PR in the Age of the Social Entrepreneur

social entrepreneur

We used to call them philanthropists or just “generally good people,” but I have another name entering the common lexicon for successful business people who become social activists – the “social entrepreneur.

Examples of these “social entrepreneurs” could include environmentalist President Teddy Roosevelt, railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, and tech guru Bill Gates. Each of these men made names for themselves in the cutthroat world of private enterprise before investing some of their vast resources into nonprofit endeavors.

I’d like to point out, the name reveals much about the connections and overlaps between building and operating a business, and building and operating a non profit organization. Particularly in the marketing and PR fields.

While the messages and the markets are different, many of the principles are essentially the same.

Communication is job one

If your target market does not know what you are about or why they should get involved, they won’t give you a second thought. Therefore, consistent and coherent PR is an absolute must.

Establishing value is vital

Whether for profit or for a charitable cause, if you cannot attach value to your endeavor, people will not be willing to help you monetize it. They need to understand not only what they are getting, but also the basic intrinsic value of the offering.

Expanding is expected

Increasing market share is an important success metric in for-profit endeavors. The same could be said for nonprofits. Did we bring in more funds than last year? Did we do more good with those resources? These questions are more similar to those asked by entrepreneurs than many non-profit organizers realize.

And, even those social entrepreneurs with massive resources get nowhere unless they tell others what they are doing. All the money in the world is not effective unless you can build a team worthy of those resources. To do that, you have to have the right vision, and the right team helping you communicate that message in a connective way.

Are you one?

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

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 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 275 professionals. 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 is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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