Six Questions for Ronn Torossian, Nadine Johnson, Peggy Siegal & Michael Tavani

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian, President & CEO, 5W Public Relations

Why did you get into the business? I considered being a lawyer, or doing some sort of sociology work. But now I feel I have the best of all worlds; PR is a mix of journalism, psychology and lawyering.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a publicist? Maybe a writer, though writing my first book taught me just how hard it is to make money from writing. When I was a kid I wanted to be a professional basketball player—my similar, unrealistic at this point dream job would be to serve as prime minister of Israel.

What was your shining moment? Without any question the best shining moment of my life would be the birth of my children—nothing compares. Professionally, there are so many highlights. As a self-made New Yorker, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I am the American dream.

What was your biggest mistake? Growing a business very quickly, I didn’t ever take a breath as 5WPR grew. I made mistakes. Of course, as I have seen NYC transform, another regret is not buying more real estate.

Do you have a secret lunch spot you take your clients to? My favorite lunch spot is a secret. But I can tell you for sure it isn’t Michael’s, where I’d see countless competitors. Breakfast is my favorite meal for business meals anyway.

What is your prediction for the industry in the coming year? The public relations industry is in the midst of a well-deserved growth stage—and it will continue to grow rapidly. 5WPR is one of the few firms owned by anyone under the age of 50. The future is only rising for us.

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Nadine Johnson

Nadine Johnson

Nadine Johnson, President, Nadine Johnson Inc.

Why did you get into the business? I am a news and information junkie.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a publicist? Meditating and reading books.

What was your shining moment? The birth of my son.

What was your biggest mistake? I will never tell.

Do you have a secret lunch spot you take your clients to? The corner of my desk—the food is divine.

What is your prediction for the industry in the coming year? More velocity—more platforms for information—more excitement.

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Peggy Siegal (Photo- Patrick McMullan /PatrickMcMullan.com)

Peggy Siegal (Photo- Patrick McMullan /PatrickMcMullan.com)

Peggy Siegal, The Peggy Siegal Company

Why did you get into the business? It’s a privilege to work with smart, creative artists. Who wouldn’t want to have this amazing life?

What would you be doing if you weren’t a publicist? I would be a fashion designer or brain surgeon.

What was your shining moment? My mother’s eulogy.

What was your biggest mistake? Impatience.

Do you have a secret lunch spot you take your clients to? No. My goal is not to hide clients. Michael’s is perfect.

What is your prediction for the industry in the coming year? As the “Oscar Witch,” I predict a battle royale for “Best Actor.” Too many great performances. Too few Oscar slots.

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Michael Tavani of M18

Michael Tavani of M18

Michael Tavani, Co-Founder, M18

Why did you get into the business? It seemed to me that the industry was mostly divided into very corporate and what I would call “fashionable” firms without a sophisticated understanding of the business side of property development. I thought there was a need for a firm that could combine both.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a publicist? Something that allowed me more free time.

What was your shining moment? The birth of my daughter.

What was your biggest mistake? By nature, I am a very forward-looking person, so I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on missteps.

Do you have a secret lunch spot you take your clients to? Many of our clients own restaurants where I end up dining frequently during the workweek—The NoMad and Reynard at the Wythe Hotel are two favorites.

What is your prediction for the industry in the coming year? Content marketing will play a major role as a companion to more traditional PR activities like media outreach. Nothing will replace the value of an endorsement by a respected media outlet, but prestigious print opportunities are becoming increasingly scarce while the online landscape is becoming increasingly cluttered.

Six Questions for Ronn Torossian, Nadine Johnson, Peggy Siegal & Michael Tavani