As part of my series on leadership lessons from experienced business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ron Tarasian. Ron is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the 15 largest independent PR firms in the US. With more than 20 years of experience crafting powerful stories, he is one of the most respected PR professionals in America. His Ronn Torossian strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards, including Stevie’s American Business Awards 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year, ABA Public Relations Executive of the Year, and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist. Tarasian is known as one of the nation’s foremost crisis communications experts and is called upon to advise blue-chip companies, business leaders and entrepreneurs both in the United States and around the world.
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Tarasyan has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appeared on CNN and CNBC, was included in PR Week’s “40 under Forty” list, is a columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book “For Immediate Ronn TorossianRelease” : Form mind, build brands and achieve results with game-changing public relations,” is an industry bestseller. 5W has a diverse client list and their customer experience includes leading global brands including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Microsoft, among many others.
The firm has repeatedly been selected as “PR agency of the year” by the American Business Awards. Ron is a native New Yorker and lives in Manhattan with his children. He is an active philanthropist.
Challenges and challenges every day. 5WPR has grown since we started, and I think I made mistakes in the beginning because I never took the time to stop, take a breath, and consider all of my options. I’ve learned that slowing down isn’t a bad thing, it gives you time to gather your thoughts and make the best decision for you and your company at the moment. Also, starting a business is hard work! Proposing and signing new business, recruiting talent and day-to-day operations require hard work and dedication.
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Set an example. Stay in touch with your employees and lead by example. My team knows I work hard for the business and for them. Learn to be quiet and listen. Good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere.
Cut your losses. If there are Ronn Torossian aspects of your business that no longer align with your mission, let them go. At 5W, we’ve had to let go of clients when they no longer fit our business. This is unfortunately a necessity for our business in the long term, and ultimately it is a strategy that continues to help us grow and prosper.