Tag Archives: TEDxDetroit

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.

Franco by the Hour: PR Pros take on events from Detroit to San Antonio

As public relations professionals we are often misunderstood. It’s a topic we discuss often at Franco Public Relations Group and among our peers. Our family members and friends inquire about what we do all day. They don’t understand our unusual hours. They wonder why we seem to know the names of all of the TV news reporters by heart, and have them on speed dial.

Our parents turn on morning news or read stories at our urging, wondering when they’ll see our names and faces – but almost never do. When it does happen, public relations professionals like ourselves are mentioned for their expertise, because of a job change, or they are quoted about another company experiencing some sort of crisis or celebrating a major milestone. It can be confusing to the outside eye. We don’t design ads, though sometimes we work with designers. We’re not reporters – though some of us are or have been. We may be well-versed in social media, and spend a lot of time online, but not on our own accounts. We understand the confusion and we try our best to explain the work we all do for our clients, the connections we make with the media and the public – and the events where you might catch us behind the scenes.

To share a glimpse of what public relations might look like on a particularly exciting day, we documented what Franco staff members were doing – by-the-moment on Oct. 8, 2015. Our teams were spread across the city and country – managing PR and events from the Belle Isle Conservancy’s annual Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon and silent auction to the city’s inspiring TEDxDetroit all across the states to San Antonio, Texas where the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) served as title sponsor of the 2015 Texas Truck Rodeo.

We hope this clears up some of the curiosity associated with our trade:

Dan and Christian TEDxDetroit8:35 a.m. Franco Senior Account Executive Dan Horn and PR Coordinator Christian Harper don’t show a sign of it, but they’ve been working for 2 hours already and are greeting media and providing information and credentials as droves of guests arrive just 30 minutes after doors open at TEDxDetroit 2015.

Sarah and Erica Polish the Jewel11:47 a.m. Franco Assistant Account Executive Sarah Kornacki and Account Executive Erica Swoish make name badges for last-minute guest list changes as part of the event staff for the 2015 Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon on Belle Isle, already in attire for the event. Hats or fascinators are encouraged.

Pat11:49 a.m. Franco Vice President Pat Adanti-Joy and President Tina Kozak celebrate the success of a great team, and welcome guests at the 2015 Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon on Belle Isle.

Dan Ponder PhotoshootNoon: Franco CEO Dan Ponder poses for the camera. He’ll be featured in an upcoming installment of the GMRENCEN Reflecting a New Detroit selfie ad campaign.

Lauren and Andrea Polish the Jewel1:16 p.m. Franco Assistant Account Executive Lauren Connor and Senior Account Executive Andrea Kenski are deep in focus at the Polish the Jewel auction check-out table on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Alexandria TEDxDetroit1:25 p.m. Franco Digital Marketing Specialist Alexandria Fulbright sneaks a requisite X shot during a rare quiet moment on the TEDxDetroit stage.

Alexandria and Joe TEDxDetroit1:47 p.m. Franco Account Manager Joe Ferlito, Artist Timothy Orikiri, Franco Digital Marketing Specialist Alexandria Fulbright and Visit Detroit Interactive Marketing Manager Dan Fuoco make lasting connections at TEDxDetroit, where art is being created in real time,  above the Grand Staircase at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Marie, Elizabeth and Tina K TEDxDetroit2:20 p.m. Busy coordinating media interviews, Franco Senior Account Executive Marie Stawasz also welcomes Account Manager Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin and President Tina Kozak to Hockeytown Café, where crowds are packing in for hands-on demonstrations from places like The Flower House and the Michigan Science Center at TEDxLabs.

Tina S in San Antonio2:23 p.m. Franco Senior Vice President Tina Sullivan checks in with staff, proves that all is well under Southern skies at the Texas Truck Rodeo where she is onsite with client SMDI.

Marie and Stephanie TEDxDetroit5 p.m. Franco Senior Account Executive Marie Stawasz and Account Manager Stephanie Angelyn Casola celebrate truly successful PR efforts supporting TEDxDetroit – and make sure to get a few photos with the iconic red X before crowds file out of the Fox Theatre and into a Comerica Park tour and Hockeytown Café for an afterparty in Detroit.

And that’s a wrap. Are you up to the task? What’s your typical day at the office like? Share it with us in the comments section.

Stephanie Angelyn Casola believes some PR pros are at their best in events-mode. She is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. She leads the consumer and social media teams and can be reached at 313-567-5048 or casola@franco.com. Tweet her at @stephcasola.

Sarah Kornacki and Alex Fulbright contributed photos and information to this post.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Register for TEDxDetroit Today

On Thursday, October 8th, creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, geeks, designers, thinker and doers will all flock to Detroit for the 7th Annual TEDxDetroit. Franco PR Group is excited to work with them to spread the word about this one-of-a-kind conference.

1. TEDx events are breakoffs from the larger, parent conference TED Talks. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – three words that are practically synonymous with the Motor City.

Photos: Cobo Center, Rockin’ on the Riverfront Concert Series, Detroit Institute of Arts

Photos: Cobo Center, Rockin’ on the Riverfront Concert Series, Detroit Institute of Arts

Check, check and… check.

2. There are only 14 other TEDx conference located throughout Michigan, and as you can see TEDxDetroit is at the TOP of the list.


Which could just be a coincidence, but then again, maybe not.

3. The TEDxDetroit stage has been graced by Detroit powerhouses like Quicken Loans Founder and real estate tycoon, Dan Gilbert, Slow Roll Co-Founder Jason Hall, and Hardcore Pawn star, Les Gold.

4. And this year’s line-up continues to bring the best of the best, with NASA Planetary Scientist, Dr. Cathy Olkin, Life Remodeled Founder and CEO, Dr. Chris. Lambert and President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association, Gary Shaprio.

Photo from GMRENCEN “Reflecting A New Detroit”

Photo: GMRENCEN “Reflecting A New Detroit”

Just to name a few.

5. Oh yeah, and on top of all those great speakers – they’ve got LIVE MUSIC. With performances by America’s Got Talent finalist Alicia Michilli, Tunde OlaniranAhya SimoneTimothy OrikriShelby 5Chance MorrisDarius SimpsonScout Bostley and Britney Stoney.

6. Not to mention this year’s venue just happens to be the historic Fox Theatre.

Photo: facebook.com/foxtheatredetroit

Photo: facebook.com/foxtheatredetroit

Which is the largest TEDxDetroit venue in its seven-year history.

7. Charlie Wollborg, Chief Troublemaker at Curve Detroit and TEDxDetroit Executive Producer and Curator has been a featured speaker at several noted conferences including SXSW Interactive, Podcamp Michigan and Ignite Automotive.

Photo: twitter.com/CharlieCurve

Photo: twitter.com/CharlieCurve

So he probably knows how to put on a good show.

8. If you don’t go you’re just going to be checking Twitter for updates all day anyway.

#TEDxDetroit FOMO

9. If you register for TEDxDetroit before Sept. 21, you’ll save $15. Which you can put towards those Red Wings tickets you’ve had your eye on.

10. And if that’s not enough to get you to click the registration link. Maybe this’ll help…

Photos: facebook.com/bigalora, facebook.com/comfortcruzine, detroitstockyard.com

Photos: facebook.com/bigalora, facebook.com/comfortcruzine, detroitstockyard.com

Detroit food truck favorites like Bigalora, Heroes vs. Villain, Motor City Franks, Comfort Cruzine, Stockyard and more will be on-site at TEDxDetroit. 


Which TEDxDetroit speaker is on your must-see list? Share 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.