Tag Archives: Detroit

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 – 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.

DSC_2772

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

Detroit Design

Detroit is a hard working city, with its own highs and lows; it’s a place with fantastic roots and a true creative energy.  I dove deep in all things Detroit and within just a few months I was moving my life, design studio, and job all into Detroit. Soon after, my design adventures with Franco began just a week after I had relocated my studio and living space to Corktown via Royal Oak.  I knew Franco had a long standing relationship with the city, but little did I know how quickly this PR synergy would affect my life!

My First Design Adventure: NAIAS

I began at Franco in early November; two months shy of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) yes, the same NAIAS that our president of the United States stopped at to visit, not too bad for my first major project. The amount of work the team put into this event was both staggering and inspiring to watch and also be a part of. Just a few weeks into the project I was creating print ads, numerous graphics for social media, atrium banners, way-finding banners, and a marquee display – a whole 4,800 square feet worth of screen that would be seen on the front of Cobo Center.

During NAIAS Preview Week all of our team’s hard work paid off because as soon as you stepped off the The People Mover you were immediately surrounded by a cloud of green, blue, and steel. It was exciting seeing crowds of auto show goers walk throughout COBO letting our little green way finding banners guide them through the hallways because they stuck out like exclamation points. Our SMDI graphics were everywhere on the walls, pillars, token machines and windows, and it was very cool.

SMDI Atrium Banner Design

SMDI Atrium Banner

SMDI Wayfinding Banner Design

SMDI Wayfinding Banners

But the most rewarding moment of them all was walking outside the GMRENCEN and looking up to see that SMDI green screen I designed, now sixty times the size of the computer screen it was created on displayed on the front of COBO Center.

SMDI COBO Marquee Design

SMDI COBO Marquee

Next Up…Granite City Food & Brewery

The next big event for me was the opening of Granite City Food & Brewery in the GMRENCEN. During this opening I really got a chance to see what Franco does for our clients and how we go above and beyond to make things happen. Before the official opening date, I was given the chance to use my photography skills  to take pictures of the space for the media. Putting on that hard hat and walking through Granite City was so intriguing and just as exciting, if not more, to see those same images in the Detroit Free Press the following week.

Photographing the space was the just the start of my involvement; I was also fortunate enough to create way-finding banners, that were placed throughout the GMRENCEN, door and window graphics, kiosk marquee displays, and The 48243 IPA beer label (appropriately named after GMRENCEN’s own zip code!)

Granite City Flyer Design

Granite City Food & Brewery Beer Label Designs

As time goes on and I continue to work on projects throughout Detroit, whether it is creating social graphics for the Fisher Theatre and the upcoming performances of Matilda the Musicalor a new billboard for the The Salvation Army, I will be reminded of the strong ties that connect Franco and the city of Detroit.

Matilda the Musical Graphic Design

Matilda the Musical Graphics

In-House Designer Ashley Dupuy posing with her 48234 graphic design

Franco In-House Designer, Ashley Dupuy, Posing With Her 48234 Beer Label Graphic

Ashley DuPuy is the in-house designer at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5093 or dupuy@franco.com. For more pictures of her Franco design journey follow her on Instagram @ashleyydupuy.

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.

 

New Beer’s Eve: Six client beers

Among the many joys of working with beer, wine and restaurant clients, we learn quite a bit of great trivia. Like the fact that April 6 is celebrated by some as an unofficial U.S. holiday, “New Beer’s Eve.”

Vinotecca, Wine

Other perks include the occasional chance to catch one of Vinotecca’s monthly wine dinners.

Some basic research tells us that shortly after the end of U.S. Prohibition, the sale of beer became legal once again on April 7, 1933. Anticipating their first legal sip of beer in over 13 years, people lined up outside of taverns and breweries on April 6 to await midnight – making April 6 New Beer’s Eve.

If you’re looking to celebrate New Beer’s Eve, here are six of our clients’ new beers and signature classics that you can enjoy on April 6:

1. Buddy Brew at Buddy’s Pizza

Created in partnership with Griffin Claw Brewing Co., Buddy Brew is an American Pale Wheat Ale brewed with coriander and grapefruit peel, which perfectly complements their original Detroit-style square pizza. With a bright golden yellow color reminiscent of freshly baked pizza dough, the beer charms taste buds with a smooth, subtle sweetness to balance the richness of Buddy’s classic pizza flavors.

Buddy Brew became available in January and can be found at Buddy’s eight full service locations across metro Detroit in Auburn Hills, Dearborn, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Warren and Shelby Township.

Detroit-style pizza, Buddy Brew

So many great flavors from Buddy’s in one photo.

2. Biere de Mars at Jolly Pumpkin Detroit

Biere de Mars is a seasonal flanders-style sour clocking in at 7% ABV — quite sour, and a standout among American wild ales. Its malty sweetness is balanced by firm oak notes, and the aroma hints sour cherries and light vanilla. As this beer warms, it opens up to reveal flavors reminiscent of leather, apricots, pears and wet leaves.

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales are created by master brewer Ron Jeffries. Check out more Jolly Pumpkin Detroit beer here.

Jolly Pumpkin, Beer, Taps

There’s no shortage of great options on tap at Jolly Pumpkin Detroit.

3. Annie’s Spring Elixer at Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor

Annie’s Spring Elixer is a classic peppery and buoyant Farmhouse Ale made with 100% Michigan hops. This lighter, refreshing beer is a seasonal option for spring time, with 5.8% ABV.

Grizzly Peak’s beers are created by head brewer Duncan Williams. Check out more Grizzly Peak beer here.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co., Beer Sampler, Beer Flight

Or you can always go for the variety of a sampler. Photo: Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. Facebook.

4. Sprechen Sie IPA at Old German in Ann Arbor

Sprechen Sie IPA is an American India Pale Ale made with German hops. The beer has a clean malt and a spicy, earthy hop – as opposed to the citrusy, fruity flavor of American hops.

Old German’s beers are created by head brewer Duncan Williams. Check out more Old German beer here.

Old German , beer

There’s no better place to grab a stein than Old German. Photo: Old German Facebook.

5. Cherry Imperial Stout at Bastone Brewery in Royal Oak

A strong beer with subtle fruitiness and a hint of cherry juice, Bastone’s Cherry Imperial Stout is a seasonal offering with 8.75% ABV.

Bastone’s beers are created by brewer Rockne Van Meter. Check out more Bastone beer here.

Bastone Brewery, Cherry Imperial Stout, Beer

Cherry Imperial Stout, pictured on the bar at Bastone Brewery.

6. Wittekerke at Monk Beer Abbey in Royal Oak

Monk Beer Abbey is the place to find Belgian style beers, with offerings like Wittekerke, an authentic Belgian wheat ale with 5% ABV, created by De Brabandere Brouwerij in Belgium. Monk rotates kegs of beers like Wittekerke, regularly changing up what’s available.

Check out more of Monk’s beer selection here.

Monk Beer Abbey, Belgian Style Beer

While you’re enjoying a glass of Belgian style, Monk’s unique décor doesn’t disappoint.

Enjoy responsibly, and happy New Beer’s Eve from Franco and our beer and restaurant clients!

Sarah Kornacki is an assistant account executive and Marie Stawasz is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. Connect with Franco PR on Facebook and Twitter @FrancoPRGroup

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Frozen Fish Fiasco, Team STAHLS’ and Tales of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick

I grew up playing hockey, but after trading in my skates for office life, I never thought I’d play a meaningful game again. Turns out, I was wrong.

I emerged from hockey retirement and laced up my skates to support Team STAHLS’ as we faced off against the Detroit Red Wings Alumni team for a charity game. It was arguably the biggest game during the Frozen Fish Fiasco weekend benefiting Clark Park, the home of the only regulation-sized outdoor ice hockey rink in metro Detroit.

STAHLS’ is the leading international manufacturer, distributor and direct supplier of garment decoration equipment and materials – from small businesses and entrepreneurs to pro sports leagues, including the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB – so it wasn’t a surprise that they enlisted Mark Wells, gold medal winner from the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team as head coach for Team STAHLS’.

If anyone could coach us to a win against the heavily-favored Red Wings, it was him. We held four team practices, where Coach Wells channeled his inner Herb Brooks to help get us in shape and ready for the game, but none of us could prepare for playing outdoors on a sunny 50 degree day with the Ambassador Bridge in the background. The 50-minute game went by quickly and all of us savored every minute playing against retired professionals that we grew up watching in the big leagues – Darren McCarty, Mickey Redmond and Peter Klima to name a few.

Ferlito and Redmond STAHLs' vs. Red Wings Alumni

It was truly a surreal experience and the STAHLS’ team hung in there with the pros. We lost 9-8, but it was a close game throughout. I scored a goal and an assist, and I may or may not have been the reason why Darren McCarty decided to “fight” the Team STAHLS’ bench.

Darren McCarty jumps into STAHLS' bench at Frozen Fish Fiasco

Since Darren jumped over the boards right onto me, I guess that makes it a goal, an assist and a fight – a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Ferlito nd McCarty STAHLs' vs Detroit Red Wings Alumni

Good news! Darren didn’t hold anything against me and was gracious enough to stick around for a photo after the game.

If you missed the game, you can catch the highlights on Fox Sports Detroit. A list of upcoming show times can be found here.

And if you are feeling generous, donations can be made to support Clark Park at http://frozenfishfiasco.com/.

 

Joe Ferlito is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5031 or ferlito@franco.com.

 

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.

Santa Claus, Samantha Jones, Olivia Pope… and My Summer Public Relations Internship

First days are filled with different emotions, feelings and thoughts. We’ve all experienced those first day jitters. For me: new experiences and people have always taken me a little longer to adjust because I’m quiet and shy. When I learned I would be starting my public relations internship at Franco Public Relations Group, I didn’t feel those nervous feelings that I usually experience.

I received this opportunity through my best friend’s internship with City Connect and its new program spearheaded by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent GDYT. Many people tell me I waited too long to get a public relations internship, but after this experience, I couldn’t disagree more. When I officially declared my minor in January 2015, there were many internship opportunities for credit, but I wanted an experience. I didn’t want a public relations internship where I was filing papers like some of my friends, or bored all day answering phones; I wanted a real picture of the profession itself and of course the TV lover in me wanted to see if the profession was really as glamorous as portrayed by Samantha Jones  in Sex in the City, or as drama-filled as it is portrayed by Olivia Pope in Scandal.

In my short time, six weeks to be exact, I have learned a lot, acquired skills, and experienced every day operations at a Detroit public relations agency including:

Those traditional public relations fundamentals every public relations intern is exposed to…

  • Media monitoring
  • Clipping news stories from different media outlets
  • Drafting calendar listings
  • Distributing news releases

Then there were the more fun aspects of a public relations internship…

  • Putting together GMRENCEN-branded selfie sticks
  • Creating Coney Island Hard Beer media kits for Powers Distributing
  • Participating in a team leadership assessment activity
  • And of course, becoming one of Santa’s elves for a Salvation Army Christmas in July segment on WDIV-TV.

But before I knew it, my six-week program and my first official public relations internship was coming to an end and I had an experience that none of my friends can say they had.

Little did I know my experience was not over yet. Transforming into one of Santa’s elves must have made a good impression on Santa because on my very last day I was in for a surprise. Mid-way through the day, I was offered an official fall public relations internship with Franco. Of course, I accepted immediately turning what I originally thought to be a short summer internship experience into much more.

Interns Christian, Sasha and Megan transforming into Santa’s elves during The Salvation Army’s Christmas in July TV segment on WDIV- Channel 4 four o’clock news

Interns Christian, Sasha and Megan transforming into Santa’s elves during The Salvation Army’s Christmas in July TV segment on WDIV- Channel 4 four o’clock news

As for exploring whether Samantha Jones and Olivia Pope’s characters really do the public relations profession any justice – I found that every day isn’t filled with celebrities and huge grand openings, and every night isn’t filled with trying to cover up a client’s horrible secret …thankfully.

What was your first internship experience like? I’d love to know.  Share in the comment section below.

Christian Harper is a PR Coordinator for Franco Public Relations Group and Oakland University student. You can reach her at 313-567-5093 or harper@franco.com.

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.