Interview with Ronn Torossian: PR Expert and Founder of 5WPR

  (photo credit:  Michael Benabib )
(photo credit: Michael Benabib )

Public relations is a crucial tool used across all industries in building and maintaining a brand’s image and reputation. 5WPR, one of the largest independently owned full-service PR firms in the U.S., is known for cutting-edge programs that engage with businesses, issues, and ideas. Serving clients across consumer brands, entertainment and travel, corporate communications, technology, nonprofits, and digital marketing, 5W was founded by Ronn Torossian, PR professional  who has received numerous awards and accolades for his work including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business AwPR professional Ronn Torossianards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain's New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.

We caught up with Ronn to hear his story as he shared with us how he started his career and built it into the successful business it is today.

How did you become involved in the field of public relations and what was your journey to founding 5WPR?

From a young age, I’ve had an interest in psychology, law, and journalism, but none of those industries were able to draw me in completely. When I realized public relations was a mix of my interests, I knew I found my career. I began working at an agency but very quickly knew I wanted to own a business myself, so in 2002 I founded 5WPR in one room with one intern. The agency has now grown to over 300 employees and I serve as Founder and Chairman. With over 25 years of PR experience, I can proudly say I have worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands, and organizations, and that the agency continues to grow and expand into new industries.

Give us some insight into what made 5WPR as successful as it is today.

5W recently celebrated 20 years in business and it has taken hard work, dedication, and support from incredible employees and client partners to allow us to grow and become the business we are today. Now that we’ve established ourselves in the industry, we never forget the work and determination that got us here today. We’ve designated a mantra for success at 5W which is ‘Built for Now.’ This statement is true of our past and will also help guide us and keep us successful in the future. Regardless of the changes the PR industry undergoes, 5W will be able to adapt without question. 

Why did you choose the name 5WPR? What is the meaning behind it?

When I began my public relations agency, I was setting out to answer the five questions of communications: who, what, where, when, and why. It seemed obvious to name my agency 5WPR after these enduring and universal principles. While the answers will always differ due to the influence of clients, trends, and changing times, our name remains a constant reminder of the questions we must ask to remain successful within the communications and public relations industries.

Any advice for young professionals looking towards a career in PR?

Relationships and reputations matter in the public relations industry, and it's best to begin to build these at the beginning of your career. Go the extra mile to build personal relationships with colleagues within the industry, you never know when your paths may cross in the future. Networking events are a great first step to jumpstart this, and they are often offered by your university or local chapter of organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA)

This article was written in collaboration with 5WPR