PR/Media Week in Review 07-13-2008

Mark Rose, Editor, PRBlogNewsWhat is Ronn Torossian thinking?

Torossian, CEO of 5W PR, really stepped in it this week and hubris and deflection will not save him.  He needs to fire Juda Engelmayer and accept full responsibility for the latest ethical lapse at his company or suffer serious credibility damage.

The thumbnail of this outrageous story: Engelmayer impersonated a prominent Rabbi and fabicated other characters who posted laudatory comments about a 5W client and mimicked critics in blogs and chats. Shmarya Rosenberg of did some sharp investigating and found that the posts were coming from Engelmayer.

At first, Torossian countered with his usual bluster: “I have complete confidence in knowing that my account team who runs these accounts did not make these posts.”

When Rosenberg of persisted Engelmayer said that an intern was responsible and was Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5W PRfired. Friday, however, Torossian revealed that Engelmayer was covering up the deception with the fired intern story when he released a statement to the Jewish daily Forward saying “A senior staff member failed to be transparent in dealing with client matters. He has taken full responsibility.”

Torossian said Engelmayer was not fired. He would not explain further and fell back on message: “This battle is not about blogging, it is however about protecting the highest levels of Kashrut in the Jewish community.”

That statement stinks like a pile of rotting non-Kosher gefilte fish. Torossian has a knack for overshadowing his clients with his marginal defenses but this one is so outrageous that the PR community – if there is one – should rise up and demand some action.

Torossian is right. This battle is not about blogging. It’s about countering the widespread perception that all PR people are scheming liars who will saying anything and do anything to promote their clients without regard for ethics or morals. The client Torossian is representing, Agriprocessors, was recently the target of a huge immigration raid and the Rabbi that Engelmayer impersonated is attempting to create ethical standards for the production of kosher food.

PR 101 for Ronn Torossian: 1) Admit the mistake 2) Fire the offender 3) Apologize and vow it will never happen again 4) Institute policies to assure that it will never happen again. Stonewalling on this will not do him, or the PR industry, any good.

I love Dick Cavett

Cavett’s July 11 post Smiling Through Part II in his New York Times blog called “Talk Show” already has 133 Dick Cavett New York Times bloggercomments as of this writing. Part I so far garnered 485 comments. Cavett struck a vein with his discussion about depression because he knows what he speaks of and he knows how to write and reach an audience. I smell a book here and a round of interviews on depression springing from these blog posts.

Cavett is a natural blogger. His voice comes through clearly, he researches what he writes about and he has lived such a full, varied life that he speaks from personal experience.

Star with PR

jack + bill, NY PR agencyJack + Bill, a New York PR agency, is hosting an open casting call to select one model, one women’s apparel designer, a jewelry designer and a fashion stylist to receive complimentary PR representation leading up to New York Fashion Week.  Open “casting call” is Tuesday, July 15th and Wednesday, July 16th.  See the who/what/when/where/why here.


  1. Ike says:

    Maybe Ronn is still reeling from the charges against Ehud Olmert. Torossian’s still pimps Olmert as one of his early tentpole clients.

    Thanks for resurrecting the Week In Review, Mark…


  1. [...] who has been one of Agri’s fiercest critics. So far Agri has been mum on the issue, but a blogger at PR News Wire says the company is making publicists look bad and the executive responsible should be [...]

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