Spencer
  • “Pursue wins strongly, because when you win the game pays you back for all the hours of hard work, the miles of running and the years of training you’ve invested. You experience the best of sport when you strongly compete for victory.” Roger Lipe
  • “When you win, you matter and when you don’t win, you don’t matter- it is that simple.” Preston Waters
  • “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Vince Lombardi

What is your favorite quote on winning?

3 Financial Mistakes that could Torpedo your Career

The story happens so often that it’s almost cliché: a promising young entrepreneur or urban professional is living the American dream with a great gig, open prospects, and money coming in hand over fist. The ending is also predictable: being so caught up in the ride, they forget to take care of things closest to home, relationships suffer, and finances get overextended.

Some observers would chalk it up to simple lack of focus or temporary distraction. In many cases, the damage gets caught and corrected before any real harm is done. However, in far too many cases the mistakes build until the inertia of the negative spiral is impossible to stop and, in most situations, difficult even to slow. In those cases, the only real solution is to stop completely and refocus on rebuilding one’s financial house. This necessary step might save you personally, however, permanent damage to your future career prospects may never be retrievable.

To be certain, the following three scenarios will tank your future:

Avoiding reality

There is not enough creative accounting in the world to trump basic arithmetic flaws. Just because you don’t address a problem does NOT mean that it does not exist and will disappear eventually. Sound elementary? Lack of attention to red flags in the early stages of money problems is the primary cause of financial ruin. Pretending to know better or be more mature than to fall into this trap is not a solution to this obvious problem.

The shell game

When a particular business effort isn’t making money or continues to fail to support itself, there comes a point where you MUST cut the cord and eliminate that option as a lifeline. Unfortunately, far too many serial entrepreneurs cave into the pressure to play the shell game by allowing a moderately successful enterprise to cover for a lesser performing business. In some small carefully monitored measures, one venture can keep another business afloat while it finds its feet. However, when this shell game is allowed to go for too long, it is not a solution – it is actually a death knell for BOTH enterprises.

Personal quirks

Everyone has a hobby, however, if you want to be a success then you must keep your extracurricular expenses in check. There’s nothing wrong with playing hard until your recreation is exactly the reason your company or your success is being held back. Far too many young professionals try to imbibe upon the pleasures of success prematurely, thus stopping their success in its tracks and artificially retarding their actual potential.

As with anything, there is no guarantee that these words of basic advice will solve your personal financial issues. To be certain, the best way to keep your career on track and immune from these pitfalls is to avoid them altogether.

Getting a PR Internship

If growing up you were dreaming about representing brands, you became a communications student, or you love writing about the media then there are good chances that you were cut out to be a PR professional. However, getting your foot into the door can be many miles away from your dreamland. Competition for PR roles in companies is higher than ever before, so standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly more difficult.  There are some quick tips you should know as you go about getting a PR internship. These tips have worked for many PR interns and you can manifest the same results if you put them to good use.

There is one thing you should have in order before you even start thinking about getting a job in PR: have your recommendations and resume up to date so that they are ready to be sent out immediately. The very last thing you would want is to get a lead for an internship and not be able to take advantage of the opportunity right away. Your resume should highlight your skills and experiences that do not relate to the PR industry, such as organization, time management, event planning, and interpersonal skills. Writing is a huge part of a PR professional’s day-to-day life so make sure to do a ton of proofreading, whether it’s your teaching or another professional you know doing the proofreading.

To start you should make a list of your top firms and start pursuing them right away. If you do not have a goal then how will you know where you are headed? Come up with a list of 10 PR firms you would dream of working at. In addition to narrowing your focus making a list of the top firms you want to visit will also result in you researching them and gaining a better understanding of how they operate. Use any information you can find that will help you land an interview. The majority of PR firms don’t start accepting applications for summer interns until 6 months or more in advance. So it is crucial that you make your list as soon as possible so that you can discover and keep track of application deadlines.

LinkedIn is a great resource for interns, that all young professionals should utilize. Once you have a list of your target firms and you have narrowed your focus, it is time to start networking. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn you should get one. Keep in mind that your friends and family are also part of your network and you should make them aware of your goals as well because you never know if they know someone who could help. Following the top PR agencies on LinkedIn is a good way to get a look into their culture and employees. Typically PR agencies will share updates when they are searching for interns on LinkedIn so monitoring their updates on a regular basis could prove to be valuable time spent in the near future.


  1. http://sparkpr.com/media-trends/how-to-get-a-pr-internship/
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/coardanthony-henry/internship-advice_b_4464403.html
  3. http://spinsucks.com/communication/five-ways-you-can-be-a-dream-pr-intern/


 Jeff Bezos and the Future of Print News

When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, he left a lot of folks scratching their heads. Why would one of the guys largely responsible for the massive changes to the print media industry invest in what his own company was helping to turn into a dinosaur? Ronn Torossian wondered too, but not with criticism. Bezos has a tendency to shock and baffle his critics, he has a long history of this, so Torossian simply waited and watched.

Now, it seems, all of us are closer to an answer. According to a recent report, Jeff Bezos is interested in turning the Washington Post into a national publication. Further, though he used his own money to buy the Post, it looks like he will be leveraging Amazon’s resources after all to help him achieve that goal.

In recent months, a select group of Post employees has been building a mobile app that will present curated selections from daily news publications in a magazine-style, mobile-friendly format. According to reports, the app will come pre-installed on the next Kindle Fire tablet, which is expected to go on sale this fall. 

Some Kindle owners will get the app for free (in the beginning). Other customers and mobile device owners will likely be able to download the app eventually, though no dates have been released. That app will come with a monthly subscription fee.

Though no one from the Post is talking on the record, information like this has a way of leaking out. Torossian believes Bezos is smart to keep the information to a trickle. That method creates curiosity and keeps that fire stoked. Reveal too much too soon and not only do you steal your own thunder, you give competitors more opportunity to create competing apps.

Those familiar with the project who are talking insist “Project Rainbow,” as it’s being called, is nothing more than an “experiment” to find ways to expand readership. Others say that connecting the digital world and print media in a new and seamless way has been Bezos’ plan all along.

That seems more likely. After all, Post subscribers have had online access to the paper’s content for some time now. That leaves industry insiders monitoring the situation closely. Is this simply one more step in the evolution of media … or is this another giant leap?

When Hollywood invades YouTube, what happens next?

YouTube has long been considered the place where no-names with big talent can try to get their big break. And it’s worked for quite a few current big names in the music business. But for moviemakers – the actual natural users of YouTube – the social media platform has been less of a springboard. But Ronn Torossian says Brian Robbins might be the one to change that.

The former child star (Head of the Class), hit teen dramady producer (Smallville, One Tree Hill) and big screen producer (Varsity Blues, Good Burger) has now set his sights on the video free for all that is YouTube. Robbins says he has good reason. After watching his own sons consume media, he is convinced YouTube will have a major role in how youth will consume media in the very near future.

Sure, big budget summer films are still raking in hundreds of millions, and both network and cable TV are chock full of shows aimed at teens and tweens, but Robbins believes the future of youth entertainment is, at least partly, is in shorter, viral content.

With the success of other streaming subscription companies producing their own content, Robbins believed the timing was right to try the same thing on YouTube, hiring the teen heartthrobs of tomorrow and helping them get their start in originally (and sometimes professionally) produced YouTube series.

Robbins launched his YouTube channel, AwesomenessTV, way back in the Dark Ages of 2012. In less than two years, the “Network” amassed more than 88,000 channels and more than 56 MILLION subscribers. Not to mention nearly 2 million videos and more than 6 BILLION views. Yes, six billion. By any traditional measure, those numbers indicate a hit.

Of course, the next step is figuring out how to optimally monetize this content. And, then, of course, the price for players will increase. Maybe not to Charlie Sheen or Big Bang Theory cast levels, but even talented up-and-comers will want more than attention for their talents.

And, eventually, this “underground” entertainment venue that remains almost entirely separated by the generation gap will become mainstream. Robbins is certainly betting on that. And, if history is any indication, he will get exactly what he is looking for.

The PR of Privacy: Google wins big

Apple was first to toss down the gauntlet, inferring, if not outright saying Google was not a safe place to surf. Specifically, Apple CEO Tim Cook said when “online services” are “offered for free” (read: Google) the user is not the customer – he or she is the product.

Well, it didn’t take very long for Google to pick that challenge up. In a conversation with CNN, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said, “We have always been the leader in security and encryption. Our systems are far more secure and encrypted than any other, including Apple. They’re catching up, which is great.

Cook fired back, insisting that at Apple: “…we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.”

Google countered by reminding Cook that the company “works extremely hard” to protect information inputted by its customers. Protect from whom, the question begs. Well, advertisers, the government, and of course, hackers. Schmidt finished his commentary with a not too subtle jab at Apple’s recent missteps. “Someone didn’t brief ‘him’ correctly on Google’s policies. It’s unfortunate for him.”

This exchange came on the heels of a release from Google revealing a system by which Google users are able to completely encrypt emails. Further, Android phones will be “encrypted by default” in the next iteration. Erasing one more advantage the iPhone currently has over its closest rivals.

The encryption news come right on time for a general public plagued by security breaches and security concerns every time they log online. The general public may not act like it, but web security is never far from their minds. With the new encryption, government agencies and law enforcement will have a tougher time “seeing” the content stored in your email and smartphone.

Then, in what may have been seen as a bit of well-deserved piling on, Google pointed out not only the massive hacking scandals but also the celebrity nude photo leaks that have been connected to compromised iPhones. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Overall, the Cold War style PR exchange between the two chief execs was definitely a win in the column for Google, which didn’t really need another one.

Healthy fast food? Yep, they own that brand.

The days of parents pulling through fast food joints without guilt may be over. A generation ago, parents saw nothing wrong with grabbing a bag full of nuggets and fries for the kids on the way from soccer to gymnastics. But since “pink slime” and “Supersize Me,” parents across the nation turn into the arches with at least a little bit of guilt. CEO of 5WPR Ronn Torossian believes this reality is at least partially behind the industry-wide effort to offer “healthy” options on fast food menus.

McDonalds has been offering apples with their Happy Meals for a while now, but they recently added kid friendly yogurt as another “healthier” option. Subway began selling veggie-centered kids meals years ago.

It hasn’t worked. Even though millions still stop at fast food restaurants every day, parents still don’t see these trips as exactly chock full of healthy options. But they still go in droves. And that leads to the great dichotomy of quick and easy kids meals. Parents perceive the more inexpensive meals as unhealthy and of less quality than pricier “healthier” fare.

Moms, in particular, don’t like taking their kids to places where there aren’t healthier options on the menu. Not that they are apt to buy them. It’s the great irony of this industry. People go where they CAN get healthier items. But they really don’t buy them. Brands that offer more variety get more business, but people still buy the less healthy selections – and by a wide margin.

So, how can you operate in a world that is confusing, and successfully manage your public relations? Well, you craft different messages for different people. There’s no doubt that most McDonalds ads, for example, are going to extol the joys of their comfort food, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see at least one person in that ad with a salad. It’s a quick and important tip of the hat that says: “Yep, we can take care of you, too!”

Bottom line? The core marketing and PR efforts still focus on the largest market, but successful brands have learned not to ignore the people who want better quality through targeted food pr … and really mean it.

Apple draws Fire as iPhones are already Delayed

When you think about companies with PR challenges, Apple is likely nowhere near the top of your list. This is a company that makes the news even when it doesn’t have any real news to discuss. But Ronn Torossian says the company is dealing with a PR issue that might be a blip for Apple, but could be disastrous for another brand.

He’s talking about pre-order delays. Recently, the company released its latest iPhones and the new iWatch with anticipatory fanfare that included free U2 downloads, and a massive worldwide PR campaign.

Then, mere hours after the next-gen iPhones were made available online for pre-order, Apple’s website began warning consumers of 3 to 4 week wait times for the larger of the two new models. Sure, consumers could snag the 4.7-inch model and have it in their hands by September 19. But you would have to wait another month for the Big One.

Now, it could easily be argued that fans have waited in limbo for months now as rumor after rumor teased them online. At this point, what’s another few weeks? Well, for avid Apple fans, that may not be a big deal. They might be aggravated and huff and puff a bit, but they will go out and grab that phone as soon as they can … and all complaints will cease.

Would it work that way for your brand? Why or why not? The secret to success is their carefully cultivated brand loyalty. Apple is not just a brand releasing products. They are a culture with fully entrenched brand citizens who would never consider defecting to another brand.

It took the company years – and more than a few winning innovations – to achieve this status. Now that they have, it’s vital for them to continue to feed that brand loyalty. The wait may tarnish it a bit, but die-hards still have the iWatch to contemplate. Besides, the company has earned their loyalty. They can afford to cut it some slack.

And therein lies the key issue. Apple has earned its customer loyalty. It’s given much more to its users than it has asked of them. At least in the eyes of their loyal fans. Can your brand say the same?

Taco Bell faces Counterfeit Claims and Huge Crisis PR

taco bell counterfeit

Taco Bell is facing a lawsuit and PR nightmare due to two operators forcing underage workers to give out counterfeit twenty dollar bills. Ronn Torossian says that the fallout could severely damage the restaurant’s image and impact sales. Consumers are far less likely to continue visiting the popular chain if they are suspicious of fraud.

The family of a seventeen year old girl is filing the lawsuit against Taco Bell based on the girl’s allegations that she was forced to distribute counterfeit twenty dollar bills to customers at the restaurant where she worked. The girl spoke to the police and described how she was manipulated into pulling off the scheme.

The bills were obviously fake. They were slightly smaller than real twenty dollar bills and were most likely made on a laserjet printer before being run through a dryer to make them look used and crumpled. Despite this, many customers did not realize that the bills were fake.

Most fast food restaurants do not have a need to give out twenty dollar bills in change because they do not accept large bills. To make the scheme work, the policies at two Taco Bell restaurants were changed so that people could pay using fifty and one hundred dollar bills. This made it possible for workers to give customers the fake twenties.

The lawsuit comes at a time when Taco Bell has been far superior to other fast food chains in the area of public relations. The restaurant recently introduced a breakfast menu as well as a dollar menu that have been very popular with customers. This has gotten Taco Bell a lot of positive attention and has made it stand out from other competing restaurants. The lawsuit could cause major damage to the restaurant’s popularity.

Ronn Torossian says that if Taco Bell wants to keep ahead of the competition, then the restaurant will need to get on top of this PR fiasco as soon as possible. A public apology is needed as well as restitution. The individuals responsible for the crime also need to be identified. Taco Bell needs to guarantee that this will never happen again and that their customers have nothing to worry about when dining.

G.E. Shifts Away from a Once Core Component

g-e-coreG.E. product groups include a diverse range from aviation and wind turbines to healthcare and trains. Perhaps the most well-known product group is the appliance division. Over a century ago, they started with the electric toaster and electric range, and they were the first to introduce the electric washing machine. Consumers most readily identify G.E. through their appliance division. So why would G.E. want to sell it and shift away from that identity?

Due to the huge growth of its financial arm, G.E.’s appliance division now only constitutes six percent of the company’s more than $146 billion in revenue. The appliance division helped grow the company, but G.E. came to the realization that it needs to let it go.

Ronn Torossian understands the need for companies to sometimes shift identities. He also understands that this type of shift needs a good PR strategy. When a product or division is heavily identified with a brand, a bad or non-existent PR campaign can ruin an identity shift.

The 2008 financial crisis impacted G.E. profoundly. Jeffrey R. Immelt, G.E CEO, wants to concentrate on the core industrial businesses. The appliance division was once considered a core business, but not any longer. This shift away from appliances needs a great PR strategy so that it highlights the strengths of the shift and does not alienate consumers.

For any identity shift PR campaign, Ronn Torossian uses SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) to focus on effective targets. This is a key piece in strategic PR planning and positional capabilities identification. A good plan includes positional statements, spokesperson management, and finding strategic partnerships and co-branding opportunities,

In the case of G.E., although they are looking to divest itself of the appliance division, they have formed a strategic partnership with a potential buyer. G.E. and Quirky, a five-year-old company who uses crowdsourcing to generate ideas for products, are working together to develop new products. G.E.’s shift toward its industrial core includes joint ventures with respected companies such as Alstom. G.E. will take over their gas and steam turbine business and expand G.E’s stake in the power industry. By carefully crafting the identity shift message, a company can leverage the brand and increase value.

What all Media REALLY Wants

mediaEven when Apple simply announces a press event it becomes news. Recently, several tech blogs and online news magazines led with a story announcing that, in September, Apple will make an announcement. Stop for a moment and think about that. One of the top news agencies in the country has just announced that, a month from now, you will make an announcement. How is that news? Ronn Torossian has your answer.

First, all media is in the business of attracting readers and viewers. They need the numbers so they can sell advertising. This is a key foundational fact many rookie PR people, and even some savvy business owners fail to realize. You get laser focused on what your business is doing, which is understandably exciting to you. But will it be exciting to the readers of that publication receiving your press release? You better know the answer to that question before you click “SEND.”

No media is interested in your content unless it serves their mission or vision. This is not a negative; it’s basic math. If they can’t sell ads, and in some cases, subscriptions, they can’t pay their bills. So, no matter what media outlet it is, they want content people WANT TO READ.

So, why is an announcement from Apple that they will make an announcement sometime soon rate as a top story? Because of the inference in that announcement. The new iPhone is coming. Even marginal Macophiles understand that Mac tends to unveil a new mobile device each fall. They know that early adopters will line up for the new toy, and they’ll be able to get all the bugs out before the holiday shopping season.

So, when Apple says “announcement” most people assume it means “new iPhone.” But no one really knows. This leads to the second reason this announcement about an announcement is news. Apple understands that the mystery, albeit thinly veiled, creates conversation, debate, and endless discussion. Media outlets know this, too. A story that will attract a built-in debate is always news because there is ALWAYS conversation. Repeat visits and visitors who spend significant amounts of time on your site is a beautiful combination for online media outlets.

So if you want to make a splash like Apple has with their news about news, as yourself, how can your messaging encourage discussion, repeat visits, and time spent on your site? How are you set up to give your target media outlet the return they need to assure you will see your content “in print?”

Hollywood’s SUMMER of Discontent

public-relations-moviesAccording to reports, U.S. box office totals are in a freefall, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Terrible news for the film industry, which has practically owned Get Out Of The House entertainment media for the better part of a century. Even with the standard slate of action adventure movies and big budget summer blockbusters playing in theaters across the country, U.S. ticket sales are down at least 20%.

Ronn Torossian says this appears to be a trend, not a fluke, and the industry needs to start paying attention, yesterday. But, it seems like, at least some of them, have their heads in the sand. Transformers 4, Godzilla, and the latest Planet of the Apes movie all fell well short of domestic box office forecasts. This means Hollywood Big Boys such as Paramount, Warner Brothers, and Fox all missed the mark and failed to meet expectations.

Some prognosticators have said moviegoers are just tiring of retread sequels, but Torossian and other consumer PR experts say there are many other causes to consider. Digital media and on demand programming have hit the theater with a solid one-two combination.

Now, not only can people get as good (or better) resolution on their home screens, they can watch titles – even some new releases – whenever they want. The former excitement of waiting till opening day just doesn’t hold the same power it once did. Plus, with films going from the box office to the on demand queue in mere months, many consumers are opting to wait a bit longer and enjoy the films in the privacy and comfort of their own homes.

Without a captive audience to depend on, Hollywood needs to make some changes or they will find their returns diminishing even further. Step one for that would be to look at where the consumer mindset actually is rather than just giving them what they always have.

How has your market changed, and how are you changing your business plan and PR campaigns in order to stay ahead of the game?

Is Tesla FINALLY Ready to make a Major Market Push?

There’s no doubt about it, Elon Musk knows how to make the news. For a PR guy, he’s a goldmine. A savvy CEO with interesting ideas, a sharp perspective, and a willingness to say things that will definitely see print. Recently, the head of Tesla Motors sent a letter to shareholders that contained this nugget of fresh-pressed PR gold:

Processed ore from mines will enter by railcar on one side and finished battery packs will exit on the other.”

That, in part, was how Musk described the construction of a battery plant Tesla and Panasonic are working on together in Nevada. That factory is intended to be the first of several, the same size or bigger, which Musk has said will be the key to delivering the electric car to the masses. Like the original automotive innovator, Henry Ford, Musk believes that mass production of his unique product will allow him to bring down the prices of his vehicles to levels consumers can manage.

However, the move puts Musk at odds with most other carmakers, including Ford. Nearly all automakers have gone to a system of using parts made by other companies and simply assembling them at branded plants. Musk has gone on record as saying he does not believe this outsourcing actually reduces costs. Particularly when you are doing something nobody else seems to think can work.

It’s an interesting approach for a company that has, in the past year, essentially not gained much ground. Sure, Tesla nearly doubled its second-quarter profit this year, but it also doubled its second-quarter net loss. That dichotomy would be getting more traction in the press but for one unavoidable fact – Musk is predicting his plants will be able to deliver more than 100,000 cars per year as soon as 2015.

That number has excited investors and, perhaps more importantly, is delighting would-be Tesla owners who have been waiting years to be able to afford the Car Of The Future. Even with the high price tag, demand has remained even higher, and Tesla is hoping to ride that anticipatory PR all the way to market segment domination.

Why Profit Sharing is Smart PR

profit-sharingAre you an entrepreneur interested in shoring up your reputation and building the best success team possible? There is nothing better for your internal public relations with your skilled workers than plain, old-fashioned compensation.

It’s a given that top sales people make their careers on commission, but why not share some of that love with your skilled workers, you know, the people that get up every day to help you turn your business idea into a commercial success?

Some would caution that if profit sharing is not common in your industry, it’s best to steer clear of it. Now, that may be solid advice, but first you need to know WHY it might not be done in your line of work. First, is it legal? Incentivizing certain positions may violate your industry’s compliance or ethical standards. Be sure to check that out well before you start passing out dividends.

Also, you need to consider where your company is within your growth paradigm. Are you established? A startup? A venture capitalized business? Profit sharing should always be subsequent to any loan repayment or other investor agreements, and startups may not have the ready cash reserve to feasibly offer these perks. Profit sharing does no one any good if you bankrupt your savings to make it happen.

And, it should be said here that we are strictly talking about profit sharing, not equity offerings. Unless your company is being prepped for sale, or you are on a meteoric rise and looking to go public, equity offerings might as well be empty promises. Annual profit bonuses, however, are another story altogether.

If you can afford to, profit sharing can be a tremendous vehicle to increase corporate morale and a solid long-term investment in your internal PR.

Bose Sues Beats Over Noise-Cancelling Headphones

bose-sue-beatTwo giants of the headphones industry are going head to head. Bose sued Beats Electronics this past week for allegedly infringing on five of their patents related to noise-canceling headphone technology. Bose is seeking to block U.S. imports of Beats noise-canceling headphones with their lawsuit filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, DC. The company also filed a smaller lawsuit in a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. This lawsuit makes the same claims and will likely be put on hold till the large case is solved.

The Massachusetts-based Bose had the rights from 2004 to 2013 to their inventions related to the active noise reduction technique they use in their noise canceling headphones. Originally developed for the U.S. Air Force and Army, the noise-canceling headphones work by using a microphone to detect unwanted ambient noise, and then the headphones make a second noise that cancels out the first by having sound waves of a reverse phase. Bose’s lawyers stated Beats electronics did not license Bose’s technology even though they were informed they were infringing on Bose’s patents for their active noise cancellation technique. They want to protect their proprietary technology. Bose claims that they have lost headphone sales to their competitor Beats because Beats is using their noise-canceling technology.

Beats sells headphones with an adaptive noise-canceling feature. However, many other headphone companies also produce noise-canceling headphones. It is a fairly common feature in higher end headphones. Bose has filed other patent lawsuits against other headphone makers. The California-based Beats Electronics, founded by Andre “Dr. Dre” Young and Jimmy Iovine, has released a statement that the company does not comment on pending litigation.

The time of the lawsuit likely has to do with Apple buying Beats in May for $3 billion, in its largest acquisition so far. It is not unusual for lawsuits to come after takeovers. Ilya Kazi of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys says, “When companies are in the process of being taken over they don’t want the uncertainty of litigation. So, they are more likely to be inclined to settle.” Apple’s deal to buy Beats is expected to close soon. When it does, this legal fight could be another headache for Apple which is already fighting patent battles in other arenas with Samsung and other companies. Apple has said they plan to operate Beats as a standalone brand.

How to Market Your Mobile Technology Company

mobile-tech-firmMobile technology is technology that is portable. Any company that manufactures or sells a mobile technology device fits the category of being a mobile technology company. Marketing for a Mobile Tech company becomes crucial, due to the nature of their intended audience. These consumers are most likely tech savvy and do most of their research into new products on the computer. This is a huge oppurtunity to leverage where these people gather, to generate interest in your product, company or idea.

Mobile technology tasks are performed via PDA, cellular phones and laptops etc. Mobile devices have gone a long way from being a two-way pager and are now classified as GPS navigation systems, web browsers, video gaming systems and more.

Marketing Programs for Mobile Technology Programs

Create press releases

Press releases are one of the most influential and crucial activities that can be used as a marketing tool. A press release can be the first step in endorsing a new product or service.

Create mobile friendly websites

More and more consumers are accessing their websites through cell phones and other mobile devices. Marketers who optimize their websites for mobile search will realize increased sales.

Employ SMS (Text) alert reminders

SMS has a lot of applications that mobile technology can exploit. Alerts and reminders can reach and influence customers with text messages that are convenient and non-intrusive. Examples are when banks use technology to update customers about their balances, or when retail stores alert customers about available discounts.

Leverage mobile applications

There is an app for everything and companies across the globe successfully use apps to increase sales and brand awareness. Apps can provide critical data such as account information and product information. Apps can also provide service to users who prefer mobile games, maps, music and social media.

Provide mobile coupons

Scanning a phone for 20% reduction in cost is a good thing to offer customers. Mobile coupons can be made available through search advertising, mobile websites and countless other ways.

Utilize SMS rewards and short codes

SMS rewards and short codes allow consumers to text a number and receive a free voucher for free food, a round of golf, or tickets to a local event and more. This method lets companies reward customers who participate in short code communications via SMS. These codes can appear on print publications, television, radio and billboards.

Employ QR codes

UPC codes and QR codes are similar in that they contain information that can be used to send a text, visit a website or make a call. QR codes on a product allow the customer to scan with a mobile device and link to a video, gather information or browse products on a company’s promotional website.