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Posts Tagged ‘Ronn Torossian’

Cyberattack Suit Against 5W’s Torossian Proceeds

Ronn-Torossian-PicPaging Hamilton Nolan

According to our hometown Daily News, the recent cyber-libel suit filed against 5WPR founder/HuffPo blogger Ronn Torossian—no stranger to news coverage or lawsuits—is “heating up in [New York State Supreme] court.”

(Love the “Ronn is being suedd” lede, BTW.)

New York businessman Dror Zoreff filed the $15 million suit in November, alleging that Torossian “posted false stories on a slew of message boards” calling him various names like fraud, “con artist” , et cetera. Here’s the development the News calls “scorching” via Zoreff attorney Richard G. Haddad:

“On Jan. 7, Torossian agreed in court to stop issuing false and defamatory statements about Mr. Zoreff and to immediately remove from the Internet all false statements.”

Looks like we’re headed for a jury trial. There’s a bit more…

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Top PR Man Tied to Troubled Fundraiser

Staten Island State Representative Michael Grimm has a big PR problem on his hands—and it’s threatening to extend to some well-known faces within the industry itself.

The big news: On Friday, federal authorities arrested Israeli national Ofer Biton, who happens to be one of Grimm’s top fundraisers, and charged him with immigration fraud. The government has accused Biton of lying about his business ventures and extorting funds in an effort to win a permanent US visa–but this isn’t the first time he’s attracted suspicion.

Biton was a top aide to Upper East Side rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto until 2010, and investigators “have been investigating the possibility” that he was responsible for the disappearance of up to $6 million originally belonging to members of Pinto’s yeshiva. Biton solicited a good deal of cash from this crowd in support of State Rep. Grimm, and the rabbi’s followers believe that he also pocketed millions of dollars meant to go to politicians and related charities. Biton has even been accused of leaking negative stories about Pinto to reporters and then using the bad press to blackmail him into hiring a professional representative.

The big PR name in this sundry tale is that of Ronn Torossian.

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Congregants Allege 5WPR’s Torossian Involved in Scheme Against Rabbi

5WPR founder Ronn Torossian has been named in an investigation over an alleged plot that one rabbi’s followers say resulted in the loss of millions of dollars of the congregation’s money.

According to The New York Times, followers of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto have accused a former aide, Ofer Biton, of taking money intended for charity. Moreover, they say that Biton hatched a plan with Torossian to push negative news in the media. The story says:

The rabbi’s followers have also charged that Mr. Biton and Ronn Torossian, a public relations agent based in Manhattan, engaged in a scheme in which they leaked purportedly damaging information about the rabbi to reporters. Then, the followers said, Mr. Biton pushed to have Mr. Torossian put on retainer to help put an end to the bad publicity.

No one has been charged or found guilty of anything. However, the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI have stepped in to investigate.

In the story, Biton denies “any involvement whatsoever in any plot.” Torossian also said he had no comment in the story. He sent us an email with a short statement: “I have no knowledge of any of the absurd allegations alluded to,” he wrote.

Shortly after, he added to his comments, also via email.

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Torossian’s 5WPR Working with Rick Sanchez

5WPR president Ronn Torossian confirmed with PRNewser that his firm is working with Rick Sanchez, the CNN staffer fired in October 2010 after making controversial statements about The Daily Show host Jon Stewart. According to TVNewser, while making an appearance on Pete Dominick‘s satellite radio show, Sanchez called Stewart “a ‘bigot’ and went on to say, ‘a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart.’”

Torossian didn’t elaborate on the nature of the services he’s providing for Sanchez. However, Business Insider’s Glynnis MacNicol reported on an event she attended late last week at the Carlebach shul in Manhattan, a “one-on-one with (‘America’s Rabbi’) Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in front of a group of about 50 people including myself.”

In addition, Sanchez will appear at a couple of fundraisers for a Toledo-based Latino social service agency today, according to the Cleveland Jewish News.

Blinn PR Closes, Steven Blinn Moves to Canada

Blinn PR, a technology boutique based in Manhattan, closed its doors recently.  We we alerted to the news by Steven Blinn‘s GChat status update, saying only:

“After 15 years BlinnPR is closing it’s doors. Relocating to Toronto, and looking for new opportunities. Eh?”

Blinn is notable to us as both a frequent commenter on PRNewser, and as one of several agency owners to lock horns with 5WPR and its provacative founder Ronn Torossian.

Blinn went after some of Torossian’s clients in the wake of the Chris Anderson‘s PR Blacklist, on which several 5W staffers were listed.  Torossian and his SVP responded by attempting to take both Blinn’s clients and staffers.

Emails and IMs to Blinn have not been returned as of the time of this post.

Dinner with Ronn Torossian Will Cost You $40

We’re all invited (via Craigslist) to join 5WPR’s Ronn Torossian for dinner on Friday (for $40, for charity). There’s an open bar!

Today’s Best PR Email Snafu


It’s not that uncommon for PRNewser to receive email pitches with typos, wrong headlines, track changes, mass CC’d lists that people meant to BCC, and other common mishaps.

However, an email from 5WPR today may take the cake. Unfortunately, a staffer sent out a blast pitch with the following headline:

Subject: Pls send thsi firm wide and to my whole roladex asap – also to the PR trade list on Y drive in media lists – pls do so asap – also pr newswire, etc

Of course, one can take a pretty good guess and assume that subject line was not for public consumption. The pitch was to announce the SAE Institute as a new 5WPR client, and it came from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian.

Say what you will about 5WPR’s tactics, the agency does know how to get press.

Press (Mostly) Not Impressed With Apple iPhone 4 Press Conference

Apple held their much anticipated press conference to address iPhone 4 antenna issues this past Friday, which featured Steve Jobs himself.

PR consultant and author Shel Holtz called the press conference, “a lesson in how not to handle a crisis.”

5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian was not impressed with how the company has handled things overall, but said that the Apple brand is in a much better position than others, when it comes to weathering a crisis.

Jobs made a few moves that many in the media and PR world are questioning. First, he attacked Apple competitors, some of which have already shot back.

Second, Jobs and Apple tried their best to deny there was a problem, and even at the press conference tried to minimize it. However, they offered a solution (free bumpers) to a problem they tried to pretend didn’t exist. Of course, this leaves many wondering that if the problem is so minimal, why their issuing a solution in the first place.

The company may have scored some points when they invited 11 reporters to tour their wireless testing labs after the press conference.

Did you watch the press conference on Friday and ruminate about it all weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Afternoon Bites

President Obama will appear on “Larry King Live” tonight. Here’s an advance clip where Obama tells King he is “furious” about the Gulf Coast oil spill.

–There are a bunch of personnel changes at ABC News Digital

–Political statistics blog partnered up with The New York Times.

–5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian thinks this flack did a good job.

–Is this woman too hot to work at Citibank? She is suing the company and says she was fired because of her looks.

Fast Company says the U.S. brand with the greatest social currency is JetBlue.

5WPR’s Dreaded 8:30 a.m. Editorial Meetings


It’s not uncommon for some agencies to have all-hands meetings where staffers present their “clips” or client coverage for the week to management and colleagues.

One mid-sized agency, 5WPR, holds two such staff meetings a month at 8:30 a.m. Many former 5WPR staffers we’ve spoken with seem to have hated the meetings, where the pressure was on to deliver something big — mostly in the form of client coverage.

5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian told PRNewser today that meetings aren’t always about client coverage.

“Sometimes its an event, sometimes it’s a briefing…but its always something of value to a client. We did it for the first three years of our existence from 2003-2006, and started it again in 2009,” said Torossian.

We’ve also heard of similar practices at other agencies, and are curious to hear about any such meetings at your agency. Let us know, or leave your thoughts in the comments.