What’s on my Desk: PR Mogul Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the 15 largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. The firm was named ‘PR Agency of the Year’ by the American Business Awards for the third straight year; Torossian was cited as PR Executive of the Yea by the same group. Among major companies, he is a well-regarded authority on crisis communications, and is a regular commentator for Fox News, CNBC and Entertainment Tonight. In addition Torossian is an op-ed columnist for The Huffington Post. 5W’s client roster is diverse, including such brands as KRUPS, Unilever, All-Clad, Sparkling Ice, Walgreens, Zeta Global, and Jet Smarter. He is the author of  For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations. Torossian is a lifelong New Yorker and lives in Manhattan with his children. Here he talks about the items in his office that have the most meaning for him and his secret for success.

Head Shot - Resized
Ronn Torossian, founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations

What are the most cherished items on your desk?

The most important items are pictures of my two daughters.  They are the reason why I work so hard and they are the meaning behind everything in my life.  They are my priority; then comes my business.

What type of desk do you work from?

It’s a standard, no-frills wooden desk with a glass top which reflects my work ethic: I focus only on the essentials that will move the needle for my business.  This desk is where I came up with some of my best ideas and where I’ve made decisions that have brought a lot of success to my agency and our clients.  I have brought this desk with me every time we moved offices. I have no plans to replace it any time soon.

Pic of Desk

What are your go-to tech gadgets?

I love my old-school BlackBerry.  It’s very difficult for me to resist checking it.  Of course I have an iPhone, but I always keep my BlackBerry on me because it makes it so easy for me to answer emails.  I love the roller-ball feature on it and I have yet to find a better feature on any cell phone.   

Why did you choose to headquarter your company in Midtown?

I’m a native New Yorker.  I grew up in the Bronx and went to high school in the city, and I appreciate how easy it is for us all to commute to our office.  We’re in the heart of New York, inside the landmark Helmsley Building. I can see Park Avenue out my window and I’m energized by the constant hustle and bustle of the city.  This is an impressive place and it’s the perfect environment for us to innovate and get game-changing results for our clients.

What’s distinct about the space? 

I particularly love our office because there’s plenty of wall space for my art.  I’m an art collector and I enjoy going to exhibits and discovering new artists, and I choose pieces for the office that I think are indicative of our culture and that are inspirational for our executives.

How has social media changed your business model?

Our business is about being storytellers, and social media is another way for us to tell stories.  The media landscape continues to change, and as a full-service agency we’re constantly evolving our programs to meet clients’ needs in today’s media environment.  We remain at the forefront of fully integrated PR, and are executing more and more digital programs for clients.  We have a 360-degree approach to PR, social media, branding and digital marketing.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today?

I want 5W to keep growing, and the biggest challenge of growing a business is hiring the right people–those who care about results and who represent the company’s culture and spirit.  I’m very proud that some of our most knowledgeable executives have been with us for many years and counting. 

Thoughts on the future of print?

Print media is still a main place where stories are told and will always be a part of who we are.  However, digital is here to stay, and we’ve adapted to it.  We use digital in a variety of ways for our clients.    

What publications do you read each day?  Hard copy or online?

Hard copies of The New York Times and the NY Post are delivered to my door every day.  I generally read while I’m at the gym in the morning, before 7 AM.  While I’m in the office, I read all the major news websites throughout the day to keep up with what’s going on in business, entertainment and global affairs.

Secrets to your success?

I work hard.  The harder I work, the luckier I become.