Tag Archives: Belle Isle

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 – 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

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

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.

Detroit is a city full of opportunity

Tina Kozak, circa 1987, with her grandpa and sister at the Belle Isle aquarium.

I had the privilege of attending the unveiling of Dan Gilbert’s vision for Detroit yesterday; a vision that will undoubtedly become a reality, because as Gilbert pointed out, he doesn’t have a Plan B as it would distract from Plan A. While much of what we saw was conceptual, the opportunity that exists is very real. And I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything.

Born in Detroit and never living more than a few miles away, I’ve always been passionate about the city. A cheerleader. A buzz agent. An optimist. While I tend to see the good, I don’t ignore the challenges (OK, big challenges/problems/disasters) we’ve faced as a city from the 1960s to today. My grandfather was a Detroit business owner. His store was damaged in the riots, but instead of looking back on those times with fear and anger, I’ve always looked back with hope that the city will someday return to glory.

The part of yesterday’s program that moved me the most was when Fred Kent, president of Project for Public Spaces, one of Gilbert’s placemaking consultants, said this:

“The future of Detroit is grounded in the past. We can go back to that and do better.”

This struck me. People have always romanticized the past, the good old days, the days when you could shop on Woodward Ave. The vision that goes beyond that, beyond the past to something even better, is the most exciting part of this movement called Opportunity Detroit.

Earlier this year, I had my own opportunity, the opportunity to become a shareholder in Franco Public Relations Group. As if I weren’t already invested in the success of the city, I now call myself a Detroit business owner. And Franco has its own strong roots in Detroit. We’ll celebrate 50 years in the city in 2014. I’m right where I want to be, and I think Detroit is right where it needs to be.

I can feel the opportunity. I can see the vision becoming a reality. I’m so glad I’m here to be part of it.

With leadership from people like Dan Gilbert, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Regional Chamber and the other 400 business leaders that surrounded me during yesterday’s announcement, I’d say we’re poised to go back and do better.

Tina Kozak is Franco’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter @tinakozak. Connect with Franco PR Group on Facebook and Twitter @FrancoPRGroup.