Tag Archives: NAIAS

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.

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

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!

 

 

 

 

Tales from Toronto – My First International Auto Show Experience

In lieu of a 2015 North American International Auto Show recap, I thought it would be interesting to give a glimpse into a different show brought to us by our friends to the north – the Canadian International Auto Show held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

I ventured North with a client to take in the show – and it was a great experience. For those of us familiar with the big shows here in the states, with all the glitz, glamour and anticipation that accompany NAIAS, the Chicago Auto Show, the New York International Auto Show and the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Canadian International Auto Show is calmer and more intimate. What do I mean by that?

If a media member wants access to an executive – you will likely find them milling about in the crowd with everyone else. And, unlike other shows (maybe because there are less people and less pressure), they are much more willing to talk to you and answer your questions. The media seem more relaxed at this show – maybe it’s because they are well prepped on what will be unveiled or maybe it’s because they know they’ve got easy access to executives.

Canadian International Auto Show - Kia Concept Unveil

Canadian International Auto Show – Kia Concept Unveil

While I love getting wrapped up in the hype, the glitz and the glamour of the big U.S. auto shows, the Canadian International Auto Show provided a nice change of pace and the accessibility to media and OEMs that is priceless. Have you been to the Canadian International Auto Show before? Have any tips or tricks to share?

Ann Marie Fortunate is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group.  You can reach her at (313) 567-5040 or fortunate@franco.com.  Follow her on Twitter @AMFortunate.

2014 – A memorable year

2014 was a big year for us. Not only was it Franco’s 50th anniversary year, but last January, I transitioned into the role of president, succeeding Maria Leonhauser, who retired after more than a decade with the agency. I knew that at times the role of president would be challenging, but anyone who knows me knows that I love a good challenge.

Throughout the year, we worked to reenergize Franco culture, redefine excellent client service, and realign our pro-bono efforts to better support the region we love. And we did this all while achieving more than 20 percent revenue and employment growth.

I couldn’t be any more proud to lead this amazing agency, and more specifically, this amazing team.

The team gathered for a picture at the Belle Isle Conservatory during Franco Fun Day in October.

The team gathered for a picture at the Belle Isle Conservatory during Franco Fun Day in October.

We added an assistant account executive, a manager and a director, as well as two interns, growing our team to just over 20 employees, while further expanding our capabilities to extend past traditional public relations and marketing. With services like content generation, social media and design, we’ve also been able to expand clientele, adding high-profile accounts like Punch Bowl Social, Jolly Pumpkin, Deloitte LLP, the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Steel Market Development Institute.

Sure, the City of Detroit has seen its share of ups and downs throughout history, from economic recessions and a thinning population to the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy; but, through it all Franco has not only remained in the city, the agency has always played a key role in shaping the region’s business and community landscape through our client work and volunteer leadership.

Perhaps best put by our founder, Anthony M. Franco, whose decades-old definition of public relations stands the test of time, “Public relations is the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting consequences, counseling leaders, and implementing professionally planned programs of action which will serve both the organization’s and the public’s interest.”

I’m proud to say that today, we’re still living up to the standards Tony laid down, while building a legacy of our own. 2014 has been a wild ride, and it would not have been possible without our incredible team.

So, in October we decided it was time to celebrate our 50th anniversary and our team during a Franco Fun Day. We took to the city in a sweet ride from the Detroit Bus Company and visited some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. From bell ringing for The Salvation Army in Campus Martius and visiting Belle Isle Aquarium to enjoying lunch at the home of Detroit’s original square pizza and a celebratory “cheers” at Two James Spirits, we made our way around the D for one fun-filled day with the Franconians.

And like any good year, our nonprofit and automotive teams kicked it in high gear in November and December, pulling long days and long nights to support the red kettle campaign and North American International Auto Show, among others. And now that the NAIAS media days have come to a close, it’s safe to say we’ve had another successful year with our great team.

So, as we reflect on 2014, we raise a Jolly Pumpkin sour beer to toast the past 50 years – let’s take the next 50 by a storm!

Tina Kozak is president of Franco Public Relations Group. You can connect with her on  LinkedIn or Twitter @tinakozak. Connect with Franco PR Group on Facebook and Twitter @FrancoPRGroup.

50 in the D: The Glory Days

V150130 Tamagotchi

I’m a 90s kid. I spent arguably the best decade of my life rocking pink and yellow overalls with scrunchies and Tamagotchi in hand. It’s safe to say I had no idea 25 years ago, that I’d be sitting at a desk inside Detroit’s most iconic building today, working with some of the Motor City’s most well-regarded brands and for the state’s oldest independent public relations firm. Long before I could fathom what the words public relations meant, the team at Anthony M. Franco, Inc. was committed to excellence and offering clients the most strategic and innovative services in communications.

While a lot has changed in those 25 years, public relations remains a powerful tool for building your brand, raising awareness and connecting with your audiences. So, let’s take a look at how the legacy Franco Public Relations Group developed while my Tamagotchi slowly turned into an iPhone.

As in our last “50 in the D” entry, I’ve included pop culture and historical events to provide perspective on the timeline:

  • 1990 – Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and Anthony M. Franco, Inc. became a subsidiary of Ross Roy Communications, bringing the agency into a new era.
  • 1993 – Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd president of the United States of America, and Dan Ponder joined by colleagues Chuck Regan, George Sepetys and Stephen Friedman, lead the management buyout of Anthony M. Franco, Inc. from Ross Roy Group.
  • 1997 – Everyone’s favorite baby face Beatle was knighted Sir Paul McCartney, and Lisa Vallee-Smith became a partial owner of Franco Public Relations Group. Vallee-Smith later left Franco to open the Airfoil Group.
  • 2000 – While the rest of the world was living in the shadow of Y2K, Dan Ponder became a full owner of Franco Public Relations Group.
  • 2000 – Franco Public Relations Group played an extra-large role in winning the bid for Super Bowl XL.
  • 2002 –Nickelback topped the charts with “How you remind me” and Franco Public Relations Group acquired PR Associates.
  • 2007 – Tina Kozak joined the Franco Public Relations Group team as account manager, and Carrie Underwood won a Grammy for best new artist. Plus, Apple revolutionized the cell phone industry with the introduction of the original iPhone.
  • 2013 – NBC announced TV Hall of Famer Jay Leno would be leaving the Tonight Show. Meanwhile, Maria Leonhauser retired and Tina Kozak became Franco’s youngest president.
  • 2014 – Ellen DeGeneres stirred up a selfie phenomenon with the infamous impromptu group photo at The Oscars, and Franco Public Relations Group celebrated 50 years of business in Detroit with 20 percent revenue and  employment growth.
  • 2015 – Franco Public Relations Group kicked off the start of a new half-century and look forward to reaching 100.

Have a Franco memory from the 90s and millennium you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below, and stay tuned for another “50 in the D” entry highlighting Franco today.

Marie Stawasz is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5201 or stawasz@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarieStawasz.