2484 books total
Ronn is specialized in crisis management and has a background of more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, crisis management and the entertainment industry.
He started 5W Public Relations company in 2003, with three people in a basement office in New York, and now has a team of over 175 professionals in its headquarters. The firm offers full-service marketing and PR services, and is known for its nonconformist, innovative and cutting-edge approach.
Ronn is the author of “For Immediate Release“, a book that shows you how to effectively use the power of public relations, with lessons learned from his own experience, case studies from big brands, interviews with industry experts, and more. The book is required reading at many universities, and he has also lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School.
From our interview you’ll find out the best books recommended by Ronn on various PR-related topics, key lessons learned in business, how he handles information overwhelm and social media noise in an industry that requires you to be always on, his reading habits, and more. Here we go!
Over the course of my career, there have been so many books that I have read that have had a lasting impact or defining shift in my perspective. Books are among my favorite possessions, and in my home have thousands of books literally on display.
How to Win Friends and Influence People, referred often times as the Public Relations Bible, has remained an incredibly important book since its release in 1937. In my profession, I am consistently reminded of this essential concept presented by Carnegie: “Success is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.”
Crystallizing Public Opinion, on the other hand, was written by the Godfather of PR. Bernays combined crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, to become the first thinker to explain how PR could thrive by managing public opinion. It’s truly incredible how poignant his insights and analysis remain in popular culture.
PR is notoriously a hard industry to succeed in. And as an entrepreneur, it’s really hard – and sometimes you have to make decisions that are not always easy but best for the company. A great book — necessary reading for everyone at 5WPR — is the great business book, The No Asshole Rule. The book’s theory, while seemingly obvious, is quite difficult to adhere to for many people – learn to cut your losses. We’ve had to resign clients when they no longer fit our business. It’s an unfortunate reality that you must eliminate aspects of your business that are no longer serving your mission.
One can be tough without being an asshole. A key lesson in business, and in life.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t read something. Whether it is newspapers, online content, or the hard copy books next to my bed, I am obsessed with gathering knowledge and insights to always remain at the forefront of not only PR but business as a whole.
In my experience, one of the most important skills for retaining and converting information into action and strategy is note taking and repetition. My notes live on my cell phone and in a collection of notebooks which I never throw away. However, it’s not enough to simply take the notes; it is important to constantly revisit them, ensuring it is retained and eventually becomes second nature.
PR is an industry that never stops. A crisis can occur at any moment, and remaining consistently aware and engaged is paramount to success. However, it is also important to disengage. As a proud father of two amazing daughters, I make a concerted effort that when I spend time with them, I am present.
Another practice I have to maintain a positive relationship with information is I put my phone away at night. When I go to bed at night, I don’t bring my phone with me. I make sure to disengage and allow time for my mind to absorb the day without distractions.
Links where you can follow Ronn Torossian or find out more about his projects:
All books mentioned by Ronn Torossian in our interview: