First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ronn Torossian: In March, I was unsure what this pandemic and the shutdown of New York City would mean for my company, but I’m happy to say we’ve made it through some of the toughest times. 5WPR is doing great, as well as my family and myself.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded 5W Public Relations
Ronn Torossian: I always had an interest in psychology, law, and journalism, but none of those industries could draw me in completely. When I realized that public relations was a mix of my interests, I know I had found my calling. I founded 5W Public Relations in 2003 in one room, with one intern and three clients. In the beginning, I rarely said no to an opportunity. I took risks and took on challenging clients. In the end, it paid off. This year, we celebrate our 17th year in business and were awarded PR Agency of the Year by the American Business Awards.
How does 5W Public Relations innovate?
Ronn Torossian: 5W has always pushed the boundaries of traditional public relations. We know our clients strive to stand out within their industries, so our ideas and campaigns must follow suit. With the pandemic canceling in-person events and taking over mainstream media, we have quickly adjusted and adapted practices. So far, we have successfully implemented online events across corporate and consumer industries, including webinars, consumer product launches, tastings, and more. This is the first time many of these staple events are happening online, so it has been a learning opportunity.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ronn Torossian: I can confidently say my employees have never worked harder on behalf of clients to pivot and establish campaigns and media opportunities. As an agency, we welcomed new clients in industries that saw a spike, including health and wellness, technology, and consumer goods.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ronn Torossian: As an entrepreneur, I have made difficult choices each day since I founded 5W. At first, they were big risk decisions, which taught me a lot about the industry and myself. Now, especially in the past few months, I need to make smart choices for my employees and my company that relies on me to do so. I can say that every choice I have made over the last 17 years has taught me a lesson and prepared me for upcoming challenges.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Ronn Torossian: I dedicate a lot of time to my company, so I make an effort to carve out time for my family, which is very important to me. Especially now, I try to pull myself away from news and technology for the opportunity to relax, either with my two girls or with a good book.
How do you project yourself and 5W Public Relations in the future?
Ronn Torossian: 5W will continue to grow. We will continue to build our industry reputation as an innovative and dedicated PR firm. We will continue to take on clients in new business areas, and we will continue to learn and adapt to emerging technologies.
Who are your competitors? How do you plan to stay in the game?
Ronn Torossian: I like to think that we are our own biggest competitor. There will always be someone out there looking to 5W as an industry example, so we must continue to raise the standard. As long as we continue to produce work that outdoes our own, we will be in the game for years to come.
Your final thoughts?
Ronn Torossian: I am blessed to be able to wake up each morning and do what I do. This industry keeps me on the top of my game, and no two days are ever the same. However, it is a difficult industry to succeed in, and you never know what will come along and completely reshape and redefine what you do.