Tag Archives: Lauren Connor

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 – 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

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

Franco on the Town – January Edition

 

January was all steel, LEGOs and Red Wings Hockey for the Franco team.

Franco ladies Tina K., Tina S., Ann Marie, Erica, Lauren and Elizabeth working it at SMDI’s booth at The North American International Auto Show.

Franco Team at SMDI NAIAS Booth

 

Deanna Lorincz from SMDI, Tina S. and Tina K. before the NAIAS Charity Preview event.

Franco at NAIAS Charity Event

 

Sarah, Andrea and Pat celebrating a partnership between Arbor Hospice and Henry Ford Village.

Franco at Arbor Hospice and Henry Ford Event

 

Elizabeth, Alex, Sasha and Tina K. at the LEGOLAND Lego brick GMRENCEN reveal at NAIAS.

Franco at GMRENCEN LEGOLAND Reveal at COBO Center

 

Andrea and Mary with Motown recording artist, KEM at The Salvation Army water distribution event to assist those affected by the Flint water crisis.

Franco with KEM at Flint Water Distribution Event

 

Dan H., Lori, Tina K. and Sarah cheered on Joe as he and the rest of the Stahls’ team took on the Detroit Red Wing Alumni team.

Red Wings Alumni vs. Detroit Red Wings Alumni

 

 

Coming in February: Opening of Granite City Detroit, Bed & Bread Radiothon, Automation Alley at the DIA, Chicago Auto Show

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.

LC Web

Lauren Connor

Account Executive
Lauren is a metro Detroit newbie and you can catch her out on the town during her free time exploring the city and meeting new people. Whether she’s playing kickball or co-ed soccer, she looks for as many activities as she can to stay active. But don’t get her wrong – she loves watching Law & Order: SVU marathons, Criminal Minds or binge watching whatever TV show she’s currently obsessed with on Netflix.

In her college days, Lauren was a member of PRSSA and held a leadership role as treasurer for PR-Central, CMU’s student-run public relations firm where she was responsible for generating revenue for the firm by planning fundraisers and consulting on different accounts. She also worked as an advertising account executive for the school’s newspaper, CM-Life, helping to build professional relationships and developing multi-media advertising plans for various clients. Additionally, she interned for the Office of Student Activities and Involvement and spent a summer in Traverse City as a PR/Media intern for the Traverse City Film Festival.

She’s not all work and no play though; she did play soccer for three years on the CMU Women’s Club Soccer team.

As an account executive, Lauren serves on Franco’s B2B team providing support with automotive, technology and various business accounts.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in integrative public relations with a minor in marketing from Central Michigan University.