Tag Archives: The Salvation Army

10 Reasons Why Franco is Cool

Franco was recently named as one of Crain’s Cool Places to Work so we wanted to let the world know our favorite things about working here. We asked around the office to figure out what makes Franco so cool.

1.Franco is friendly

“I think Franco is cool because we get to work with so many awesome clients and get to see them grow/develop over time! I also think Franco is awesome because of our luncheons and snacks in the kitchen!! The culture of Franco is excellent and I feel like I can ask anybody anything at any time.” James Youness, public relations coordinator

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2. Franco cares

“The people are what make Franco cool. When I interview potential new employees and interns, we get a lot of questions about the culture here. The first thing I always say is that we all genuinely care about each other – and that’s from the CEO down. What’s more is that we actually spend time with each other outside of work.” Ann Marie Fortunate, account supervisor

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3. We always have food

“Being a new employee can be scary but I know Franco is a cool place because of how warm and welcoming everyone is. Also, you’ll never go hungry here, we’re always getting some good food!” Rachel Burnard, public relations coordinator

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4. We do cool activities

“Franco is a cool place to work because  the agency truly makes an investment into its employees’ success. From small things like snacks to spontaneous group ice cream runs to massages for the floor, it shows that Franco is willing to go above and beyond to keep employees happy and motivated.” Geoff Geist, digital marketing specialist

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5. Our office is in a cool location

“Since the GMRENCEN is one of our clients, our team helped to coordinate food trucks next to the RenCen all summer. I’m not sure why, but ordering and eating food out of a truck makes me so happy! We also planned yoga on the roof of the Beaubien parking garage multiple times this summer, which I was more than happy to participate in.” Jennifer Spears, assistant account executive

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6. Franco gives back

“We have a number of opportunities to give back to the community through service including helping clients like The Salvation Army, TedXDetroit and the Belle Isle Conservancy, serving on organizations like PRSA and IABC, and participating in programs like Grow Detroit Young Talent.” Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin, account manager

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7. Franco loves Detroit

“Franco is cool because our office is in the GMRENCEN, right off of the water. Our views are beautiful and we’re right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Detroit. I think it’s great that Franco didn’t just come to Detroit when it started to be recognized as “cool.” We’ve been here since the beginning.” Adriane Davis, digital marketing specialist

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8. Franco = family

“At Franco we function more like a family than just co-workers. Whether it’s a client project or planning a wedding, we are always there to collaborate and help each other out!” Erica Swoish, senior account executive

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9. We value each other

“We are cool because we respect and value our employees and clients.” Tina Sullivan, senior vice president

10. Franco is a team

“I think the team captured the reasons why Franco is cool, but if I had to put it into one word, it would be “team.” I consider our clients and our employees as one big team that makes this place cool. We’re lucky to work with clients that reflect Franco’s values, and with teammates that truly care about one another. We are teammates in every sense of the word. We happily help each other when needed, celebrate our successes together, laugh and cry together, and work together to solve problems. I always say we have the best team in town, and I truly believe it. It’s great to be cool, and it’s awesome to be Franco!” Tina Kozak, president

Franco On The Town – June Edition

The month of June was filled with events in Detroit, a perfect reminder of the commitment Franco has to continue serving this city.

Erica and Stephanie Bowen from the Belle Isle Conservancy lent a helping hand to call and direct the program with the audio / visual crew at this year’s Grand Prixmiere.

ES at Grand Prixmiere

Pat and client Katy Wyerman working Grand Prixmiere.

PAJ at Grand Prixmiere 2

Mary, Sarah, Marie and Lauren gather in front of a Grand Prix Indy Car before the 2016 Belle Isle Grand Prixmiere in support of Franco client, the Belle Isle Conservancy. Other notable guests in attendance at the Grand Prixmiere included General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

MP, SK, MS, LC at Grand Prixmiere

Elizabeth and Sasha worked the kickoff event of On the Plaza featuring a performance by country artist Matt Gary and Michigan singer-songwriter Audrey Ray, with the help of NASH-FM. On the Plaza is a 17-week summer series of free entertainment, activities, food trucks and more on the GM Plaza from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday through September 29.

ERS, SR at On the Plaza

Marie was onsite for the Travel Channel’s Delicious Destinations shoot at the original Buddy’s Pizza on the corner of Six Mile and Conant.MS at Buddy's for Travel ChannelElizabeth and Sarah were both at Opportunity Detroit for client interviews- Elizabeth with CBRE and Sarah with Buddy’s and HOUR Detroit that day.

ERS and SK at Opportunity Detroit

The month of June brought Franco three new team members. Meet our newest additions!

Rene Cizio, account manager. Rene’s diverse background in news, PR, and social media in both corporate and agency settings with B2B and consumer clients make her a triple threat when you need a great idea and a plan to execute it. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from University of Michigan-Dearborn.  She is also a graduate of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership 21 program, which educates and develops a diverse, select group of emerging leaders in southern Wayne County.

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Jennifer Spears, assistant account executive. Jennifer has a professional background in marketing and journalism, and served as an Americorps member with City Year Detroit, working as a tutor in a Detroit public high school and organizing in-school and extracurricular events. Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with a Bachelor of Arts in German and anthropology and a minor in women’s studies.

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Geoffrey Geist, digital marketing specialist. Geoffrey comes to Franco from General Motors, where he was a specialist on the social media team, focusing on luxury clients. He is a member of the AdCraft club of Detroit and has held positions at a variety of other Metro Detroit companies, including Quicken Loans, Team Detroit/GTB and Treat Dreams. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and is a fervent supporter of MSU and the city of Detroit.

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Marie and Sasha were on-site at the unveiling of the newly installed bronze statue of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. One hundred years since Edsel and Eleanor Ford said “I do”, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House has set out to honor the couple’s life and legacy during ‘A Century of Love’ 100th wedding anniversary celebration.

MS and SR at Ford House

Tina and Joe had the opportunity to paddle the lower stretches of the Rouge River celebrating the 30th anniversary of Friends of the Rouge at its annual Rouge Rescue event.

TK, JF Friends of the Rouge

Mary and her husband, Zac, snapped a picture with Major Jim McDowell at the KEM concert supporting The Salvation Army and their efforts for the Flint Water Crisis.

MP at KEM concert

Team Franco had a wonderful evening celebrating at HOUR Detroit’s Best of Detroit Party at MotorCity Casino Hotel’s Sound Board . Top left clockwise: Intern Brittanie and Sasha checked in all media covering the event, Rene snapped a photo in front of the Franco sponsorship slide inside of Sound Board, Ann Marie and Andrea enjoyed a night out with their handsome dates, Lori took a night off from being the office mom and celebrated the Best of Detroit with her friend, Debbie.

Best of Detroit

Tina and Sasha took a break from working with the media at ‘A Legacy of Love: Vow Renewal and Garden Party’ to take in the beauty of the Ford House grounds. Couples at ‘A Legacy of Love’ gathered for an unforgettable vow renewal ceremony at the picturesque Lakeshore estate officiated by Macomb county executive, Mark Hackel. The ceremony was followed by an elegant strolling dinner and dancing.

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Among the couples renewing their vows was Franco’s CEO, Dan Ponder and his wife, Cathy. They celebrated 34 years of marriage in June.

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Civil rights activist, Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., made a surprise visit to the office and grabbed a photo with Dan and Brittanie.

DP, BC, Jesse Jackson

Jen and Ashley took time to de-stress at a lunchtime session of yoga atop the Beaubien Place Garage. Rooftop Yoga is a monthly yoga class put on by client, GMRENCEN along with RenCen Fitness.

JS, AD at Rooftop yoga

Brittanie spent an afternoon at the 2016 Conference on Volunteering and Service, the world’s largest gathering of service-related nonprofit, business, government and civic leaders. She represented the nonprofit, 9/11 Day, which encourages people to honor 9/11 victims by participating in service projects around the nation.

BC at Cobo

Franco celebrated June birthdays by taking a trip down to Ashby Ice Cream & Palazzolo’s Gelato in the GM Wintergarden for a sweet treat.

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Jen welcomed media at the Turning Point Invitational press conference held at Cornerstone Schools. Cornerstone announced that golf icon Jack Nicklaus will play in the annual golf invitational held to raise funds to provide quality educations for Detroit children. Cornerstone also shared their goal to grow and educate 5,000 children in Detroit, almost double their current enrollment.

JS at Cornerstone press confernence

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

The Many Measures of Success in Business

Success

This is a question I often ask myself when evaluating the results of a public relations campaign for a client, colleague or a friend or family member who is interested. There is no one right way to measure success. In fact, there could very well be multiple ways to measure the success of a single campaign.

First, you have to identify the original goals set during the planning phase of your campaign. Was the goal to secure X number of placements? Was it to secure feature coverage in a specific geographical area? Or did you set out to achieve a specific business milestone?

Success cannot be measured without first identifying your benchmarks. Let’s take a look at some different models of analyzing a campaign:

Quality of coverage

From my experience, many people think more coverage is better coverage but that is rarely the case. It doesn’t matter how many placements you secure if you’re not reaching your target audience. True success is a story in a publication that reaches the intended audience. When pitching a client’s story, you want to first identify journalists and publications that appeal to that audience.

QUALITY

Example: If you are trying to showcase how a new customer relationship management (CRM) software improves customer service and position the company as a market leader, then targeting trade publications specializing in that industry might be a good approach. If this is the case, securing one feature story in a leading trade publication will be more valuable than mass coverage from irrelevant outlets. More times than not, quality trumps quantity.

Support of business objectives

Whether your business is selling a product or cultivating potential donors, a PR campaign should always align with the business plan. A common mistake is the belief that a campaign’s success depends solely on earned media. It’s important to remember, public relations is an extension of a business’s operations.

Example: The Salvation Army account team at Franco supports the Red Kettle fundraising campaign to increase awareness of the nonprofit’s services, cultivate relationships with potential donors and ultimately secure donations. In this scenario, it is important to secure extensive coverage across many interest areas from community news to business outlets. But, it’s imperative to remember that it doesn’t end with placements. When measuring a campaign, it is important to analyze the outcome by how it helped achieve company goals. In the case of The Salvation Army, did the campaign result in increased donors in the pipeline? Did it result in increased donations? These are the numbers that matter most.

In the end, businesses are seeking a return on investment (ROI). How has public relations supported the business plan? Do the results outweigh the cost of public relations efforts? These are questions that should always be at the forefront when planning and implementing a strategy. And, in order to achieve a positive ROI, you must understand the desired results and tailor a strategy to best achieve them.

So, how do you measure success?

Dan Stocking is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5094 or stocking@franco.com.  Follow him on Twitter @danielstocking.

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.

Outtakes: Think it’s easy to make a video blog? Think again.

Yesterday, Dan Stocking posted a video blog about what he loves about his job. It turned out great, but he didn’t exactly nail it on his first take. The truth is, it is extremely hard to speak into a camera and hit all of your key messages seamlessly in one take without editing. Dan worked on this after hours, and this hilarious outtake reel shows you what went into producing the 90-second post.

I’ll warn you ahead of time, Dan got a little crazy as it got later into the night. We hope you enjoy it.

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

 

What we love about our jobs – Daniel Stocking

At Franco, our culture is based on a company-wide commitment to excellence. Excellence is more than providing a quality product; it’s much deeper than that. It’s the Franco team working in unison to achieve the best results for our clients.

To attain excellence, each team member must believe in this philosophy. I believe that to truly be successful, you must love what you do and do what you love. So, I decided to ask my fellow Franconians:  ‘What do you love about your job?’

Let us know what you do, and why you love it.

Dan Stocking is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5094 or stocking@franco.com.  Follow him on Twitter @danielstocking.

Franco’s Newest Hire Sees Excellence in Action

As the new kid on the Franco Public Relations Group block, I was oriented on the agency’s commitment to excellence. But, what company doesn’t say it’s committed to that these days?  Now that I’m several weeks into this exciting next phase of my career, it’s apparent that my new colleagues don’t just give lip-service to excellence – Franco clearly delivers it.

In fact, excellence was the focus of a recent all-employee meeting during which we laughingly commiserated over failed attempts to explain to those closest to us what we, as PR practitioners, do every day.

Photo creidt Flickr: Joe furini

Intern Dan proudly presented a news release he’d carefully crafted on behalf of a client to his parents only to have them ask why they didn’t see his name anywhere . . . AE Angela’s dad was thrilled to catch his daughter during a story on a local evening newscast and couldn’t understand why that wasn’t really supposed to happen since PR people work behind-the-scenes . . . even when our President, Maria, called her mother after an interview on Entertainment Tonight, appearing as a corporate spokesperson, mom was glad but noted it only lasted 20 seconds (an eternity in TV time).

Me? Working from a home office while my sons were young, I often overheard them telling their friends that “Dad goes to work and Mom types all day.”

Truth is public relations can be hard to define. The Public Relations Society of America acknowledges this, saying “. . . public relations has been defined in many different ways, the definition often evolving alongside public relations’ changing roles and technological advances.”

As definitions have been continually debated, the association recently spearheaded an effort that had practitioners vote on an “official” rendition: Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

That definition is academically accurate. But Franco’s definition is also on target – and much simpler – We Connect People.

We do it by excellently executing media relations, strategic planning, social media, crisis management, community relations, event planning, marketing, branding, advertising and more on behalf of the exceptional clients we serve.

But what does excellent public relations look like in practice? Examples abound at Franco Public Relations Group, among them:

  • It’s working alongside The Salvation Army in Doing the Most GoodSM to feed, shelter and nurture our neighbors by continually raising the bar in promoting the organization’s ongoing programs, and such annual funding events as the Red Kettle and Bed & Bread campaigns.
  • It’s helping to foster Detroit’s vibrant and dynamic business climate and fulfill the ambitious visions of an innovative entrepreneur by supporting the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest.
  • It’s also aiding enterprises, like Buddy’s Pizza, in giving back to the community in which it has successfully flourished through such charitable initiatives as Slice for Life (benefiting the Capuchin Soup Kitchen) and the Made in Michigan Great Lakes Pizza Collection (benefiting the Alliance for the Great Lakes).

I think this is all excellent! When have you witnessed public relations excellence?

Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5046 or joy@franco.com.