Everything PR News caught up with 5WPR’s Ronn Torossian in Moscow on a combined business/pleasure tour of the Russian city. Given our own interest in Eastern Europe business, and Torossian’s now legendary and meteoric rise to PR prominence, we asked the New York PR superhero about his interests in Europe expansion, the Russia business climate, and an impromptu on Moscow tourism overall. What you are about to see and read is a case study perhaps into real time social engagement, and mobile connectedness too. Read to the end.
For those unfamiliar with Ronn Torossian, the New York native is perhaps the most successful of a group of young communications entrepreneurs in the United States. Torossian, who often contributes articles here on ERP grew up in New York City. Since founding 5WPR back in 2003, Ronn has transformed so-called “crisis PR” with his immutable style and panache.
BusinessWeek once said of Torossian:“…even in an industry fueled by hype, Torossian stands out,” and that “few seem better equipped to navigate a celebrity-obsessed culture.”
This morning I asked Ronn about his trip to the Russian Federation so far. Leading in with the obvious, I wanted to know if the suggested visit had anything to do with 5WPR’s Russia client list and supposition his firm may open offices there.
Torossian responding in characteristic speed and candor:
“While we remain very interested in Russian business and will continue to do business here, 5W PR has no immediate plans for Russian offices.”
When I asked Ronn just who his clients were there, and how the business climate in Russia is right now, the 5WPR CEO came on to explain his clients are (unnamed) Russian “oligarchs”, whos wealth largely make them immune to the economic “ebbs and flows” others are subject to. On the wealthy in Russia, Torossian was not hesitant to point out “everyone” there is concerned about Russia – West politics.
However, turning to “business” as usual in Moscow, he quickly took note (he said) as to an emerging middle class in Russia. This, and other indicators not only point to a more upbeat Russia than is usually presented, but to an astute communicator’s perspective – on the run – so to speak.
Turning to his touristic exploits, for those out there who thought Moscow to be “less than friendly” tourism wise, Ronn says nothing could be farther from the truth. Speaking from the elite Change of Seasons Mall in Moscow (image above), the PR guru reflects on a much more cosmopolitan national capital than the Cold War relic some would have us imagine.
Ronn has this to offer on tourism to the Russian capital:
“I find the city to be very tourist friendly. Moscow is a city that can be properly explored on foot in parts, and with a driver in others. It’s a great place to explore and learn.”
As a home boy in New York City, perhaps this is the best advocacy for Moscow visitation anyone can glean? Ronn Torossian, who authored For Immediate Release, was honored with a Silver Stevie Award this year. I know Ronn as a professional of virtually unlimited energy and innate skill at problem solving.
Today’s sort of “reporter on the spot” exchange with Torossian is not atypical, I assure you. If ever there were an executive who really does not sleep at all, Torossian has to be him.
By way of a personal story, I once instant messaged Torossian with a client dilemma. He urged my to call him at which he listened carefully to the problem, the told me to give him 5 minutes, and then call back. Sure enough, I called exactly five minutes later to receive a factual assessment of the situation and a strategy. Elapsed time? 8 minutes.
So today, the reader has a major PR firm’s interest (at least) in Russia clients, a demographic of Moscow socio-economics, and a tourism guide to a city many in the West might otherwise be afraid to visit. Elapsed time? 48 minutes since I spoke with Ronn – 45 of which are my writing and picture editing.
Thanks Ronn, amazing.