Tag Archives: Andrea Kenski

Hospice has personal and professional significance for two Franconians

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Public relations is one of the few professions in which the practitioner’s personal and professional lives can clearly intersect for the betterment of all. Andrea Kenski and I blend the two every day as the Franco team that proudly supports Hospice of Michigan (HOM) and Arbor Hospice. Our personal experiences learned at loved ones’ bedsides, at end-of-life, gives us insight into hospice, palliative care and grief support that helps us add true compassion to our communications.

With brain cancer and a poor prognosis following a year of extensive treatment, hospice was the answer when my dad’s options ran out. Enter Hospice of Michigan to make the most of his final six weeks, freeing my family and me to form happy memories we still cherish.

Several years later, as curative treatment evaporated for my mom’s significant health issues, palliative care and hospice once again delivered comfort and relief at a very difficult time.

Andrea experienced the highs and lows of caregiving as she helped her father through every step of his battle with acute myeloid leukemia. As his primary caregiver, she understands firsthand the tremendous juggling it takes to meet a loved one’s needs at end-of-life in the midst of other obligations.

These life experiences inform our recommendations and inspire the messaging and materials we develop for HOM and Arbor. They guide the interviews and format the testimonials we draft with families who’ve navigated the same emotional waters we have. They infuse a heartfelt quality into our communications about one of life’s toughest journeys.

Andrea and I take great pride in advancing the nonprofit mission Hospice of Michigan and Arbor share and, in the process, even greater delight in knowing our work helps patients and families across the state find care and comfort at end-of-life that we all deserve.

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Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, is a vice president and Andrea Kenski is an account supervisor at Franco. They can be reached, respectively, at joy@franco.com / 313- 567-5046 and kenski@franco.com / 313-567-5092.

Franco On the Town – July Edition

The month of July took Franco to Oregon, local events and we even had a chance to play with puppies.

Marie and Jen celebrated Buddy’s 70th anniversary with the unveiling of a new mural outside the original location on the corner of Six Mile and Conant in Detroit. Detroit Street Artist Fel3000ft painted an original art piece that blends directly into the sky.

JS and MS at Buddy's mural

Pictured left to right: Jen, Wes Pikula – Buddy’s Pizza vice president of operations, Michelle Lawton – Buddy’s Pizza marketing director, Marie, and Fel3000ft – Detroit street artist and muralist.

Jermaine got a tour of the Fox 2 truck during a live shot at Belle Isle for the 34th annual Metro Detroit Youth Day.

JM at MDYD

Brittanie took photos at Metro Detroit Youth Day. Here she is catching some great shots of kids in the boxing ring.

BC at MDYD

Ann Marie gave the camera a big smile while checking out a RAV4 Hybrid  at NWAPA (Northwest Automotive Press Association) Drive Revolution in Portland, OR.

AMF at NWAPA

Mary captured playful moments at Pathways Academy’s daycare photo shoot to help promote the Detroit charter school. Pathways Academy is geared toward 7th through 12th-grade pregnant or young parents.

Pathways photo shoot

Dan, Andrea and Lauren pause for a photo during Comerica Bank VIP Party at Cheli’s Chili. The Franconians are using their event knowledge at every Saturday Detroit Tigers home game.

DH, AK, LC at Comerica VIP Party

Tina got her puppy fix in during Pet Day On the Plaza. She spent time with this adorable Puggle (the offspring of a beagle and a pug).

“This is me and my new boyfriend, Louie.” – Tina

TK On the Plaza - puppy day

Mary and Rene enjoy some sunshine on a Fisher Building balcony overlooking downtown Detroit during a recent building photo shoot.

MP and RC at Fisher building

Elizabeth, Mary and Rene joined communications professionals from throughout metro Detroit at the DBusiness Breakfast Series. Guests enjoyed a presentation from Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, detailing plans for the new Little Caesars Arena and the city of Detroit.

ERS, MP, RC at DBusiness Breakfast series

What’s your AP Stylebook Pet Peeve?

As PR professionals, we have been taught and follow the rules of the Associated Press Stylebook. The AP Stylebook is the PR professional’s bible. And occasionally there are individuals who break the rules. Sometimes by mistake and others simply may not know what the Associated Press has to say about it.

I’m on a mission to call out some common AP Stylebook mistakes because I see them too often.

My AP Style pet peeve is when people refer to a one-page informational document as a flyer. According to the AP, flier is the preferred term for an aviator or handbill; It irritates me because flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses.

I’ve asked my fellow Franconians to describe their biggest AP Stylebook pet peeve and here’s what they had to say:

“Major cities1 stand alone in datelines: Detroit is one of them that doesn’t need the state included.”

Joe F AP Stylebook

Joe Ferlito, account manager

“My biggest AP Stylebook pet peeve is capitalizing job titles. Unless you’re the President of the United States or the Pope, your job title should not be capitalized2.”

AMF AP Stylebook

Ann Marie Fortunate, account supervisor

“Irregardless: it’s not a word! According to AP Stylebook, “irregardless is a double negative. Regardless is correct.”

MP AP Stylebook

Mary Parkinson, assistant account executive

“When people refer to a page(s) on the web as a ‘web site’ (two words), I mentally glare at them. We’re in 2016, but some people still don’t know the difference between the place a spider weaves its web and an internet3 page. AP Style says, when referring to the internet ‘website’ is one word. Sorry Charlotte.”

RC AP Stylebook online

Rene Cizio, account manager

Last, but not least, we had a few people in the office who had plenty to say about the Oxford comma. Here are their thoughts:

“My biggest pet peeve is the Oxford comma… I used to love it and was taught to use it through high school, so I was very surprised to learn that it’s not proper AP Style. Now I always notice when someone uses it.”

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Jennifer Spears, assistant account executive

“I hate the Oxford comma! It is just unnecessary punctuation.”

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Erica Swoish, senior account executive

Do you have anything to add to the list of AP Stylebook pet peeves? Leave yours in the comments below.

1Note: AP Stylebook lists the following domestic cities that stand alone in datelines: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington.

2Note: AP Stylebook recommends capitalizing formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names.

3Note: Prior to June 1, 2016, internet was capitalized. The entry has since been changed to lowercase the word.

Andrea Kenski is an account supervisor at Franco Public Relations Group and insists everyone spell flier with an “i” when referring to a handbill. You can reach her at (313) 567-5092 or kenski@franco.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @detroitcitygrrl and connect on LinkedIn.

Franco On The Town – June Edition

The month of June was filled with events in Detroit, a perfect reminder of the commitment Franco has to continue serving this city.

Erica and Stephanie Bowen from the Belle Isle Conservancy lent a helping hand to call and direct the program with the audio / visual crew at this year’s Grand Prixmiere.

ES at Grand Prixmiere

Pat and client Katy Wyerman working Grand Prixmiere.

PAJ at Grand Prixmiere 2

Mary, Sarah, Marie and Lauren gather in front of a Grand Prix Indy Car before the 2016 Belle Isle Grand Prixmiere in support of Franco client, the Belle Isle Conservancy. Other notable guests in attendance at the Grand Prixmiere included General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

MP, SK, MS, LC at Grand Prixmiere

Elizabeth and Sasha worked the kickoff event of On the Plaza featuring a performance by country artist Matt Gary and Michigan singer-songwriter Audrey Ray, with the help of NASH-FM. On the Plaza is a 17-week summer series of free entertainment, activities, food trucks and more on the GM Plaza from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday through September 29.

ERS, SR at On the Plaza

Marie was onsite for the Travel Channel’s Delicious Destinations shoot at the original Buddy’s Pizza on the corner of Six Mile and Conant.MS at Buddy's for Travel ChannelElizabeth and Sarah were both at Opportunity Detroit for client interviews- Elizabeth with CBRE and Sarah with Buddy’s and HOUR Detroit that day.

ERS and SK at Opportunity Detroit

The month of June brought Franco three new team members. Meet our newest additions!

Rene Cizio, account manager. Rene’s diverse background in news, PR, and social media in both corporate and agency settings with B2B and consumer clients make her a triple threat when you need a great idea and a plan to execute it. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from University of Michigan-Dearborn.  She is also a graduate of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership 21 program, which educates and develops a diverse, select group of emerging leaders in southern Wayne County.

RC Web

Jennifer Spears, assistant account executive. Jennifer has a professional background in marketing and journalism, and served as an Americorps member with City Year Detroit, working as a tutor in a Detroit public high school and organizing in-school and extracurricular events. Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with a Bachelor of Arts in German and anthropology and a minor in women’s studies.

Jen S Thumb

Geoffrey Geist, digital marketing specialist. Geoffrey comes to Franco from General Motors, where he was a specialist on the social media team, focusing on luxury clients. He is a member of the AdCraft club of Detroit and has held positions at a variety of other Metro Detroit companies, including Quicken Loans, Team Detroit/GTB and Treat Dreams. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and is a fervent supporter of MSU and the city of Detroit.

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Marie and Sasha were on-site at the unveiling of the newly installed bronze statue of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. One hundred years since Edsel and Eleanor Ford said “I do”, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House has set out to honor the couple’s life and legacy during ‘A Century of Love’ 100th wedding anniversary celebration.

MS and SR at Ford House

Tina and Joe had the opportunity to paddle the lower stretches of the Rouge River celebrating the 30th anniversary of Friends of the Rouge at its annual Rouge Rescue event.

TK, JF Friends of the Rouge

Mary and her husband, Zac, snapped a picture with Major Jim McDowell at the KEM concert supporting The Salvation Army and their efforts for the Flint Water Crisis.

MP at KEM concert

Team Franco had a wonderful evening celebrating at HOUR Detroit’s Best of Detroit Party at MotorCity Casino Hotel’s Sound Board . Top left clockwise: Intern Brittanie and Sasha checked in all media covering the event, Rene snapped a photo in front of the Franco sponsorship slide inside of Sound Board, Ann Marie and Andrea enjoyed a night out with their handsome dates, Lori took a night off from being the office mom and celebrated the Best of Detroit with her friend, Debbie.

Best of Detroit

Tina and Sasha took a break from working with the media at ‘A Legacy of Love: Vow Renewal and Garden Party’ to take in the beauty of the Ford House grounds. Couples at ‘A Legacy of Love’ gathered for an unforgettable vow renewal ceremony at the picturesque Lakeshore estate officiated by Macomb county executive, Mark Hackel. The ceremony was followed by an elegant strolling dinner and dancing.

TK and SR ford house

Among the couples renewing their vows was Franco’s CEO, Dan Ponder and his wife, Cathy. They celebrated 34 years of marriage in June.

DP and Cathy

Civil rights activist, Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., made a surprise visit to the office and grabbed a photo with Dan and Brittanie.

DP, BC, Jesse Jackson

Jen and Ashley took time to de-stress at a lunchtime session of yoga atop the Beaubien Place Garage. Rooftop Yoga is a monthly yoga class put on by client, GMRENCEN along with RenCen Fitness.

JS, AD at Rooftop yoga

Brittanie spent an afternoon at the 2016 Conference on Volunteering and Service, the world’s largest gathering of service-related nonprofit, business, government and civic leaders. She represented the nonprofit, 9/11 Day, which encourages people to honor 9/11 victims by participating in service projects around the nation.

BC at Cobo

Franco celebrated June birthdays by taking a trip down to Ashby Ice Cream & Palazzolo’s Gelato in the GM Wintergarden for a sweet treat.

Elevator selfie

Jen welcomed media at the Turning Point Invitational press conference held at Cornerstone Schools. Cornerstone announced that golf icon Jack Nicklaus will play in the annual golf invitational held to raise funds to provide quality educations for Detroit children. Cornerstone also shared their goal to grow and educate 5,000 children in Detroit, almost double their current enrollment.

JS at Cornerstone press confernence

Connecting with Franco

“You can only know where you’re going, if you know where you’ve been.” That saying can have different meanings for people in all walks of life, but it also holds true for those embarking on the job and internship search. As any recent hire from our office will tell you, the job market is all about connecting with businesses and networking with other professionals in the field. And there’s no better way to get to know a company than to immerse yourself in their daily routines and connect with the people who already work there. After all, you can’t know which direction you want to take in your career if you haven’t explored it in the past. Luckily for those entering the job market, there are a multitude of ways to find out more about a potential workplace and find the right career path.

Tour our office with a student group

Touring an office with a large student group, whether it’s classmates or fellow PRSSA members, is a great way to get to know a company, their clients, and of course connecting with employees working in various industries.

My first visit to Franco was on a tour of agencies in Detroit with Michigan State’s PRSSA group. The tour gave me great benchmarks for what agencies in the city were looking for in potential candidates. While I didn’t have the experience Franco was looking for at the time, I was able to build my experience and keep the agency in mind when I started my job search after graduation.

These group tours are often the easiest for companies to accommodate and give you maximum exposure in the shortest amount of time. What’s key about these group opportunities is making sure you stand out. Bring your resume, introduce yourself to the presenters and guides after the tour and don’t forget to thank the busy professionals taking time out of their day to show you around.

Senior Account Executive Andrea Kenski talks about a recent Salvation Army campaign with students from Eastern Michigan University PRSSA

Franco Senior Account Executive Andrea Kenski talks about a recent Salvation Army campaign with students from Eastern Michigan University PRSSA

Shadow one of our employees

While job shadows can often be the most difficult for companies to accommodate, they can be a great source for building a strong relationship with an employee at a company you’re interested in. It is also the best way to get an understanding of a company’s culture and the services the agency offers to its clients.

In college, it was my job shadow experiences that helped me gain an understanding of the difference between corporate communications, and working at a public relations agency vs. an advertising agency. I not only had the opportunity to start connecting with people, that to this day I’ve maintained relationships with, but it helped me decide what type of communications internships I wanted to pursue further while in school.

One-on-one meetings

Like most people in the communications industry, I LOVE coffee. And I love nothing more than to share my experiences from school and professional life over a good latte. Whether our allegiance is to the green and white or the maize and blue (or any other school around Michigan), my colleagues all come from different backgrounds and have unique life experiences to share with students new to college or even recent graduates. We love to share our lessons learned, where we’ve been, and how we’ve gotten to where we are today.

Connecting with us at a job fair or networking event

As a company trying to attract top talent from schools around Michigan and beyond, we want students to know who we are, just as much as they want us to know them. A great way to get to know more about a company and the people representing it, is to stop by our booth space at a career fair. Whether you’re a freshman or a graduating senior, it makes our job much easier when we’re able to put a face to a name. Make sure you’ve brushed up on your elevator pitch and don’t be afraid to ask questions and check out these three tips for acing job fairs. And, trust me, we do remember you when you make an effort to get to know us!

Franco Account Executive Erica Swoish connecting with PRSSA students across Michigan at a recent career fair

Franco Account Executive Erica Swoish shows off some client swag at a recent career fair for PRSSA students across Michigan

If you’re interested in visiting us, meeting one of our Franco team members, or just taking a peek around the office, let us know! You can call our main line or reach out to me directly for details.

Erica Swoish is an account executive and the student relations coordinator at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5014 or swoish@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @eswoish.

 

Franco On the Town – March Edition

In March, the Franco team could be found learning, engaging and traveling.

Tina K. and Elizabeth attended the EdelTrust Breakfast to discuss the results from this year’s Trust Barometer. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer surveyed more than 33,000 respondents in 28 countries to examine trust in government, business, nongovernmental organizations, media and more.

EdelTrust Breakfast

Erica, Mary and Andrea welcomed Eastern Michigan University’s PRSSA to Detroit for a tour of the Franco office.

EMU PRSSA day

Team Franco survived Daylight Saving Time with a little help from our trusty friends at Starbucks.

Daylight Saving Time Starbucks

Franco celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish themed lunch and lots of green.

St. Patricks Day

While the team celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, Tina S. snapped this perfect picture from the balcony of Hayworth-Adams Hotel while she attended the Western Automotive Press Association gala with the Steel Market Development Institute.

Western Automotive Press Association gala

Tina K. moderated The Tale of Our City: PR’s Role in Detroit’s Revitalization panel hosted by Wayne State University and Michigan State University.

Tale of Our City

While Tina moderated, Erica set up shop at the internship fair hosted by Wayne State University PRSSA at The Tale of Our City to speak to college students about Franco.

Wayne State University internship fair

Sarah and Marie made an appearance at Vinotecca’s monthly wine dinner, featuring Girard Winery, where they learned about different types of wines and food pairings.

Vinotecca wine dinner featuring Girard Winery

Lauren and Ann Marie helped IBAS Brewery host Yelp Detroit for a brewing event. Guests spent the day brewing a Belgian Tripel and in just a few short months, the 9 gallons of man-made beer will be ready for at-home enjoyment.

IBAS Brewery

Pat interviewed Jeff Zaleski of PricewaterhouseCoopers  at the Belle Isle Aquarium for the Belle Isle Conservancy Grand Prixmiere welcome video.

Belle Isle Aquarium

Andrea coordinated The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Director, Chuck McDougall interview on CW50’s Street Beat.

CW50 Street Beat

Mary ended the month by attending her first IABC Detroit event, The Power of Storytelling. Not only did she learn a thing about what makes a good story, but she found time to live tweet the event from Franco’s Twitter account.

IABC

Franco on the Town – February Edition

 

February – networking, silly selfies and good food.

Some of the Franco crew getting a taste of the new Granite City Food & Brewery Detroit with lunch during mock service.

Franco at Granite City Food & Brewery Detroit

 

Franco team member and IABC Detroit President Elect, Andrea Kenski, grabs a selfie with a neat Mayan statue during the International Association of Business Communicators Leadership Institute in Los Angeles.

Andrea Kenski IABC President

 

Joe Ferlito (back row center) at a private event for STEM-students at the Michigan Science Center to discuss STEM-related careers in racing and promote Comerica Bank Free Prix Day.

Joe Ferlito Michigan Science Center STEM Presentation

 

Sasha, Sarah, Ashley, Lori, Joe and Marie grab a quick lunch at the new Granite City Food & Brewery Detroit.

Franco Team at Granite City Detroit

 

Ann Marie (left corner) represents Franco at the Wayne State PRSSA LinkedIn/resume building panel discussion and workshop.

Ann Marie Fortunate Wayne State PRSSA Resume Workshop

Photo credit: Christiana Lumaj, Wayne State PRSSA

Dear Franco, We Love You

 

Franco Love Poem

“I love working at Franco because of the interesting design opportunities it gives me. I work with such a wide variety of clients that each day is different and unique.”

Ashley Dupuy, designer

“I love our account mix because it provides such a variety of opportunities and allows us to keep up on a wide-range of skills on a daily basis. And of course I love the people and working with a group of such talented team members.”

Joe Ferlito, account manager

View from Franco PR office in GMRENCEN

“I love seeing the Detroit River from our 10th floor GMRENCEN offices. The way it sparkles in the sunshine is magical. And it’s so impressive at sunrise and sunset.”

Pat Adanti-Joy, vice president

“My job rocks! I work with amazing clients, especially my non-profit clients. I love being able to go home after a long day of work knowing that I’m making a difference in the lives of others.”

Andrea Kenski, senior account executive

“I love Franco because of the great clients we get to work with – especially the ones with strong, local roots that allow us to support other exciting organizations in Detroit. For example, Buddy’s Pizza’s recent Motown Fridays campaign with Motown Museum, another Detroit original. Or the Belle Isle Conservancy’s work with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.”

Sarah Kornacki, assistant account executive

“I love that it’s very easy to make tough decisions at Franco — you do the right thing. Not the easiest thing or the most profitable thing or what’s best for you or the agency, but the right thing.”

John C. Mozena, account director

Mary Parkinson and her Cheez-Its

“I love working at Franco because the office is ALWAYS stuffed with snacks. With early morning interviews or evening client events, food can be a lifesaver to keeping our energy up. Cheez-it anyone?”

Mary Parkinson, assistant account executive

“I love Franco for being right in the heart of Detroit. And Lori Cook.”

Sasha Reeves, assistant account executive

“The culture: After coming back to Franco for a second time, I can sincerely say that working here is like nothing else I’ve experienced. We empower our team to make decisions and everyone is incredibly supportive. I’ve been surrounded by wonderful mentors both times I’ve worked at Franco.”

Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin, account manager

“Why do I love Franco? Franco has been my home for the last five years. During my time here, I’ve worked with some of the industry’s most talented professionals and picked up skills I couldn’t learn anywhere else. Through it all, good, bad and ugly, team Franco supports itself. We’re there for each other. Through and through, we work together to make it happen, whatever it may be at any given time. It’s been an honor to be a part of this team, and I’m looking forward to all the exciting things to come. AND…we love our Lori. Everyone needs an office mom, and ours is the best!”

Marie Stawasz, senior account executive

Marie, Erica and Sasha with their blankets

Marie, Erica and Sasha aka the “Office Blanket People”

“My Franco family doesn’t judge me (most of the time) for the bajillion blankets I keep at my desk and am often seen bundled in at various locations around the office.”

Erica Swoish, account executive

Franco Heart

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