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Ronn Torossian's 35 Public Relations Tips For Success

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Having built 5WPR into a leading PR Agency, along the way have gleaned many tips which are useful public relations tips for success for anyone in business.

For remember as Michael Wolff wrote in Vanity Fair, "Publicity geniuses are different from you and me. They have the stomach for it. This temperamental combination of imperviousness and egomania that allows them, compels them, to dominate the media . . . means, too, that they dominate reality, that's their world and we just . . . well you know."

With no further ado, and in no particular order:

- Attention is the most valuable form of currency in PR and marketing. Getting the right attention must be done strategically and consistently.

- Digital media and self-created content gives everyone a voice. For good and for bad, self-created content is tremendously important--and realize with today's media world everyone's opinion counts. Blog, comment, and join the conversation when it suits your purposes and goals.

- PR has been and will always be about building relationships. In an earlier era, you needed only to worry about a few beat reporters, gossip columnists, or talk show hosts. Today it's also about knowing bloggers, Twitter communities, influential Diggers, Facebook groups, or other

- Everyone loves a great storyteller--become one. Your story is your ticket to people's hearts and minds. A great story can motivate a person to go from passive to participant. Participate in media training and then rehearse and prepare. It matters.

- Write well. Understand the value of communicating properly, particularly in press releases, because they will often be used verbatim as news stories--it's called "churnalism."

- Gossip is information delivered personally. Make it work for you and not against you. Think strategically: how can you use what you hear to do better, be better, and serve better?

- Success and media attention come with a price; learn to accept it and adapt accordingly.

- Don't try to be something you're not: authenticity may mean saying no to opportunities that may not fit your brand or work against your core mission and values. Politicians need 51 percent of a market to succeed; brands can win with a much smaller market share and become very

- Don't expect privacy. Privacy doesn't exist in today's open social media world. If you post something on Facebook, employees, clients, and the media can see it.

- Get to know reporters. Offer to buy lunch, dinner, drinks, etc. Give out your cell phone number. Get to know them and it will pay off. You will be called not only as a source but also as a background resource. You can offer exclusives, and receive helpful information.

- Be a giver, not a taker. Share information strategically and offer journalists tips but don't demand favors.

- Tell the truth and do so with clarity, sincerity, and passion.

- Citizen journalism and "media" are everywhere. Anyone with a cell phone is "the media." They can film you whether you are giving a speech or buying coffee at the deli, and the resulting video can forever change your life.

- Don't expect the media to love you. They can write something bad. Be prepared for it.

- PR doesn't mean spilling all the beans. Learn how and when to keep secrets, and when you shouldn't be talking to the media. Information is power.

- If there's bad news, let it come from you. Your "stakeholders" don't want to read about a crisis in the paper; the story is best if it is coming from the source.

- Protect yourself. If you wouldn't talk to the cops without a lawyer, why would you talk to the media without your PR representative? In a crisis, have a good crisis and media
attorney and PR firm at your disposal.

- Under-promise and over-deliver: consistently exceeding expectations builds loyalty and great word-of-mouth PR. If you disappoint people, you're in for a long, rough ride.
Without credibility there can be little trust, and bad feelings will be made public.

- Make sure all messages are aligned with your brand. Don't say one thing to customers and get caught doing something else. Every time you decide to try a new campaign,
make sure it holds up to your overall strategy. Consistency wins trust.

- Lead by example. Stay connected with your employees and don't ask or expect them to do something you wouldn't do. They are your on-the-ground PR force.

- Allow everything about your brand to reflect your brand. Your offices, appearance, and demeanor should reflect the spirit of your brand messaging.

- Share what you know. Stay informed and constantly build knowledge of your industry so your insights, wisdom, and ideas are fresh. People will want to hear what you have to
say; that's how you become a thought leader.

- Learn to cut your losses. We've had to resign clients when they no longer fit for our business. It's an unfortunate reality that you must eliminate aspects of your business that
are no longer serving your mission.

- Hire people who represent your company and your spirit. It's often said a company's culture is determined by its CEO, but it's also shaped by its receptionist. Realize your
brand is cultivated by your employees and the PR they put forward.

- Handle documents with care. In today's world, anyone can be a source, and not just because of citizen journalism. Many tabloid papers give and trade favors with PR

- Let your customers speak. Some of the best content is user or customer generated because it becomes a conversation. When customers feel they are part of the dialogue
with a brand, they feel more attached to it. And that attachment can help your PR message spread.

- Never underestimate the personal PR power of happiness and speaking positively. Smile when you meet someone, or just pass out random smiles when you meet someone's eye. It does so much for you and the other person; a sincere,
friendly manner is disarming and is the quickest way to relax others and draw them over to your side. Use spin positively.

- News is entertainment. Be entertaining, exciting, interesting, and relevant.

- The best ideas don't work until you work the idea. When you have a PR idea, think it through, try it out, and experiment-- don't put it on a shelf.

- Live an ethical, balanced life with honor, integrity, and laughter. This pays big dividends for your business and life and your PR.

- Photographs exist to break up the type. People consume media for information (news), but also for entertainment and visual stimulation. If you can, include a great image
with your media pitch.

- Old-fashioned networking never gets old. Put yourself personally and professionally at the center of networking, whether it's forwarding an interesting and relevant news
story to colleagues via e-mail, helping to organize a social gathering, and so on. When you assist a colleague in the industry, or a reporter with a story you aren't involved in, it allows you to win long-term in PR.

- There's always an emergency. In today's media world, they need your response now. PR is a 24/7 career. The news never stops.

- Look for marketing co-ops, especially if budget is an issue. There are many ways to get great visibility for a fraction of the price by sharing the spotlight with complementary
brands that attract the same audience.

- Work hard. Work really hard--the harder I work the luckier I seem to become.

PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering--it's an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.

Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive who enjoys writing and shares his opinions here at Huffington Post often - Read his columns at:

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