4 Lessons Learned from “For Immediate Release”

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Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR 

In the last 10 years since For Immediate Release was originally published, the communications industry has experienced an incredible shift in best practices and ways to communicate. These changes are impacted by ongoing current events that change not only the ways businesses and brands function but also how consumers respond and react. 

What are the events that most impacted the industry? Both the 2016 and 2020 elections have forever changed politics, the Black Lives Matter organization and accompanying movement has changed the way we think about race relations, the #MeToo movement has rocked workplaces, and most recently the coronavirus pandemic has influenced and impacted just about every part of our daily lives. These changes call for new ways to navigate the industry. 

My goal in releasing an updated and revised edition of my book is to demonstrate that public relations remain one of the most relevant and effective tools for businesses, personalities and brands to increase value, market share, recognition, and influence. 

Here are 4 lessons from For Immediate Release that just launched brands, personalities, and Fortune 500 companies can learn. 

1.      Play to your strengths

It’s a losing proposition to try to be something you’re not. It’s extremely important to know yourself and identify how you stand apart from the competition. The same goes for brands. Countless brands struggle with who they are versus who they want to be. Before we can work with them, we must understand what they do well, where they can do better, and what sets them apart from competitors, 

2.      Be true to yourself and your brand

A trusting audience is a giving audience, but what can be given can also be taken away. Trust me it gives to be authentic. The success of a person or a brand is dependent on establishing trust and intimacy by delivering an expected, reliable and anticipated experience every time. 

3.      Problems don’t go away on their own and reputation is everything

Working in PR means you never know what’s going to happen next. Your entire business, brand, and life can be changed by one event, article, or rumor, true or untrue. You can’t sit behind a computer and “out-work” catastrophes, you must have a plan ready to go, and stay agile. 

4.      The press has a job to do – you may not like it

Dealing with the media is stressful and challenging, even for seasoned veterans. While you may have a good relationship with a journalist or two remember, reporters are not your friends, their story comes first, just as your personal story, brand, or job should come first to you. Every business should have PR policies and programs in place in preparation for reading your name in print on behalf of an anonymous tip rather than a constructed PR pitch.


About the Author: Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5W Public Relations, a leading NY PR firm.