Celebrity PR and the Power of Association

2014-06-25 by Ronn Torossian

Sheldon Big BangLast week, the Critics’ Choice TV awards announced its nominees and winners in several categories. Typically, there were some familiar shows among both the nominees and the award recipients. And, of course, there were some surprises. Orange is the New Black beat out network giants like The Big Bang Theory and cable stalwarts such as Veep for Best Comedy Series, underscoring the streaming entertainment revolution, and the fading relevance of the major networks.

However, Author and Public Relations Executive Ronn Torossian says, in these contests, winning is hardly the only thing that matters. In fact, sometimes winning is not the most important goal at all. Win or lose, the real goal here is to remain relevant. For newcomers, this means being mentioned in the same sentence as cultural icons.

When a lower-budget Netflix series gets the nod over established comedies, people may be surprised, but the real public relations currency for the newcomers is in the individual categories. For example, think about how Adam Scott and Chris Messina felt about being mentioned in the same breath as Robin Williams and Louis CK. In Hollywood, celebrity is as much about proximity as it is about fan base. For millions of people, Williams is a household name, Scott and Messina are now the guys who were worthy of consideration alongside the cultural icon.

For the cultural icons, whose most profitable years may be behind them, getting a nomination nod brings them back into the conversation, yet again. Looking again at the Best Lead Actor category, Williams, Scott, Messina, and CK all lost out to Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon (top left) on The Big Bang Theory. To date, BBT has been the undeniable defining moment of Parsons’ career. What will he do when the show ends? Who’s to say, but consider… he’s the guy who just beat Robin Williams in the comedy category. But, Robin Williams is also the guy who got nominated alongside Mr. Bazinga. In an industry where standing just out of the spotlight can mean getting frozen out altogether, the award shows help remind fickle viewing audiences of who they have loved before, and it helps these brands stay a part of the larger, ever-shifting conversation.

Where is your brand in the marketplace? Are you a rising star who could use a boost from current market leaders, or are you a fading market leader who wants to stay relevant? Either way, never underestimate the power of association.
Image credit: Sheldon courtesy Wikipdia

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards 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. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities