Tag Archives: Belle Isle Conservancy

Franco On The Town – August Edition

During the month of August Franco worked with a golf legend, sang along with a rock legend and met a baseball legend, and that’s not even the half of it!

Brittanie, Rene, Jen and Sasha spent the day representing Franco at the Country Club of Detroit coordinating media for the Turning Point Invitational. The annual golf event is held by Cornerstone Schools and serves as the charter school’s largest fundraiser. This year, golf great Jack Nicklaus hosted the event and helped raise more than $3.3 million for the Detroit charter school.

BC RC SR JS at TPI

Tina and Erica enjoyed the sunset at the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle Park at the Belle Isle Conservancy’s Sunset at the Scott on Aug. 17. Proceeds from the event go toward replacing the Pewabic tile mosaic on the fountain basin.

ES TK at Scott Party

Tina and her husband came out for the last Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert staring Bret Michaels.

TK at Bret Michaels

Rene snagged a picture with Detroit Tiger alum Dan Petry at Comerica’s VIP Tigers party. She even tried on his 1984 World Series ring! “It was really heavy.” – Rene

RC at Comerica VIP Tigers party

Geoff snapped a selfie at the Woodward Dream Cruise while working on behalf of Franco client SMDI, visiting the Cooper Tires booth. “I may not have won free tires, but I had a lot of fun live-tweeting the event and getting great pictures of classic cars. “ – Geoff

GG at Dream Cruise

One of Franco’s fall interns, Rachel, posed with HOUR Detroit Magazine Managing Editor Dorothy Hernandez at the Fox 2 studio for a cooking segment from the August issue.

RB at FOX2 cooking segment

Some of Franco’s powerful women Rene, Erica, Marie and Ann Marie attended the Dbusiness Breakfast Series “Powered by Women”  at the Great Lakes Culinary Center.

RC ES MS AMF at DBusiness breakfast

Lauren and Joe celebrated another successful Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest season. Beginning in May, the two helped launch the 2016 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest where entrepreneurs from across Detroit submitted their business plans in hopes of winning $50,000 from Comerica Bank and more than $200,000 in pro bono services from Hatch Detroit and its partners to open a brick and mortar location in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck. After more than 150 entrepreneurs submitted to the contest, the submissions were narrowed to 10 semi-finalists and public voting determined the top four. At the end of August, the four contest finalists, Bird Bee, Meta Physica Massage & Sauna, Corbé  and Coriander Kitchen & Farm, pitched their business plans live to a panel of judges at the Hatch Off event in hopes of winning the $50,000 from Comerica Bank. At the event, Lauren and Joe assisted with media relations and helped announce Meta Physica Massage & Sauna as the 2016 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest winner.

JF LC at Hatch

Lauren and the CBRE Franco team helped deck out the GM Wintergarden in décor for GM’s Global Health & Safety Week. Here, Lauren is attempting to make a bow out of caution tape.

LC making bows for Health and Safety week

Elizabeth, Sasha, Lauren, James, Adriane and Rachel all pitched in at GM’s Health and Safety Fair on Aug. 31.

Health and Safety Fair

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

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

Field of Dreams Is Not A Good PR Case Study: Consider Events

“If you build it, he will come.” Obviously a great premise for a Hollywood blockbuster.

Who wasn’t captivated by Kevin Costner’s tenacity in building a ball field, inspired by the ghosts of baseball past who assured him by merely converting his Iowa corn fields into a diamond that his deceased father would return to right their strained relationship.

The closing scene featuring miles and miles of headlights making their way toward the fantastical field is one of the all-time cinematic greats.

“If you build it, he will come” may have been sufficient to make 1989’s Field of Dreams a success, but it’s not good practice in the world of public relations.  Blockbuster PR requires careful strategy and attention to detail, with no “i” too small to dot and no “t” too small to cross. Let’s use event planning as a case in point.

So you’ve decided to host a gathering . . . Events can be key to achieving many public relations goals, and in the right instances bigger really can be better. But simply dreaming up a spectacular, pull-out-all-the-stops extravaganza will not guarantee success if you don’t back it up with the proper strategy and attention to detail that will do justice to your idea.

What are you going to do . . . So you’ve got this great concept. Then what? What will your guests experience upon arrival? How will you engage them throughout? Is this gathering for work or play? What is it you want them to leave with? Carefully considering these questions and more – and making sure all event elements work in harmony – will make even the simplest plans perfection.

2015 Grand Prixmiere, Belle Isle Conservancy Benefit sponsored by Price Waterhouse Cooper and Chevrolet (Joe Wilssens photo)

2015 Grand Prixmiere, Belle Isle Conservancy Benefit sponsored by Price Waterhouse Cooper and Chevrolet (Joe Wilssens photo)

It IS who you know . . . Attracting the right crowd to meet your promotional goals can be harder than you think. First and foremost is to make sure the event you’re planning truly appeals to your target audience. But even with that aligned, simply assembling a massive invite list in the hopes of attracting “enough” people is not a good approach. Think about the groups, organizations or communities with the pockets of people you want at your gathering and focus your invite efforts there.

It’s not just once and done . . . Unlike the throngs who simply showed up for Costner, it takes work to draw a crowd for any event. It’s generally not enough to issue an invite and call it a day. It usually takes working multiple avenues and multiple contacts to attract attendees. Make sure your guests save-the-date with advance notice, followed by a hard copy and/or electronic invitation and supported by social media appeals. Add in news releases and calendar listings for good promotional measure and the chance that you’ll have an elbow room-only event will grow exponentially.

Only one chance to make a first impression . . . Be creative and complete with your invitation. Make sure your design is eye-catching and communicates your event’s personality. Is this a serious or lighthearted gathering? One look at your invite should convey which it is. And without weighing down the design in text, be sure to clearly highlight the who, what, when, where so your guests can readily find ALL the pertinent details.

By putting a bit of forethought into your next event, or any PR initiative for that matter, you can enjoy blockbuster results. And they will come!

Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, is a vice president at Franco Public Relations Group, supporting the agency’s nonprofit clients, which includes event planning. You can reach her at 313-567-5046 or joy@franco.com.

Franco by the Hour: PR Pros take on events from Detroit to San Antonio

As public relations professionals we are often misunderstood. It’s a topic we discuss often at Franco Public Relations Group and among our peers. Our family members and friends inquire about what we do all day. They don’t understand our unusual hours. They wonder why we seem to know the names of all of the TV news reporters by heart, and have them on speed dial.

Our parents turn on morning news or read stories at our urging, wondering when they’ll see our names and faces – but almost never do. When it does happen, public relations professionals like ourselves are mentioned for their expertise, because of a job change, or they are quoted about another company experiencing some sort of crisis or celebrating a major milestone. It can be confusing to the outside eye. We don’t design ads, though sometimes we work with designers. We’re not reporters – though some of us are or have been. We may be well-versed in social media, and spend a lot of time online, but not on our own accounts. We understand the confusion and we try our best to explain the work we all do for our clients, the connections we make with the media and the public – and the events where you might catch us behind the scenes.

To share a glimpse of what public relations might look like on a particularly exciting day, we documented what Franco staff members were doing – by-the-moment on Oct. 8, 2015. Our teams were spread across the city and country – managing PR and events from the Belle Isle Conservancy’s annual Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon and silent auction to the city’s inspiring TEDxDetroit all across the states to San Antonio, Texas where the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) served as title sponsor of the 2015 Texas Truck Rodeo.

We hope this clears up some of the curiosity associated with our trade:

Dan and Christian TEDxDetroit8:35 a.m. Franco Senior Account Executive Dan Horn and PR Coordinator Christian Harper don’t show a sign of it, but they’ve been working for 2 hours already and are greeting media and providing information and credentials as droves of guests arrive just 30 minutes after doors open at TEDxDetroit 2015.

Sarah and Erica Polish the Jewel11:47 a.m. Franco Assistant Account Executive Sarah Kornacki and Account Executive Erica Swoish make name badges for last-minute guest list changes as part of the event staff for the 2015 Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon on Belle Isle, already in attire for the event. Hats or fascinators are encouraged.

Pat11:49 a.m. Franco Vice President Pat Adanti-Joy and President Tina Kozak celebrate the success of a great team, and welcome guests at the 2015 Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon on Belle Isle.

Dan Ponder PhotoshootNoon: Franco CEO Dan Ponder poses for the camera. He’ll be featured in an upcoming installment of the GMRENCEN Reflecting a New Detroit selfie ad campaign.

Lauren and Andrea Polish the Jewel1:16 p.m. Franco Assistant Account Executive Lauren Connor and Senior Account Executive Andrea Kenski are deep in focus at the Polish the Jewel auction check-out table on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Alexandria TEDxDetroit1:25 p.m. Franco Digital Marketing Specialist Alexandria Fulbright sneaks a requisite X shot during a rare quiet moment on the TEDxDetroit stage.

Alexandria and Joe TEDxDetroit1:47 p.m. Franco Account Manager Joe Ferlito, Artist Timothy Orikiri, Franco Digital Marketing Specialist Alexandria Fulbright and Visit Detroit Interactive Marketing Manager Dan Fuoco make lasting connections at TEDxDetroit, where art is being created in real time,  above the Grand Staircase at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Marie, Elizabeth and Tina K TEDxDetroit2:20 p.m. Busy coordinating media interviews, Franco Senior Account Executive Marie Stawasz also welcomes Account Manager Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin and President Tina Kozak to Hockeytown Café, where crowds are packing in for hands-on demonstrations from places like The Flower House and the Michigan Science Center at TEDxLabs.

Tina S in San Antonio2:23 p.m. Franco Senior Vice President Tina Sullivan checks in with staff, proves that all is well under Southern skies at the Texas Truck Rodeo where she is onsite with client SMDI.

Marie and Stephanie TEDxDetroit5 p.m. Franco Senior Account Executive Marie Stawasz and Account Manager Stephanie Angelyn Casola celebrate truly successful PR efforts supporting TEDxDetroit – and make sure to get a few photos with the iconic red X before crowds file out of the Fox Theatre and into a Comerica Park tour and Hockeytown Café for an afterparty in Detroit.

And that’s a wrap. Are you up to the task? What’s your typical day at the office like? Share it with us in the comments section.

Stephanie Angelyn Casola believes some PR pros are at their best in events-mode. She is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. She leads the consumer and social media teams and can be reached at 313-567-5048 or casola@franco.com. Tweet her at @stephcasola.

Sarah Kornacki and Alex Fulbright contributed photos and information to this post.

Nonprofit Public Relations Provides Professional and Personal Reward

When bettering mankind is a top consideration in selecting an occupation, PR generally isn’t the first profession that comes to mind. Cancer researcher . . . absolutely. School teacher . . . definitely. Firefighter . . . yes.

Though maligned as a practice in its infancy, public relations has long proven itself to be a profession that is strategic, beneficial and vital to the entities it supports, as important as any management function.

Though public relations enhances the culture and society in which we live, the practice of nonprofit public relations does contribute to the betterment of mankind in ways large and small. It also provides personal reward for those who work in this arena, which I have been privileged to do for many years.

As Franco Public Relations Group celebrates our tenth anniversary of supporting The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit this year, I am proud to have led the agency’s efforts for the past three. As we plan for another annual Christmas season Red Kettle Campaign, we’re buoyed by fact that Franco has played a key role in:

  • enabling the nonprofit to deliver a wide range of human services, including serving 3,377,846 meals and providing 807,418 nights of shelter this past year to metro Detroiters in need.
  • helping The Salvation Army generate $8.86 million in corporate and individual donations last year, the largest amount in the nonprofit’s history in this community. We’re setting our financial sights even higher for 2014 – $9 million – to meet the needs of even more neighbors.
  • keeping Detroit among the top five Salvation Army divisions across the country in Red Kettle fundraising results year after year.
TSATeam2014

The Salvation Army account team at Franco has been planning for the 2014 Red Kettle Campaign since June and looks forward to a rewarding holiday season helping the nonprofit achieve its $9 million fundraising goal.

We’re also proud of the seven years Franco has supported the good work of Arbor Hospice, which is celebrating 30 years of providing comfort and support at the end-of-life for persons with life-limiting conditions, and their families. Prior to working with Arbor Hospice, I was one of those family members who realized the tremendous value of hospice care in nursing both of my parents through devastating illness. To now have the chance, professionally, to put my personal experiences to use in educating others about the benefits of hospice – and the exceptional service that Arbor Hospice delivers – is rewarding on many levels.

We’re equally proud of our growing relationship with the Belle Isle Conservancy. It was our privilege to give back to the community by working closely with the organization – in partnership with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, the Penske Corporation and General Motors – to host this past May’s still-talked-about Grand Prixmiere. Our involvement in generating more than $650,000 to support the Conservancy’s mission of restoring, preserving, protecting and enhancing the natural environment, historic structures and unique character of Belle Isle as a public park is satisfying. Even more so as we gear up to do it again in May 2015!

As public relations manager of the nonprofit Walter P. Chrysler Museum in my pre-Franco days, it was very gratifying to see the pleasure and camaraderie among the auto enthusiasts attending the many cruise nights, lecture programs, exhibitions and other special events I had a hand in. There’s nothing like the joy that arises from a gathering of car buffs.

And what better way to elevate mankind than with a little joy? What satisfaction have you experienced in supporting a nonprofit organization?

Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, is a vice president at Franco Public Relations Group, serving the agency’s nonprofit clients, including the Belle Isle Conservancy. You can reach her at 313-567-5046 or joy@franco.com.