Tag Archives: Franco PR Group

Franco News: Parkinson and Dupuy Join the Team

Mary Parkinson Hired as Assistant Account Executive

Mary Parkinson, Franco Team

Parkinson will serve a variety of Franco’s health care and nonprofit accounts providing support with media relations and events. Before joining Franco, Parkinson held an internship with Fleishman Hillard in Detroit and gained experience interning with Good Morning America, World News with Diane Sawyer and WXYZ Detroit.

 

Ashley Dupuy Hired as Designer

Ashley Dupuy, Franco TeamDuPuy will provide graphic design services for a variety of Franco accounts and projects. Prior to Franco, DuPuy served as a design coordinator for Porter One Design in Farmington Hills where she focused on rebranding projects for health care clients. She also held internships with Hour Media and AutoWeek where she created layouts for publication.

 

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

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.

 

Franco Hat Day

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

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

Hat Day

 

Ashley Dupuy, Designer

AD

 

Joe Ferlito, Account Manager

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

JF

 

Alex Fulbright, Digital Marketing Specialist

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

AF

Detroit Hustles Harder

 

Christian Harper, Public Relations Coordinator

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

CH

 

Andrea Kenski, Senior Account Executive

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

AK

 

Sarah Kornacki, Assistant Account Executive

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

SK SKSK1

 

John Mozena, Account Director

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

JM

 

Sasha Reeves, Assistant Account Executive

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

SRSR

Marie Stawasz, Senior Account Executive

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

MS

 

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

Media Tips for Small Businesses

While marketing and public relations can be beneficial to businesses of all sizes, sometimes smaller businesses and startups aren’t quite sure where to start. We’ve all been there and you have to start somewhere, right?

Joe

Franco account manager, Joe Ferlito holds the microphone during a television interview with NextEnergy President and CEO, Jean Redfield.

Recently NextEnergy – one of the nation’s leading accelerators of advanced energy and transportation technologies, businesses and industries – reached out to me to contribute a guest blog offering tips about getting started with media relations for small businesses.

The full blog can be found here.

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

NAIAS Survival Checklist: Must-Haves For Working The Event

There’s lots of great articles out there with tips on attending the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), but what if you’re not an attendee but working it for a client? Our Franco auto team is no stranger to the behemoth auto exhibit, so we asked them what they have on their must-bring lists for 2016.

Here you have it.

NAIAS Checklist

□ Comfortable shoes/Dr. Scholl’s – COBO Center spans 723,000 square feet, and you’ll probably cover all of it. Twice.

□ Extra pair of shoes – it can help alleviate the pain on your feet, or at least spread it out

Detroit People Mover tokens – it really is the most convenient way to get around the city, and who knows –  you might just get pampered by an exhibitor.

□ Selfie stick – to get that coveted reveal photo over the heads of the seven-foot man sitting in front of you.

□ Bible – filled with all your brand’s messaging, Q&A documents, transportation schedules, runs of show, etc.

Map of the NAIAS show floor – moving from exhibit to exhibit is key for getting a good spot at press conferences and special events.

□ Phone charging battery packs – so you can charge while you’re on the go.

□ Clothes with pockets – to house your fancy map and gadgets.

□ Contact info – for everyone. Co-workers, media, support staff, your hotel, cabs, etc.

Added by others:

□ GoPro – @k5shaw via Twitter

 

Missing something? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it!

 

 

 

 

From the Soccer Goal to the PR Goal – Relating Sports to PR

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been on a sports team. I played basketball, tennis, volleyball, softball, t-ball and track & field but one sport stuck with me most – soccer. I didn’t realize it then, but soccer taught me a lot of little lessons that can be applied to what I do each day as a PR professional. I wanted to share how some of those moments, from conversations I had with my coaches to practicing outside on my own, have influenced my everyday PR life.

I learned a lot from my coaches through the years. I think here, they told me to tuck in my shirt.

I learned a lot from my coaches through the years. I think here, they told me to tuck in my shirt.

Make the team

Tryouts are the first step toward making the team and they are often nerve wrecking. Are you going to make the team? Who will tryout this year? How will new players work within our team chemistry? Tryouts are your time to shine and to prove to the coaches and the players what you are made of. I compare these tryouts to my internship here at Franco Public Relations Group. The internship was my tryout – a tryout to determine if I was a good fit for PR, this company and if both were a fit for me. Now, I work here full time and I’m happy to say I made the team.

One of my prouder soccer moments was making the varsity team as a sophomore and playing on the same team as my sister before she graduated and left for college. (I’m on the right. Ignore the braces.)

One of my prouder soccer moments was making the varsity team as a sophomore and playing on the same team as my sister before she graduated and left for college. (I’m on the right. Ignore the braces.)

Be versatile

In PR and in soccer it’s important to be versatile. I can’t tell you how many times we had hurt players. When our leading scorers or top defenders were injured, we would shift our strategy and move our players around to fill those spots. In PR, we also have to be versatile. Versatile in our skills – PR professionals “play multiple positions” and have to be good at all of them.  Versatile in our mindset and approach – TV segment times may be moved up, clients’ spokespeople may be unavailable, or our team members may need backup as they are on a deadline or planning an event. Things happen and it’s important to adjust in order to get the job done well.

Versatility at its finest. Here’s 10-year-old me playing goalie. Coming from someone who usually had the ball at her feet and not in her hands, this was a major temporary adjustment.

Versatility at its finest. Here’s 10-year-old me playing goalie. Coming from someone who usually had the ball at her feet and not in her hands, this was a major temporary adjustment.

Be a team player

The biggest and most important lesson I learned from playing sports was how to be part of a team. They say “there’s no ‘I’ in team” and it’s 100 percent true. Picture yourself trying to dribble down the soccer field without passing the ball. After you get the ball at your 18, you must pass your opponents’ forwards, midfielders and defenders. You pull out your best moves and tricks to beat them – maybe it’s the scissors or if you are feeling confident the rainbow. By now your coach is screaming, “pass the ball!” your teammates are yelling, “I’m open!” and the crowd is chanting “ball hog, ball hog!” After all that, you still need to take the shot to beat the goalie.

That’s eleven people to beat and it’s nearly impossible without the help of your teammates. In soccer and in PR, you not only have to take ownership of your responsibilities, but have to learn to pass the ball and let your teammates show off their skills.

Practice makes perfect

Okay, maybe not perfect, but continuing to practice on your own will make yourself and your team better. In soccer, I was outside running and practicing – bettering myself and my team. In PR, I’m reading the latest headlines, looking for trends, reviewing best practices and continually brainstorming different ideas to keep our clients ahead.

I retired my number-eight jersey years ago and my goal has shifted from the soccer goal to the PR goal, but one thing has remained the same, I need the help of my team and that team is right here at Franco.

How do you compare those lessons you learned playing sports to your job? Share them with me in the comments below.

 

Lauren Connor is an assistant account executive for Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5017 or connor@franco.com.

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

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

Stephanie Angelyn Casola, Account Manager

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

SC

Note the caption!

Pat Adanti-Joy, Vice President

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

PJ

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

Lauren Connor, Assistant Account Executive

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

LC Fam

Mary Parkinson, Assistant Account Executive

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

MP

Salt Lake City, 2014

Marie Stawasz, Senior Account Executive

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

MS1

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

MS2

Joe Ferlito, Account Manager

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

JF

Sasha Reeves, Assistant Account Executive

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

SR

Alex Fulbright, Digital Marketing Specialist

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

AF

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

Lori Cook, Office Manager

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

LC1

Sarah Kornacki, Assistant Account Executive

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

SK1

John C. Mozena, Account Director

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

mozena_christmas

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

Franco News: Fortunate and Horn Promoted, Reeves Brought-on Full-time

Ann Marie Fortunate Promoted to Account Supervisor

ann_marie

With a strong background in manufacturing and technology, Fortunate has been an asset to the agency’s B2B team. In her new role, she will continue serving the B2B markets with an emphasis on media relations and marketing strategy.

 

Dan Horn Promoted to Senior Account Executive

Dan Horn

Horn also serves on the agency’s B2B team, supporting clients in the automotive, technology and professional service industries. As a senior account executive, he will continue his work with various B2B clients providing media relations, marketing support and social media.

 

 

 

Sasha Reeves Transitions to Assistant Account Executive

Sasha Reeves After joining Franco as a PR Coordinator in March, Reeves takes on the new role of assistant account executive. She brings strong media relations, event planning and graphic design support to a variety of consumer and nonprofit clients. Prior to joining Franco, Sasha served as the public relations and marketing development intern at Special Olympics Michigan in Mount Pleasant.

Franco Specialties – PR and Pumpkins

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

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

I found lots of Detroit-inspired pumpkins.

Eastern Market

Joe Louis Fist

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

Pumpkins that brought me back to my childhood.

Cartoon

Cars

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

Donald Trump

Pumpkins celebrating Franco clients.

TSA Kick-Off

Famous pumpkins.

Stephen Colbert

50 Cent

Martha Stewart

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

Forrest Gump

Cast Away

Pumpkins fit for a princess.

Cinderella

Cinderella

This…

Hunting Pumpkin

And even a Dan Ponder pumpkin.

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

 

Lesson learned – I better bring my A game.

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

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