Tag Archives: Alex Fulbright

Franco on the Town – January Edition

 

January was all steel, LEGOs and Red Wings Hockey for the Franco team.

Franco ladies Tina K., Tina S., Ann Marie, Erica, Lauren and Elizabeth working it at SMDI’s booth at The North American International Auto Show.

Franco Team at SMDI NAIAS Booth

 

Deanna Lorincz from SMDI, Tina S. and Tina K. before the NAIAS Charity Preview event.

Franco at NAIAS Charity Event

 

Sarah, Andrea and Pat celebrating a partnership between Arbor Hospice and Henry Ford Village.

Franco at Arbor Hospice and Henry Ford Event

 

Elizabeth, Alex, Sasha and Tina K. at the LEGOLAND Lego brick GMRENCEN reveal at NAIAS.

Franco at GMRENCEN LEGOLAND Reveal at COBO Center

 

Andrea and Mary with Motown recording artist, KEM at The Salvation Army water distribution event to assist those affected by the Flint water crisis.

Franco with KEM at Flint Water Distribution Event

 

Dan H., Lori, Tina K. and Sarah cheered on Joe as he and the rest of the Stahls’ team took on the Detroit Red Wing Alumni team.

Red Wings Alumni vs. Detroit Red Wings Alumni

 

 

Coming in February: Opening of Granite City Detroit, Bed & Bread Radiothon, Automation Alley at the DIA, Chicago Auto Show

Franco Hat Day

Hat n. a shaped covering for the head that often has a brim and a rounded or flat top

<it’s National Hat Day, so we wore hats>

Hat Day

 

Ashley Dupuy, Designer

AD

 

Joe Ferlito, Account Manager

“No surprise here. Franco’s ‘outdoors guy’ is wearing a hunting hat. This is my favorite hunting hat that’s not orange or camo.”

JF

 

Alex Fulbright, Digital Marketing Specialist

“I’ve got crazy love for this city. That Detroit buzz everyone talks about – it’s  real.”

AF

Detroit Hustles Harder

 

Christian Harper, Public Relations Coordinator

“I love winter hats! This hat came from Bed, Bath & Beyond… random right? My bestfriend’s little sister bought it while she was here visiting from Florida and I loved it, so I went and got one to match!”

CH

 

Andrea Kenski, Senior Account Executive

“When I wear my old English D hat, it reminds me of my favorite childhood memories involving my dad and of course, the Detroit Tigers. As a child, my father would take me and my brothers to games at Tigers Stadium. As an adult, my Father’s Day gift to him was Tigers baseball tickets for him and his daughter. Go Tigers!”

AK

 

Sarah Kornacki, Assistant Account Executive

“My hat is a homemade creation by my sister Frances, modeled after the hat worn by Princess Anna in Disney’s “Frozen”. Mostly, people don’t question it, but sometimes I get compliments from little children who recognize the design.”

SK SKSK1

 

John Mozena, Account Director

“While I’ve got a number of Red Cross hats, this is the only one clean enough to wear to the Franco office. The others all have soot and water stains and other crud on them from doing local fire response as a Red Cross disaster team leader.”

JM

 

Sasha Reeves, Assistant Account Executive

“I love my hat because it represents two of my favorite things – Detroit and CMU. Fire up, Chips!”

SRSR

Marie Stawasz, Senior Account Executive

“I like beer, and I like Jolly Pumpkin.”

MS

 

Who wore it best? Cast your vote in the comments.

Giant Turkeys and Lukken’s – Here’s How Franco Does the Holidays

Each family celebrates the holidays in their own, unique (sometimes out-there) way. Here’s how some of our Franco team rings in the yuletide season with their loved ones.

Stephanie Angelyn Casola, Account Manager

Pasta! Is that a tradition? It was if you grew up in the Casola household. The holiday didn’t matter, one thing was certain: there would be pasta. Sure, we had a giant turkey, my mom’s mashed potatoes, cranberries shaped like a can. But even better? My Sicilian born-and-raised father made sure there was also a pot-full of fresh tomato sauce bubbling on the stove to top his cannelloni or spaghetti. If he had time, we started the meal with homemade meatball soup (my sisters and I would battle over who-got-how-many-meatballs). Every holiday morning I dream of waking up to those smells of him cooking in the kitchen.

SC

Note the caption!

Pat Adanti-Joy, Vice President

There was a local department store in Dearborn by the name of Muirhead’s that had a wonderful, elaborate Christmas exhibit every year. It was a tradition for our family to see Santa there every year.

PJ

If you’re wondering, Pat’s riding shotgun.

Lauren Connor, Assistant Account Executive

When we are sitting around the table after we have finished our meal my dad will put some random item in a box and put it on the table. No one can see inside it and we then go around in a circle asking yes or no questions trying to guess what it is. The items are very random like a pen or a baseball but once someone has figured it out, they get a prize – usually money or a gift card. Last year, it was a gift card to get your car detailed. (I didn’t win and I was super bummed because my car needed it.)

LC Fam

Mary Parkinson, Assistant Account Executive

A recent tradition my family has started is traveling around the holidays. We have been to New Zealand, Salt Lake City and this year we are heading to Dubai!

MP

Salt Lake City, 2014

Marie Stawasz, Senior Account Executive

I’m Polish. Polish people love tradition. Pierogi, kielbasa and zupa grzybowa are all part of my family’s Christmas, but another tradition that holds a close place in my heart are my Mimi’s Santa Cookies. These decorated treats are made using Aunt Chick’s cookie cutters, a vintage cutter that my grandma purchased at Hudson’s many years ago. Perfectly decorated with red granulated sugar and fluffy icing, these retro-inspired cookies are always a hit during the holidays – and it’s not hard to see why!

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Notice the fu manchu and unibrow? Mine and my sister’s take on making the cookies more unique. We get our sense of humor from Mimi.

MS2

Joe Ferlito, Account Manager

My uncle raises a turkey each year specifically for Thanksgiving Day. It’s funny because a few years ago, we had a 40 pound bird and it barely fit in the oven… and took forever to cook.

JF

Sasha Reeves, Assistant Account Executive

The past few Christmases, I’ve prepared some sort of sweet treat, packaged them up in a cute holiday themed tin and delivered them to our police and fire stations for those on duty on Christmas. It’s also nice being able to hand deliver it and thank them for their service that pulls them away from their own families in order to protect our community.

SR

Alex Fulbright, Digital Marketing Specialist

Each year my parents make me and my siblings wait at the top of our steps as they “see what Santa brought” (We now know that means make coffee, and turn on the 24-7 fireplace channel.) To get a glimpse of the Christmas cheer that exploded in our living room the night before, we would have to ask permission to descend a step. Yes, one step at a time. Sometimes – if we were lucky – we’d get the okay to move down two! Making it to the landing was always an accomplishment, and by then our eagerness usually takes on a new form – frustration. “Can we go down two more stairs, Dad?” we’d yell down. “I don’t know ask your Mom” or the ever-popular “I saw you peeking, move up two stairs” certainly takes its toll on a kid. But it’s all worth it when we get that first glimpse of the tree. Deep gasps all around.

AF

Note: Yes, even though my sister and I are in our early twenties and my brother is old enough to drive we still have to start at the top step and work our way down. We’ve grown to love it (not to mention almost out-grown the steps between the three of us!) and plan on keeping the tradition alive!

Lori Cook, Office Manager

In my family, every Christmas, we make a Belgian cookie called Lukken.  These cookies look like and taste quite a bit like sugar ice cream cones but are flat discs made one at a time on a metal iron that sits on the stove. It’s a daylong event that begins around 9 a.m. with Grandma Pat, my daughter Michelle, nieces Chris, Sarah, Tracy and Rachel all working together to turn three big bowls of dough into quarter-sized balls that will then be cooked individually.  During the six or so hours it will take we all take turns manning the two irons that have been passed down from my grandparents to my parents. My dad started making these cookies as a boy with his dad.  We take this very seriously and if anyone burns a cookie it comes out of their allotment at the end!

LC1

Sarah Kornacki, Assistant Account Executive

Since my parents always like to buy clothing as Christmas gifts for me and my sisters, every year on Dec. 26, my sisters and I try on and model our new outfits.

SK1

John C. Mozena, Account Director

For us, the holidays involve the kind of organizational planning and negotiations usually associated with a major amphibious invasion. Juggling family, church, school pageants, and work-related events keep my family on their toes. But that makes the time that we do get to spend together (even if it is in the car driving to our next stop) that much more meaningful.

mozena_christmas

How does your family celebrate the holidays? Share your traditions in the comments!

5 Things I Learned About Detroit During the #DXFChallenge

The Detroit Experience Factory hosted their second annual #DXFchallenge this summer. As a newbie to Detroit, I was convinced to take on the challenge alongside our social media expert, Alex Fulbright. (She lives in the D and was a great guide to navigate the bars and eateries on the list.)

Let me break it down. There is a beautiful list the Detroit Experience Factory compiles of all the bars and eateries in Detroit, this year’s round-up had 303. The challenge is to visit as many of them as possible between June 1 and August 31. As you visit and make a purchase, you must take a photo at the establishment and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #DXFchallenge.

Is it the cheapest activity to do in the D? Probably not. Nevertheless, it was probably the most fun. Not to mention, I learned a lot along the way!

  1. The Food

If you didn’t know already, Detroit has got it going on when it comes to the eats. Midwesterners take their food seriously, and Detroit is no exception.

SR1

(L) Small Plates pretty much changed my life. The selection is incredible and the food is out of this world. I’m a sucker for Chicken & Waffles, and oh man, did they deliver. (R) For some lighter fare that doesn’t require a dress or stretchy pants, The Brooklyn Street Local serves up an amazing kale salad and has a quaint outdoor seating area perfect for lunchtime.

 

  1. The Drinks

Weekdays are for happy hours, right? Okay, maybe not. But they sure make the week a little more fun. The Motor City is rocking the bar scene right now. Whether you’re into craft beer or craft cocktails, you can wet your whistle with some of the best drinks right here in Detroit.

SR2

(L) We were lucky to catch Detroit City Distillery in Eastern Market during their Summer of Gin and tried four of the six limited-edition gins created in celebration of the season. (M) I even got my out-of-town boyfriend in on the fun; we enjoyed fresh beer out of mason jars at Batch Brewing Company in Midtown. (R) Alex and I visited Townhouse Detroit during their opening week to see what all the rage was about, and we were not disappointed by their signature cocktails and atmosphere.

Perhaps you’re looking for something to start the day with. Good news, Detroit has that too!

SR3

(L) Great Lakes Coffee will rock your socks with their unique lavender latte. Yes, you read that right, lavender latte; and you just will not understand the hype until you try it for yourself. Do it. (R) I needed an afternoon pick-me-up one day and headed to Roasting Plant Detroit. Not only do they carry premium coffee, they have an awesome set up to spruce your coffee just the way you like. Beer taps for creamers – brilliant. They also have cookie dough shots – uncooked dough balls with chunks of dark chocolate, and that is reason enough for me to visit any establishment.

 

  1. The Sweets

I’m a sucker for anything loaded with sugar, chocolate and deliciousness. This worked out in my favor, because Detroit has a plethora of sweet treats to offer.

SR4

(L) I ordered banana and coconut gelato at Krema and it was seriously magical, like lying on the white sands of a Caribbean beach magical. (M) I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to macaroons because I had my very first one in France, the motherland of macaroons. I’m here to tell you that Astoria gives the French a run for their money. They also make a mean cannoli. I have no self-control in Astoria. (R) Bon Bon Bon offers uniquely flavored handcrafted chocolates. This is the REAL box of chocolate. Each one is packaged in a tiny cute box ready to be enjoyed at your convenience. In the picture, I purchased #41- Whiskey Lullabye (whiskey caramel, chamomile dark chocolate ganache and candied chamomile – also known as complete perfection.)

 

  1. The Pride

The people in Detroit LOVE Detroit. The feeling of resurgence and excitement in the city is infectious. I feel it at any Detroit game, strolling the Detroit Riverwalk, picking up lunch or grabbing a drink with friends; it’s everywhere. People working, living and enjoying the Motor City are proud to call it home. Detroiters also just happen to be the best people in the Midwest.

SR5

(L) This photo includes two young professionals that Detroit claimed from NYC, as well as two wonderful people that make the fun happen at Detroit Experience Factory. It was at Wright & Company that I tried a cocktail truly unlike any other, The Diablo. It’s not on the menu, but if you enjoy tequila and a spicy kick, this is for you. (M) Kate bought tickets to this Detroit Experience Factory bar tour for her mom, Pat. They live in metro Detroit but Pat had wanted to explore downtown and the bar tour was the perfect place to do it. The Cornerstone Barrel House has an outstanding whiskey selection, I recommend trying a classic whiskey sour made with Traverse City Whiskey Cherry. (R) My friend, my boyfriend and I enjoyed beers before a Detroit Tiger’s game in Greektown. The Detroiter has some awesome happy hour appetizer specials, and honestly, could the name be more perfect?

 

  1. The Fun

As the pictures show, it’s no secret that I’ve had fun. I came to Detroit from a tiny college town in the middle of nowhere Michigan. I could have chosen any city. However, when the opportunity came to work in Detroit, I couldn’t pass it up. Detroit has it all! Great teams (the Lions may not apply), delicious food, tasty drinks, a multitude of theatres to enjoy a show, incredible local shops, hard working professionals; it’s all here. I could come into Detroit any day or night of the week and there would be something fun happening somewhere.

SR6

(L) One of my favorite friends got married this summer. We spent her bachelorette party frolicking downtown Detroit and having too much fun with every stop along the way. We learned that Punch Bowl Social does indeed have punch bowls. (M) I HAMMed it up as much as I could to keep the pictures interesting as not to bore my followers. The Old Miami in Midtown has a backyard that feels like your own. Sometimes cheap beer and kicking it on a deck is just what the doctor ordered. (R) More often than not, the challenge gave me a chance to hang out with co-workers outside of work. A short walk from the office took us many places. This day, we enjoyed drinks while we soaked up some of the summer sun at Checker Bar in Cadillac Square.

 

Since starting to work in Detroit, this challenge has brought me some of my favorite memories so far. The city is pulsating with new and fun experiences to be had.

What are some of your favorite Detroit bars and eateries? Share in the comment section below! I am always up for a new place to try.

Sasha Reeves is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5090 or sreeves@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @sasha_reeves.

Franco Specialties – PR and Pumpkins

As the wind ripples the Detroit River outside our windows and the leaves turn on the Riverwalk, the Franco team prepares for one of their favorite fall pastimes – the annual pumpkin carving competition.

Since this is my first Franco Halloween, I wanted to see just how fierce the competition is – so I dusted off the archive hard drive and did a little digging.

I found lots of Detroit-inspired pumpkins.

Eastern Market

Joe Louis Fist

Uniroyal TireWhich makes sense considering Franco is the oldest PR firm in the D.

Pumpkins that brought me back to my childhood.

Cartoon

Cars

Masterpieces that may be more relevant today, than they were when they were created.

Donald Trump

Pumpkins celebrating Franco clients.

TSA Kick-Off

Famous pumpkins.

Stephen Colbert

50 Cent

Martha Stewart

Learned that we have some serious Tom Hanks fans in the office.

Forrest Gump

Cast Away

Pumpkins fit for a princess.

Cinderella

Cinderella

This…

Hunting Pumpkin

And even a Dan Ponder pumpkin.

Dan PonderBecause what better way to honor the CEO of Franco than by carving his face into an orange gourd?

 

Lesson learned – I better bring my A game.

Help me! Share some trophy-worthy pumpkin carving ideas in the comments (please)!

Alex Fulbright is a digital marketing specialist at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5085 or fulbright@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AlexandriaFul and connect on LinkedIn.

9 Moments From TEDxDetroit That Will Make You Want To TEDx Everyday

Just one week ago Detroit entrepreneurs, musicians, comedians, nerds, artists and doers congregated at the Fox Theater for TEDxDetroit 2015 to share their new ideas, inventions and points-of-view. It was a day filled with explosions, standing ovations and tears.

I was lucky enough to get asked to help my fellow Franconians, Stephanie Casola and Marie Stawaz with the PR efforts the day-off the event. Picture backstage access, VIP seating and face time with speakers.

So to commemorate my first-ever TEDxDetroit, enjoy these moments from the show – crowd favorites, most-shocking and some inspiring. If you weren’t able to attend, or if you’d like to re-watch any talks, TEDxDetroit plans on posting links on their website sometime in November.

1. Charles Gibson aka “The Exploder” from the Michigan Science Center causally BLEW THINGS UP during his talk.

2. Detroit Director, Stephen McGee showed off some of his new toys.  

3.  Organization for Bat Conservation‘s, Rob Miles surprised us with a different kind of flying object. 

4. Music performances by Alicia Michilli, Tunde Olaniran and Ahya Simone and Shelby 5 kept the TEDxDetroit crowd pumped up.  

 

 

5. Detroit native, Aaron Foley made some great points about old Detroit vs. the new Detroit and how we need to come together as one.

6. Speed painting pair, Dave Santia and Sarah Kay created a Beatles portrait, in front of the TEDxDetroit live audience in just SEVEN MINUTES.

7. Sixteen-year-old high school senior and inventor of the “Wheelchair Stroller”, Alden Kane had the crowd on their feet during his on-stage interview with TEDxDetroit board member, Charlie Wollborg.

8. Comedian, writer and professor Amer Zahr did a bit about what it’s like to be an Arab American.

9. Franco Account Manager, Stephanie Casola was recognized on stage for her PR work surrounding TEDxDetroit, but was too busy coordinating media interviews to hear any of it!

Overall, you could say I was “over the moon” with the TEDxDetroit experience.

Alexandria Fulbright and Stephanie Casola at TEDxDetroit

Franco’s Alexandria Fulbright and Stephanie Casola explore the TEDxDetroit labs at Hockeytown Cafe.

 

Did I leave out your favorite TEDxDetroit moment? Call me out in the comments!

Alex Fulbright is a digital marketing specialist at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5085 or fulbright@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AlexandriaFul and connect on LinkedIn.

Franco Celebrates National Punctuation Day


Today is National Punctuation Day, and since punctuation is PR’s middle name – Hello, my name is… Public Punctuation Relations – the Franco team decided it would only be right to give our two cents.

So, after a bit of research on how to celebrate National Punctuation day we came up with three questions to impart on our fellow Franconians:

  1. What are your punctuation pet peeves?
  2. What’s your favorite punctuation and why?
  3. What are the most-common punctuation mistakes you see on a daily basis?

Here are some of their responses:

What are your punctuation pet peeves?

“My biggest pet peeve is when people don’t know the difference between there, they’re and their!”

Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin, Account Manager

There, Their, They're

“The usual…there, their and they’re; you, your and you’re; two, to and too. I can’t take it when people don’t know how to use apostrophes.”

Ann Marie Fortunate, Account Supervisor


“Multiple exclamation points at the end of a sentence. One exclamation is sufficient enough to portray your excitement.”

Andrea Kenski, Senior Account Executive

hate

“When people constantly use the Oxford comma. Just got done editing some web content and had to take out like a million of them… Unnecessary!”

Dan Horn, Senior Account Executive

“I really dislike the Oxford comma. I think extra commas are silly, outdated and unnecessary.”

Tina Kozak, President

 

What’s your favorite punctuation and why?

“The em dash – one of my personal favorite punctuation marks – is a great way to draw attention to an aside in your sentence. (If you’re trying to make the information you’re inserting less disruptive to the flow of your narrative, parentheses work better.)”

John Mozena, APR, Account Manager

“Commas – they help break up a sentence. There’s nothing worse than a run-on sentence.”

Joe Ferlito, Account Manager

“When it comes to social, the em dash reigns supreme. It can add pause and drama to your copy – ultimately making it more effective. It also doesn’t hurt that it only takes up one character!”

Alex Fulbright, Digital Marketing Specialist

 

What are the most-common punctuation mistakes you see on a daily basis?

“Grammar typos because people rely solely on spellcheck instead of reading.”

Joe Ferlito, Account Manager

“On Twitter, too many people sacrifice punctuation on the altar of 140 characters. However, missing punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence where simply abbreviating a word would not.”

John Mozena, APR, Account Manager

 

Chime in with your punctuation hang-ups, faux pas and most common fails in the comments section.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Register for TEDxDetroit Today

On Thursday, October 8th, creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, geeks, designers, thinker and doers will all flock to Detroit for the 7th Annual TEDxDetroit. Franco PR Group is excited to work with them to spread the word about this one-of-a-kind conference.

1. TEDx events are breakoffs from the larger, parent conference TED Talks. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – three words that are practically synonymous with the Motor City.

Photos: Cobo Center, Rockin’ on the Riverfront Concert Series, Detroit Institute of Arts

Photos: Cobo Center, Rockin’ on the Riverfront Concert Series, Detroit Institute of Arts

Check, check and… check.

2. There are only 14 other TEDx conference located throughout Michigan, and as you can see TEDxDetroit is at the TOP of the list.

TEDx MI

Which could just be a coincidence, but then again, maybe not.

3. The TEDxDetroit stage has been graced by Detroit powerhouses like Quicken Loans Founder and real estate tycoon, Dan Gilbert, Slow Roll Co-Founder Jason Hall, and Hardcore Pawn star, Les Gold.

4. And this year’s line-up continues to bring the best of the best, with NASA Planetary Scientist, Dr. Cathy Olkin, Life Remodeled Founder and CEO, Dr. Chris. Lambert and President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association, Gary Shaprio.

Photo from GMRENCEN “Reflecting A New Detroit”

Photo: GMRENCEN “Reflecting A New Detroit”

Just to name a few.

5. Oh yeah, and on top of all those great speakers – they’ve got LIVE MUSIC. With performances by America’s Got Talent finalist Alicia Michilli, Tunde OlaniranAhya SimoneTimothy OrikriShelby 5Chance MorrisDarius SimpsonScout Bostley and Britney Stoney.

6. Not to mention this year’s venue just happens to be the historic Fox Theatre.

Photo: facebook.com/foxtheatredetroit

Photo: facebook.com/foxtheatredetroit

Which is the largest TEDxDetroit venue in its seven-year history.

7. Charlie Wollborg, Chief Troublemaker at Curve Detroit and TEDxDetroit Executive Producer and Curator has been a featured speaker at several noted conferences including SXSW Interactive, Podcamp Michigan and Ignite Automotive.

Photo: twitter.com/CharlieCurve

Photo: twitter.com/CharlieCurve

So he probably knows how to put on a good show.

8. If you don’t go you’re just going to be checking Twitter for updates all day anyway.


#TEDxDetroit FOMO

9. If you register for TEDxDetroit before Sept. 21, you’ll save $15. Which you can put towards those Red Wings tickets you’ve had your eye on.

10. And if that’s not enough to get you to click the registration link. Maybe this’ll help…

Photos: facebook.com/bigalora, facebook.com/comfortcruzine, detroitstockyard.com

Photos: facebook.com/bigalora, facebook.com/comfortcruzine, detroitstockyard.com

Detroit food truck favorites like Bigalora, Heroes vs. Villain, Motor City Franks, Comfort Cruzine, Stockyard and more will be on-site at TEDxDetroit. 

 

Which TEDxDetroit speaker is on your must-see list? Share in the comments.

Alex Fulbright is a digital marketing specialist at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5085 or fulbright@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AlexandriaFul and connect on LinkedIn.

Tweeting Trackside: Behind-the-Scenes with the Grand Prix Social Team

Picture this: an Indy Car sporting the Facebook and YouTube logos on either side, an Instagram logo on the nose and a Twitter logo center stage on the rear wing.

Behind the wheel OTTO Detroit CEO, Mark Russell, is focused on placing higher in the standings than he did at last year’s race. While his chief engineer Alex Fulbright coordinates a team of 18 Wayne State University students to help him achieve his goal.

This was kind of the set-up we had for this year’s Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix social team. I was tasked with the responsibility of educating the students on social best practices, crafting a tone-of-voice, building an engagement strategy and ultimately creating content surrounding the race experience for one of the most-talked about and anticipated racing events of the year – the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix social team

The 2015 Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix social team.

We worked hard, dodged some flying debris and had a lot of fun. Here is some behind-the-scenes action of what took place in the pits with our Grand Prix social team:

Starting the Engines
Coming into day one, the students had done a great job revving up the conversation so many of the fans, media and drivers were already tagging the @DetroitGP handle and using the #DetroitGP hashtag. So we started having conversations with them – answering their questions, telling them how great their photos looked and doing it in a fun, playful way. The fans loved it.

Detroit Grand Prix Social

Over the weekend we received numerous tweets from fans saying how much they enjoyed the @DetroitGP.

While the moderators were talking to the fans, our production crews were out capturing content. From race action to poncho pics – we wanted it all, and they got it for us. Some were posted to the channels on-site via mobile, while others made their way into the daily recap videos. The amount of content we collected was unreal and honestly, some of it never even saw the light of day.

‘Swift’ing Gears
The only way to succeed on social media is by staying relevant. That means not only knowing what’s going on with your client, but also keeping tabs on the other conversations happening on social. During our moderation we discovered that one of the Verizon Indy Car Series drivers racing in the Chevy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans was driving a car that featured by Taylor Swift (which was kind of awesome). So naturally, people needed to know about it. This content was fun and effective because it expanded our audience to include both race fans and Swift fans.

Taylor Swift Racecar

@DetroitGP posted about Tony Kanaan’s Taylor Swift car with a reference to “Shake It Off” lyrics.

Time is of the Essence
The tricky part of having so much to talk about was getting it posted while it was still relevant. We couldn’t post a photo of the TRAXXAS Truck Series winner during the final lap of the Dual in Detroit Indy Car race, so we had to be tactful and quick about getting the info out. Our solutions: Live-stream behind-the-scenes content and race action using Periscope, live-tweet content from press conferences and work closely with the Grand Prix team to communicate race updates. By the end of the weekend we also started posting most of our content via mobile to make sure the information got to our fans as quickly as possible.

DetroitGP

With on-site attendance a bit down, due to weather, many fans looked to us for their race updates.

2015 Detroit Grand Prix

Quotes from the drivers were posted to Twitter almost before the words had finished leaving their mouths.

Rain Tires
The biggest challenge we faced over the weekend was actually the same one the drivers were facing – rain. Sure when it’s sunny and 70 the stands are packed with happy race fans, but with temperatures in the low 60s with wind and rain – people are more inclined to stay home.

Sunday’s forecast was a combination of bad weather and poor conditions. We knew coming into the day that more and more people would be looking to us for race updates and other information, but we didn’t want to stop at just relaying information about what was happening on the track – we also wanted to inspire attendance.

But how do you motivate people to leave the comforts of their warm homes to brave the rain and chill to watch a race? Show them other people having fun doing that, of course! We quickly realized the fans at the track genuinely wanted to be there, rain or shine, so that’s what we focused our content on. Umbrellas, ponchos, drenched and happy families – all of it was fair game and all of it was well-received by our followers.

Happy Grand Prix Fans

By showing photos of wet and happy fans, we hoped to inspire others to come join the fun.

Winners Circle
Overall, I think the Grand Prix social team earned a spot on the podium for their efforts. We pushed out compelling content that showcased the races, fans and the overall event experience; we had genuine one-on-one conversations with our fans in such a way that made them feel valued; and we encouraged event attendance for this year and years to come.

For you number folks out there: we clocked over 138M potential impressions across platforms, generated more than 1,000 new Twitter and Instagram followers, and managed to keep our Twitter momentum trending all three days – #DetroitGP trended in Detroit Friday/Saturday; #DualinDetroit trended in Detroit Sunday.

But, being a marketer has taught me that there’s always room for improvement. So let’s hear it, any praise, comments, critiques you have. I’m all ears.

Alex Fulbright is a digital marketing specialist at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5085 or fulbright@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AlexandriaFul and connect on LinkedIn.