Tag Archives: PR Detroit

What to wear on your first day in public relations

Second graders, college students, interns and CEOs all face a similar predicament on their first day. They all stand in front of their closets and wonder, “What should I wear?” Public Relations professionals recognize the importance of first impressions. The question of what to wear is the simplest form of branding. What we’re really asking is: what am I going to wear that will properly reflect my brand. Here are a few tips to ease the first-day jitters and have you looking your best on your first day in PR. And these tips apply for other “big days” whether it’s a big client event, a new business pitch, a critical performance review or some other important occasion where you want to look and feel your best.

Whether it’s the first day of school or the first day on the job, making a good impression starts with the perfect outfit.

The first day
Plan your outfit at least one day in advance. Mornings are already stressful enough as it is. When you know exactly what you’re going to wear and the outfit is all laid out ready to go, it shaves at least fifteen minutes off your morning.

Wear something classic and conservative on your first day. I suggest slacks, a nice blouse or sweater and a timeless piece of jewelry. It’s also helpful to think back to your interview with the company and recall what the person who interviewed you was wearing. Use that as a template for your outfit and add a flourish of something uniquely “you” to it.

Wear comfortable shoes. Chances are you’ll be walking quite a bit on your first day – touring the building, learning where to pick up the mail, where to grab lunch, etc. I suggest wearing flats or a kitten heel.

You nailed the first day, so now what?
The thing about the first day is that there’s a second day, and a third – you can’t keep wearing the same thing (unless you’re Steve Jobs, of course). Those transitioning into the work world have it the hardest. They don’t have a wardrobe filled with seamless work attire and shelling out the cash to buy it isn’t in exactly the cards.

My advice: start shopping the sale racks, now! Go for conservative, timeless pieces of the highest quality you can afford. These items can be pretty expensive, but when they go on sale, you can get some incredible deals.

The best advice I’ve ever received
Dress for the position you’re working towards, not the position you currently hold. My grandmother gave me this advice when I was young and it’s never left me. It’s a powerful reminder that it’s not just about looking the part; it’s about being the part and having the goods to back it up.

Cayce Karpinski is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5093 or karpinski@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at @CayceK_.


Dan Horn

Dan Horn

Account Executive

A music enthusiast, Dan can often be found in a record store flipping through vinyl or at home playing a variety of instruments from guitar and harmonica to piano and drums. In warmer months, he spends his time working on restoration projects in the garage. His favorite restorations include his 1974 VW Beetle and a 1974 Triumph Spitfire.

As an account executive, Dan serves on Franco’s B2B team and supports clients in the automotive, technology and professional service industries with media and community relations, research and event planning.

Prior to joining Franco, Dan served as promotions director of Grand Valley State University’s student radio station, where he managed contests, media relations and the station’s online presence through website and social media support. He also worked with the student-run PR firm on campus handling media and community relations, event planning and social media for nonprofit and consumer clients.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in advertising and public relations from Grand Valley State University.

Follow him on Twitter: @DanHorn90


Joe Ferlito’s series of unusual PR experiences: Part 3

A crushing day in PR

When I kicked off this series, I had compiled quite a list of wild and wacky PR experiences.  Well, they just keep coming.  This episode?  MONSTER TRUCKS.

No, you didn’t read that wrong. In her previous role at an auto supplier, Franco’s Tina Kozak brought Monster Jam to the office – literally.

“When I worked in corporate communications, our CEO wanted to do something fun to get the executives pumped up before an internal meeting. He had a few ideas. One included skydiving, but our insurance department nixed that. So instead, he decided he wanted to hire a monster truck and produce a video that showed us ‘crushing’ the competition. We tracked down Avenger, one of the popular trucks on the Monster Truck circuit, and had our logo painted in flames on the body of the truck. We rented the parking lot at the old Novi Expo Center (EMTs on standby and all), bought a bunch of old cars from a junkyard (representing competing auto suppliers) and our CEO fulfilled his wish of crushing the competition. And now I have a contact in the Monster Truck world. It was a blast, an unforgettable project!”

–Tina Kozak

The company monster truck prepares to “crush the competition.”

What unusual experiences have you had in your career? Can you top Tina’s? Share them in our comments section.

Joe Ferlito is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5031 or ferlito@franco.com.


How to get started: Video ideas for web and social media

Businesses and organizations can effectively engage their audience by using online videos.  As Franco PR’s “video guy” I sometimes get asked by clients and colleagues what types of videos they should create. The options are endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

How to video

You can learn how to do pretty much anything by going to YouTube. Then practice and get your brand involved. Teach people how to use your products, how to assemble something or how to perform a task. Here’s a good example from Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.

Tell a story

People are always interested in hearing a good story. It’s even better to see a good story. Highlight a customer or employee. A heartfelt story is always a good bet as demonstrated by Stand Up To Cancer’s patient story.

New products

Create a video to promote a new product. Share its features and what’s unique about it. Apple does this for most of its new products. Here is one for the iPad mini.

Educational Video

Teach your audience something. If you’re a real estate agent, maybe it’s “red flags to look for when house hunting” (and include visual examples). Or it could be something as simple as showing people where to park in downtown Detroit.

Event Recap

Share a recap of an event with your audience. If they were unable to attend or just plain weren’t invited, they’ll appreciate an inside look at what took place. The Detroit Historical Society shared this type of video prior to the opening of Detroit Legends Plaza. Here’s Gordie Howe making a hand cast for a plaza tile..


A video tour can be a fantastic way to give your audience an inside look at a building – perfect for a historic landmark, a factory or a museum. Crain’s Detroit Business created this tour of the Detroit Historical Museum after a renovation.

If a photo speaks 1,000 words, a video can be worth at least twice that. Give it a try and let us know how it works out.

Joe Ferlito is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5031 or ferlito@franco.com.


Franco PR Competes in Detroit 313 Trivia

Did you know the Belle Isle Aquarium opened in 1904? Or that Stevie Wonder has more Grammy awards than Aretha Franklin? I didn’t, until last night. The Franco Five (pictured at left: Ann Marie, Andrea, Lori and Lori’s daughter Michelle, and me) represented the agency at Detroit 313 Trivia at the Hard Rock Cafe Detroit (client). Among the facts we aced: Al Kaline was the first Detroit Tiger to have his number retired, and The Temptations were originally called The Primes, and of course, Kid Rock’s birth name is Robert Ritchie.

In addition to fun facts about the city we love, we enjoyed fabulous drink specials and sampled the Hard Rocks’ new menu. And while we didn’t take first place (or second or third for that matter!), we had a blast testing our Detroit pop culture knowledge. And it was all for a great cause. Funds raised (there was a suggested $10 donation to register) will support the Detroit Historical Society’s (client) $20.1 million Past>Forward campaign, funding new and expanded exhibits, technology upgrades, educational offerings and enhancements at the Detroit Historical Museum, Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society Collection.

The next Detroit 313 Trivia event is Wednesday, April 4. To register, visit this page. Or just come out and cheer us on, because we’ll be back.

Want to help us study for the next event? Leave us a comment with your favorite Detroit pop culture factoid!

Tina Kozak is senior vice president of Franco Public Relations Group. She can be reached at kozak@franco.com or connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter @tinakozak. Connect with Franco PR Group on Facebook and Twitter @FrancoPRGroup.

4 ways to benefit from networking in PR, online or in person

Have you noticed that networking is no longer confined to a roomful of professionals in suits anymore? It can happen in almost any environment, and very often occurs online. In the PR world, and here at Franco Public Relations Group, we connect regularly on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Photo by Aidan Jones | Networking sometimes begins with a virtual handshake. Learn how to build relationships online and in person that will benefit you personally and professionally.

Whether I’m attending an important work event or invested in a PR chat on Twitter, I’ve noticed that an outgoing personality and the ability to small talk with the best of them can go far. Still, there are so many reasons to take time out for networking – both online and off. Here are a few to consider:

Expand your circle – Networking allows you to meet a variety of professionals both within and surrounding your profession who you might not have encountered otherwise. At Franco we assist clients with media relations, events and everything in between, so if I meet an amazing new Detroit caterer during an event, I might introduce myself, ask a few questions and take a card in case an opportunity might arise in the future when we’re in need of that service.

Increase your opportunities – Making a point of seeking individuals who offer new opportunities to volunteer in your field can only help you hone your professional skills. A few years ago, I answered an online request to help my friends at The Henry Ford when they were in need of PR volunteers for the first Maker Faire. That’s where I first met Marie Stawasz, who later connected with me here at Franco when she was seeking an internship. She saw a tweet I sent out to my personal Twitter network. Marie started at Franco as an intern and is now a full-time employee. Some might say it all started thanks to the magic of networking.

Change your career – It’s a natural fit to connect that who-you-know aspect of your valuable business connections with career advancement. By consciously building your own contacts, you can earn an edge over the competition when it comes to getting that interview. I made a career change from journalism to public relations at a time when unemployment in Detroit was high. I gave my notice without a safety net and contacted everyone I knew in the media and PR industry to tell them I was interested in making a change. Thankfully, my contacts responded. While making the switch wasn’t easy, I didn’t spend a day on unemployment, and I attribute that to proactive networking efforts.

Build your business – Networking may not always come naturally, but when it’s done right, it can ultimately win new business. Remember whether you’re attending events or connecting on Twitter and Facebook, this is not time for the hard sell. You’re there to learn, engage and discuss relevant subjects at hand. Build relationships. Share some free advice if you’re comfortable doing so. That’s the sort of thing that will be appreciated and remembered at a later date. If you’re nervous about the specific how-to’s that go along with networking, check out Bill Crimmins’ post in GeekWire.

What do you feel are the benefits of networking, and how has it changed for you over the years?

Stephanie Angelyn Casola is connector and a senior account executive at Franco PR Group. Reach out to her at casola@franco.com, @StephCasola on Twitter or Facebook.com/StephanieAngelynCasola. Call 313.567.5048.