Tag Archives: nonprofit

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.

Nonprofit Public Relations Provides Professional and Personal Reward

When bettering mankind is a top consideration in selecting an occupation, PR generally isn’t the first profession that comes to mind. Cancer researcher . . . absolutely. School teacher . . . definitely. Firefighter . . . yes.

Though maligned as a practice in its infancy, public relations has long proven itself to be a profession that is strategic, beneficial and vital to the entities it supports, as important as any management function.

Though public relations enhances the culture and society in which we live, the practice of nonprofit public relations does contribute to the betterment of mankind in ways large and small. It also provides personal reward for those who work in this arena, which I have been privileged to do for many years.

As Franco Public Relations Group celebrates our tenth anniversary of supporting The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit this year, I am proud to have led the agency’s efforts for the past three. As we plan for another annual Christmas season Red Kettle Campaign, we’re buoyed by fact that Franco has played a key role in:

  • enabling the nonprofit to deliver a wide range of human services, including serving 3,377,846 meals and providing 807,418 nights of shelter this past year to metro Detroiters in need.
  • helping The Salvation Army generate $8.86 million in corporate and individual donations last year, the largest amount in the nonprofit’s history in this community. We’re setting our financial sights even higher for 2014 – $9 million – to meet the needs of even more neighbors.
  • keeping Detroit among the top five Salvation Army divisions across the country in Red Kettle fundraising results year after year.
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The Salvation Army account team at Franco has been planning for the 2014 Red Kettle Campaign since June and looks forward to a rewarding holiday season helping the nonprofit achieve its $9 million fundraising goal.

We’re also proud of the seven years Franco has supported the good work of Arbor Hospice, which is celebrating 30 years of providing comfort and support at the end-of-life for persons with life-limiting conditions, and their families. Prior to working with Arbor Hospice, I was one of those family members who realized the tremendous value of hospice care in nursing both of my parents through devastating illness. To now have the chance, professionally, to put my personal experiences to use in educating others about the benefits of hospice – and the exceptional service that Arbor Hospice delivers – is rewarding on many levels.

We’re equally proud of our growing relationship with the Belle Isle Conservancy. It was our privilege to give back to the community by working closely with the organization – in partnership with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, the Penske Corporation and General Motors – to host this past May’s still-talked-about Grand Prixmiere. Our involvement in generating more than $650,000 to support the Conservancy’s mission of restoring, preserving, protecting and enhancing the natural environment, historic structures and unique character of Belle Isle as a public park is satisfying. Even more so as we gear up to do it again in May 2015!

As public relations manager of the nonprofit Walter P. Chrysler Museum in my pre-Franco days, it was very gratifying to see the pleasure and camaraderie among the auto enthusiasts attending the many cruise nights, lecture programs, exhibitions and other special events I had a hand in. There’s nothing like the joy that arises from a gathering of car buffs.

And what better way to elevate mankind than with a little joy? What satisfaction have you experienced in supporting a nonprofit organization?

Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, is a vice president at Franco Public Relations Group, serving the agency’s nonprofit clients, including the Belle Isle Conservancy. You can reach her at 313-567-5046 or joy@franco.com.