Tag Archives: Indy Car

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

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.