Tag Archives: public relations

Hospice has personal and professional significance for two Franconians

Arbor Blog Featured Photo - 1

Public relations is one of the few professions in which the practitioner’s personal and professional lives can clearly intersect for the betterment of all. Andrea Kenski and I blend the two every day as the Franco team that proudly supports Hospice of Michigan (HOM) and Arbor Hospice. Our personal experiences learned at loved ones’ bedsides, at end-of-life, gives us insight into hospice, palliative care and grief support that helps us add true compassion to our communications.

With brain cancer and a poor prognosis following a year of extensive treatment, hospice was the answer when my dad’s options ran out. Enter Hospice of Michigan to make the most of his final six weeks, freeing my family and me to form happy memories we still cherish.

Several years later, as curative treatment evaporated for my mom’s significant health issues, palliative care and hospice once again delivered comfort and relief at a very difficult time.

Andrea experienced the highs and lows of caregiving as she helped her father through every step of his battle with acute myeloid leukemia. As his primary caregiver, she understands firsthand the tremendous juggling it takes to meet a loved one’s needs at end-of-life in the midst of other obligations.

These life experiences inform our recommendations and inspire the messaging and materials we develop for HOM and Arbor. They guide the interviews and format the testimonials we draft with families who’ve navigated the same emotional waters we have. They infuse a heartfelt quality into our communications about one of life’s toughest journeys.

Andrea and I take great pride in advancing the nonprofit mission Hospice of Michigan and Arbor share and, in the process, even greater delight in knowing our work helps patients and families across the state find care and comfort at end-of-life that we all deserve.

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Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, is a vice president and Andrea Kenski is an account supervisor at Franco. They can be reached, respectively, at joy@franco.com / 313- 567-5046 and kenski@franco.com / 313-567-5092.

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


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.

12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

Following the popularity of last year’s 12 Books To Read To Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills In 2015 post, I figured I should draft my 2016 PR reading list. I had fun reading my picks for 2015 and am looking forward to tackling my 2016 picks. Franco Book Club anyone?

1. Spinglish: The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language by Henry Beard


While I hate the term “spin doctor” to describe public relations professionals, I can’t help but laugh along with this dictionary. Some of the words and jargon we have to use for clients can be fairly amusing, but Spinglish rounds up all of the best ones for your viewing pleasure.

Spinglish: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

2. Be Your Own Best Publicist:How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired, and Rewarded at Work by Jessica Kleiman


There’s an old saying that the shoemaker’s children go shoeless and public relations professionals are no different. We can crush it at our jobs on a daily basis, but when it comes to promoting ourselves it’s a different story. Be Your Own Best Publicist is a great reminder to apply your public relations skills to yourself.

Be Your Own Best Publicist: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

3. The PR Masterclass: How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy that Works! by Alex Singleton


Written in 2014, The PR Masterclass is a more updated guide to media relations written by a longtime newspaper, magazine and digital journalist. If you’re looking for some tips on how to take your media relations skills to the next level look no further.

The PR Masterclass: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

4. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White


We are always looking to improve our writing skills and The Elements of Style is a classic guide for the writer who wants something a little more sophisticated. If you are looking to impress your boss or clients with your linguistic skills make sure to keep this guide on your shelf.

The Elements of Style: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

5. The Art of Client Service: 58 Things Every Advertising & Marketing Professional Should Know by Robert Solomon


Working in an agency, client service is what we do day in and day out. The Art of Client Service is a great handbook for employees at any level. It also answers questions like “What happens when I screw up?” Whether you have been in the business for 2 years or 20, this book is a great refresher on working with clients.

The Art of Client Service: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

6. The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business by P. Coughter


The Art of the Pitch has nothing to do with media pitches and everything to do with presentations. As you move up the ladder in your career, you will spend more time pitching new business to prospective and current clients. You may have a great idea, but if you can’t sell it to your client, their board or potential customers it means nothing.

The Art of the Pitch: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

7. Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday


I’m not necessarily condoning all of the tactics in Trust Me I’m Lying, but I think it makes for an interesting read. The author was the marketing director at American Apparel for many years and they’ve had plenty of PR crises throughout the years. In light of Tina Kozak’s recent blog post Election 2016: The Power of Earned Media, I thought this was interesting.

Trust Me I'm Lying: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

8. The Five Dysfunctions of Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni


As an account manager here at Franco, I love the leadership fable approach in The Five Dysfunctions of Team. A collaborative team is one of the best parts about working at Franco and this is a great tool for managers to help overcome common hurdles and create an effective working environment.

The Five Dysfunctions of Team: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

9. Above the Noise: Creating Trust, Value & Reputation Online Using Basic Digital PR by Carrie Morgan


It’s hard to find a social media book that is not already outdated, but Above the Noise was recently published in January 2016. I preach consistency to my social media teams and this is a great guide that follows the same approach.

Above the Noise: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

10. Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset by Barbara Cave Henricks & Rusty Shelton


Have you mastered earned, owned and rented media? As PR people we are all familiar with earned media, but many of us are still navigating the new opportunities that social media and online content bring to the table. Mastering the New Media Landscape provides strategies for each approach.

Mastering the New Media Landscape: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

11. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant


I will admit it, I’m an idea person. I love coming up with new ideas and challenging the status quo. Originals is all about bucking outdated traditions and coming up with new ideas. This just came out in February 2016, so it has some fresh, relevant examples and challenges you to not just think differently, but to be an agent for change in your organization.

Originals: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

12. Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg


Written by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Smarter, Faster, Better teaches you how to work smarter, not harder. Working at an agency with billable time, makes you think about ways to boost your productivity. This author has researched the most productive people and shared what they have in common.

Smarter, Faster, Better: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

Which of these books is on your 2016 reading list? If you have a recommendation let me know in the comments.

Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5029 or sabourin@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @DetroitDuchess.

Connecting with Franco

“You can only know where you’re going, if you know where you’ve been.” That saying can have different meanings for people in all walks of life, but it also holds true for those embarking on the job and internship search. As any recent hire from our office will tell you, the job market is all about connecting with businesses and networking with other professionals in the field. And there’s no better way to get to know a company than to immerse yourself in their daily routines and connect with the people who already work there. After all, you can’t know which direction you want to take in your career if you haven’t explored it in the past. Luckily for those entering the job market, there are a multitude of ways to find out more about a potential workplace and find the right career path.

Tour our office with a student group

Touring an office with a large student group, whether it’s classmates or fellow PRSSA members, is a great way to get to know a company, their clients, and of course connecting with employees working in various industries.

My first visit to Franco was on a tour of agencies in Detroit with Michigan State’s PRSSA group. The tour gave me great benchmarks for what agencies in the city were looking for in potential candidates. While I didn’t have the experience Franco was looking for at the time, I was able to build my experience and keep the agency in mind when I started my job search after graduation.

These group tours are often the easiest for companies to accommodate and give you maximum exposure in the shortest amount of time. What’s key about these group opportunities is making sure you stand out. Bring your resume, introduce yourself to the presenters and guides after the tour and don’t forget to thank the busy professionals taking time out of their day to show you around.

Senior Account Executive Andrea Kenski talks about a recent Salvation Army campaign with students from Eastern Michigan University PRSSA

Franco Senior Account Executive Andrea Kenski talks about a recent Salvation Army campaign with students from Eastern Michigan University PRSSA

Shadow one of our employees

While job shadows can often be the most difficult for companies to accommodate, they can be a great source for building a strong relationship with an employee at a company you’re interested in. It is also the best way to get an understanding of a company’s culture and the services the agency offers to its clients.

In college, it was my job shadow experiences that helped me gain an understanding of the difference between corporate communications, and working at a public relations agency vs. an advertising agency. I not only had the opportunity to start connecting with people, that to this day I’ve maintained relationships with, but it helped me decide what type of communications internships I wanted to pursue further while in school.

One-on-one meetings

Like most people in the communications industry, I LOVE coffee. And I love nothing more than to share my experiences from school and professional life over a good latte. Whether our allegiance is to the green and white or the maize and blue (or any other school around Michigan), my colleagues all come from different backgrounds and have unique life experiences to share with students new to college or even recent graduates. We love to share our lessons learned, where we’ve been, and how we’ve gotten to where we are today.

Connecting with us at a job fair or networking event

As a company trying to attract top talent from schools around Michigan and beyond, we want students to know who we are, just as much as they want us to know them. A great way to get to know more about a company and the people representing it, is to stop by our booth space at a career fair. Whether you’re a freshman or a graduating senior, it makes our job much easier when we’re able to put a face to a name. Make sure you’ve brushed up on your elevator pitch and don’t be afraid to ask questions and check out these three tips for acing job fairs. And, trust me, we do remember you when you make an effort to get to know us!

Franco Account Executive Erica Swoish connecting with PRSSA students across Michigan at a recent career fair

Franco Account Executive Erica Swoish shows off some client swag at a recent career fair for PRSSA students across Michigan

If you’re interested in visiting us, meeting one of our Franco team members, or just taking a peek around the office, let us know! You can call our main line or reach out to me directly for details.

Erica Swoish is an account executive and the student relations coordinator at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5014 or swoish@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @eswoish.


Eighty Days of Red Kettle

All PR professionals have that one client project that seems to take over everything.

It means long hours at the office, lack of sleep (which leads to copious amounts of caffeine), around the clock emails and being on your feet for hours at a time.

For those of us who work on The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit account, our crunch time is Red Kettle season. This Christmas season’s fundraising campaign aimed to raise more than $8 million dollars in 80 days…



To achieve our goals in that timeframe, events needed to be planned and attended, media materials written and distributed, and interviews coordinated.  And that’s just scratching the surface.

With such a huge task it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the stress, but somehow we always manage to have fun with it. Here are some of our favorite moments from this past season as we reflect on our 80 day PR campaign.

“This was my fourth Red Kettle Campaign and I continue to find myself amazed every January with the mysterious moment each year when “the holidays being a long way off” suddenly shifts to “the holidays are here” and our entire team is off and running . . . and then it’s over in a flash. Armed with the Red Kettle plans we strategize year ‘round, we navigate the frenzy of announcements, events and the occasional Krugerrand donation, adjusting our approach with each new opportunity.”

Pat Adanti-Joy, vice president

Roary and PAWS are always big hits at Red Kettle events. Peek-a-boo is a fan favorite and Andrea and Pat never pass up an opportunity to pose with the beloved team mascots.

PAJ ---- All at Royal Park

The team posing with The Salvation Army gingerbread house at Royal Park Hotel. Visitors were invited to sponsor “mittens” to help provide warm clothing items for families and their children served by The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit.

“I was hired at the very start of the Red Kettle campaign. I had little time to get to know The Salvation Army before diving head-first into its most busy time of the year. But now, looking back at those 80 days, I know I could not have asked for a better and more exciting start to my professional PR career. I especially enjoyed working at events while taking photos for The Salvation Army’s social media pages. It was so much fun speaking with event attendees and hearing how The Salvation Army has impacted their life.”

Mary Parkinson, assistant account executive


Mary Parkinson (right) snapping a photo of WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis (middle) and Major Russ Sjögren (left), general secretary and metro Detroit area commander for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division for The Army’s social media page.

“This is my fourth Red Kettle season so it’s difficult to choose a favorite Salvation Army event. There are so many! I love being involved with the annual Royal Park Hotel gingerbread house event. The side benefit of coordinating this mini PR campaign? You get to eat amazing, delicious desserts prepared by executive pastry chef, Mark Slessor.”

Andrea Kenski, senior account executive

AK ---- _CBRD with Brooke Allen

Selfies are a must for Celebrity Bell Ringing Day 2015. Andrea found time amidst the fun and snapped one with WWJ Newsradio 950’s Brooke Allen and volunteers from The Salvation Army of Warren. Brooke and other local celebs from television, radio and print media helped raise more than $6,000 in two hours!

AK ----_SR Santa PAWS

We get to meet tons of celebrities this time of year! Detroit Tigers mascot, Santa PAWS joined the Red Kettle action by recording a #RingOrSing video encouraging metro Detroiters to sign up as Salvation Army volunteer bell ringers.

“I had mentally prepared to be crazy busy during the campaign. What I hadn’t planned for was the amount of fun we would have during the season. My favorite memory comes from Red Wings for Red Kettles. I grew up a Red Wings fan and have spent countless nights at The Joe cheering them on. So, meeting Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendenning  while they had fun competing to raise money for The Salvation Army was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Sasha Reeves, assistant account executive


The Red Kettle Campaign is truly a learning experience. With its disproportionate shape, carrying a heavy kettle stand is not an easy task. So we adapt.

SR----Red Wings photo

We celebrated 10 years of partnership between The Salvation Army and the Detroit Red Wings. Each year Red Wings players and staff compete for bragging rights to see which group can raise the most money as part of Red Wings for Red Kettles. Pat was on location with Head Coach Jeff Blashill and General Manager Ken Holland ringing bells with Major Russ Sjögren. Meanwhile, Sasha contained her inner fan girl as she joined Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendenning.

What’s your “Red Kettle” project? Share it in the comments.

Media Tips for Small Businesses

While marketing and public relations can be beneficial to businesses of all sizes, sometimes smaller businesses and startups aren’t quite sure where to start. We’ve all been there and you have to start somewhere, right?


Franco account manager, Joe Ferlito holds the microphone during a television interview with NextEnergy President and CEO, Jean Redfield.

Recently NextEnergy – one of the nation’s leading accelerators of advanced energy and transportation technologies, businesses and industries – reached out to me to contribute a guest blog offering tips about getting started with media relations for small businesses.

The full blog can be found here.

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

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.

Franco News: Fortunate and Horn Promoted, Reeves Brought-on Full-time

Ann Marie Fortunate Promoted to Account Supervisor


With a strong background in manufacturing and technology, Fortunate has been an asset to the agency’s B2B team. In her new role, she will continue serving the B2B markets with an emphasis on media relations and marketing strategy.


Dan Horn Promoted to Senior Account Executive

Dan Horn

Horn also serves on the agency’s B2B team, supporting clients in the automotive, technology and professional service industries. As a senior account executive, he will continue his work with various B2B clients providing media relations, marketing support and social media.




Sasha Reeves Transitions to Assistant Account Executive

Sasha Reeves After joining Franco as a PR Coordinator in March, Reeves takes on the new role of assistant account executive. She brings strong media relations, event planning and graphic design support to a variety of consumer and nonprofit clients. Prior to joining Franco, Sasha served as the public relations and marketing development intern at Special Olympics Michigan in Mount Pleasant.

Field of Dreams Is Not A Good PR Case Study: Consider Events

“If you build it, he will come.” Obviously a great premise for a Hollywood blockbuster.

Who wasn’t captivated by Kevin Costner’s tenacity in building a ball field, inspired by the ghosts of baseball past who assured him by merely converting his Iowa corn fields into a diamond that his deceased father would return to right their strained relationship.

The closing scene featuring miles and miles of headlights making their way toward the fantastical field is one of the all-time cinematic greats.

“If you build it, he will come” may have been sufficient to make 1989’s Field of Dreams a success, but it’s not good practice in the world of public relations.  Blockbuster PR requires careful strategy and attention to detail, with no “i” too small to dot and no “t” too small to cross. Let’s use event planning as a case in point.

So you’ve decided to host a gathering . . . Events can be key to achieving many public relations goals, and in the right instances bigger really can be better. But simply dreaming up a spectacular, pull-out-all-the-stops extravaganza will not guarantee success if you don’t back it up with the proper strategy and attention to detail that will do justice to your idea.

What are you going to do . . . So you’ve got this great concept. Then what? What will your guests experience upon arrival? How will you engage them throughout? Is this gathering for work or play? What is it you want them to leave with? Carefully considering these questions and more – and making sure all event elements work in harmony – will make even the simplest plans perfection.

2015 Grand Prixmiere, Belle Isle Conservancy Benefit sponsored by Price Waterhouse Cooper and Chevrolet (Joe Wilssens photo)

2015 Grand Prixmiere, Belle Isle Conservancy Benefit sponsored by Price Waterhouse Cooper and Chevrolet (Joe Wilssens photo)

It IS who you know . . . Attracting the right crowd to meet your promotional goals can be harder than you think. First and foremost is to make sure the event you’re planning truly appeals to your target audience. But even with that aligned, simply assembling a massive invite list in the hopes of attracting “enough” people is not a good approach. Think about the groups, organizations or communities with the pockets of people you want at your gathering and focus your invite efforts there.

It’s not just once and done . . . Unlike the throngs who simply showed up for Costner, it takes work to draw a crowd for any event. It’s generally not enough to issue an invite and call it a day. It usually takes working multiple avenues and multiple contacts to attract attendees. Make sure your guests save-the-date with advance notice, followed by a hard copy and/or electronic invitation and supported by social media appeals. Add in news releases and calendar listings for good promotional measure and the chance that you’ll have an elbow room-only event will grow exponentially.

Only one chance to make a first impression . . . Be creative and complete with your invitation. Make sure your design is eye-catching and communicates your event’s personality. Is this a serious or lighthearted gathering? One look at your invite should convey which it is. And without weighing down the design in text, be sure to clearly highlight the who, what, when, where so your guests can readily find ALL the pertinent details.

By putting a bit of forethought into your next event, or any PR initiative for that matter, you can enjoy blockbuster results. And they will come!

Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, is a vice president at Franco Public Relations Group, supporting the agency’s nonprofit clients, which includes event planning. You can reach her at 313-567-5046 or joy@franco.com.

9 Moments From TEDxDetroit That Will Make You Want To TEDx Everyday

Just one week ago Detroit entrepreneurs, musicians, comedians, nerds, artists and doers congregated at the Fox Theater for TEDxDetroit 2015 to share their new ideas, inventions and points-of-view. It was a day filled with explosions, standing ovations and tears.

I was lucky enough to get asked to help my fellow Franconians, Stephanie Casola and Marie Stawaz with the PR efforts the day-off the event. Picture backstage access, VIP seating and face time with speakers.

So to commemorate my first-ever TEDxDetroit, enjoy these moments from the show – crowd favorites, most-shocking and some inspiring. If you weren’t able to attend, or if you’d like to re-watch any talks, TEDxDetroit plans on posting links on their website sometime in November.

1. Charles Gibson aka “The Exploder” from the Michigan Science Center causally BLEW THINGS UP during his talk.

2. Detroit Director, Stephen McGee showed off some of his new toys.  

3.  Organization for Bat Conservation‘s, Rob Miles surprised us with a different kind of flying object. 

4. Music performances by Alicia Michilli, Tunde Olaniran and Ahya Simone and Shelby 5 kept the TEDxDetroit crowd pumped up.  



5. Detroit native, Aaron Foley made some great points about old Detroit vs. the new Detroit and how we need to come together as one.

6. Speed painting pair, Dave Santia and Sarah Kay created a Beatles portrait, in front of the TEDxDetroit live audience in just SEVEN MINUTES.

7. Sixteen-year-old high school senior and inventor of the “Wheelchair Stroller”, Alden Kane had the crowd on their feet during his on-stage interview with TEDxDetroit board member, Charlie Wollborg.

8. Comedian, writer and professor Amer Zahr did a bit about what it’s like to be an Arab American.

9. Franco Account Manager, Stephanie Casola was recognized on stage for her PR work surrounding TEDxDetroit, but was too busy coordinating media interviews to hear any of it!

Overall, you could say I was “over the moon” with the TEDxDetroit experience.

Alexandria Fulbright and Stephanie Casola at TEDxDetroit

Franco’s Alexandria Fulbright and Stephanie Casola explore the TEDxDetroit labs at Hockeytown Cafe.


Did I leave out your favorite TEDxDetroit moment? Call me out in the comments!

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.