Tag Archives: Instagram

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.

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.

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(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.

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(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.

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(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.

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.