Tag Archives: Tina Kozak

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 – August Edition

During the month of August Franco worked with a golf legend, sang along with a rock legend and met a baseball legend, and that’s not even the half of it!

Brittanie, Rene, Jen and Sasha spent the day representing Franco at the Country Club of Detroit coordinating media for the Turning Point Invitational. The annual golf event is held by Cornerstone Schools and serves as the charter school’s largest fundraiser. This year, golf great Jack Nicklaus hosted the event and helped raise more than $3.3 million for the Detroit charter school.

BC RC SR JS at TPI

Tina and Erica enjoyed the sunset at the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle Park at the Belle Isle Conservancy’s Sunset at the Scott on Aug. 17. Proceeds from the event go toward replacing the Pewabic tile mosaic on the fountain basin.

ES TK at Scott Party

Tina and her husband came out for the last Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert staring Bret Michaels.

TK at Bret Michaels

Rene snagged a picture with Detroit Tiger alum Dan Petry at Comerica’s VIP Tigers party. She even tried on his 1984 World Series ring! “It was really heavy.” – Rene

RC at Comerica VIP Tigers party

Geoff snapped a selfie at the Woodward Dream Cruise while working on behalf of Franco client SMDI, visiting the Cooper Tires booth. “I may not have won free tires, but I had a lot of fun live-tweeting the event and getting great pictures of classic cars. “ – Geoff

GG at Dream Cruise

One of Franco’s fall interns, Rachel, posed with HOUR Detroit Magazine Managing Editor Dorothy Hernandez at the Fox 2 studio for a cooking segment from the August issue.

RB at FOX2 cooking segment

Some of Franco’s powerful women Rene, Erica, Marie and Ann Marie attended the Dbusiness Breakfast Series “Powered by Women”  at the Great Lakes Culinary Center.

RC ES MS AMF at DBusiness breakfast

Lauren and Joe celebrated another successful Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest season. Beginning in May, the two helped launch the 2016 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest where entrepreneurs from across Detroit submitted their business plans in hopes of winning $50,000 from Comerica Bank and more than $200,000 in pro bono services from Hatch Detroit and its partners to open a brick and mortar location in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck. After more than 150 entrepreneurs submitted to the contest, the submissions were narrowed to 10 semi-finalists and public voting determined the top four. At the end of August, the four contest finalists, Bird Bee, Meta Physica Massage & Sauna, Corbé  and Coriander Kitchen & Farm, pitched their business plans live to a panel of judges at the Hatch Off event in hopes of winning the $50,000 from Comerica Bank. At the event, Lauren and Joe assisted with media relations and helped announce Meta Physica Massage & Sauna as the 2016 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest winner.

JF LC at Hatch

Lauren and the CBRE Franco team helped deck out the GM Wintergarden in décor for GM’s Global Health & Safety Week. Here, Lauren is attempting to make a bow out of caution tape.

LC making bows for Health and Safety week

Elizabeth, Sasha, Lauren, James, Adriane and Rachel all pitched in at GM’s Health and Safety Fair on Aug. 31.

Health and Safety Fair

Franco On the Town – July Edition

The month of July took Franco to Oregon, local events and we even had a chance to play with puppies.

Marie and Jen celebrated Buddy’s 70th anniversary with the unveiling of a new mural outside the original location on the corner of Six Mile and Conant in Detroit. Detroit Street Artist Fel3000ft painted an original art piece that blends directly into the sky.

JS and MS at Buddy's mural

Pictured left to right: Jen, Wes Pikula – Buddy’s Pizza vice president of operations, Michelle Lawton – Buddy’s Pizza marketing director, Marie, and Fel3000ft – Detroit street artist and muralist.

Jermaine got a tour of the Fox 2 truck during a live shot at Belle Isle for the 34th annual Metro Detroit Youth Day.

JM at MDYD

Brittanie took photos at Metro Detroit Youth Day. Here she is catching some great shots of kids in the boxing ring.

BC at MDYD

Ann Marie gave the camera a big smile while checking out a RAV4 Hybrid  at NWAPA (Northwest Automotive Press Association) Drive Revolution in Portland, OR.

AMF at NWAPA

Mary captured playful moments at Pathways Academy’s daycare photo shoot to help promote the Detroit charter school. Pathways Academy is geared toward 7th through 12th-grade pregnant or young parents.

Pathways photo shoot

Dan, Andrea and Lauren pause for a photo during Comerica Bank VIP Party at Cheli’s Chili. The Franconians are using their event knowledge at every Saturday Detroit Tigers home game.

DH, AK, LC at Comerica VIP Party

Tina got her puppy fix in during Pet Day On the Plaza. She spent time with this adorable Puggle (the offspring of a beagle and a pug).

“This is me and my new boyfriend, Louie.” – Tina

TK On the Plaza - puppy day

Mary and Rene enjoy some sunshine on a Fisher Building balcony overlooking downtown Detroit during a recent building photo shoot.

MP and RC at Fisher building

Elizabeth, Mary and Rene joined communications professionals from throughout metro Detroit at the DBusiness Breakfast Series. Guests enjoyed a presentation from Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, detailing plans for the new Little Caesars Arena and the city of Detroit.

ERS, MP, RC at DBusiness Breakfast series

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.

TK and SR ford house

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

DP and Cathy

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

Franco Tackles the NFL Draft

“Hello and welcome to the 2016 NFL Draft.”

To the fandom that surrounds the NFL, there are few phrases that conjure more excitement. That phrase means fresh talent on their team’s roster, it means seeing the next Joe Montana before he becomes a superstar. But, for Franco client STAHLS’, it means making custom, national TV ready, NFL jerseys in minutes.

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Tina Kozak and Erica Swoish arrive in Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft representing Team STAHLS’

During the draft, teams select their new players one by one. As the newly drafted NFL player approaches the stage, the STAHLS’ team is working backstage to pull the correct jersey, correct player’s name in the proper font, press the name plate to adhere it on the jersey, and get it to the stage before the player is officially welcomed into the NFL, all in less than two minutes. Whew!

STAHLS’ has been part of this event for the past five years. When they began in 2012, they were not even sure if their products would make it to the stage. After doing countless tests preceding the 2012 Draft, STAHLS’ had to prove their abilities during the actual event.

As the first draft pick, Andrew Luck, was selected, STAHLS’ printed the jersey but making it to the stage was a game time decision. The jersey still had to get the final ‘OK’ from both the NFL and Nike, Inc. before the jersey was allowed to go the whole nine yards to the stage. The garment passed with flying colors and the rest is history.

2016 Draft Jerseys

STAHLS’ has their NFL jerseys ready to go leading up to the first round of the Draft.

In support of STAHLS’, Franco teammates Tina Kozak and Erica Swoish, traveled to Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft.

From the moment they arrived in the city they could feel the excitement surrounding the festivities. Grant Park was completely transformed into ‘Draft Town.’ This included a fan viewing area, games, souvenirs, the NFL Shop and so much more.

But Kozak and Swoish had a game plan they needed to execute before reveling in the thrill of the day, so they got to work.

“As soon as we got the lay of the land we started talking to media on-site and making connections. It was a ‘Where’s Waldo’ hunt for the cameras,” Swoish said.

Our Franco quarterbacks had generated media hits leading up the event, and prescheduled a live hit with a local station for STAHLS’ during Draft weekend, but they knew that intercepting media to make those in person connections could further the STAHLS’ message.

“The next day we had Fox 32 Chicago come out and do live hits from the STAHLS’ area of Draft Town,” Swoish said. “Later in the day we had a reporter and photographer from the Chicago Tribune out to Draft Town and a phone interview with Printwear Magazine.”

Brent Kisha is the head coach for the STAHLS’ team and was the main interview subject for STAHLS’ throughout the event.

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Brent Kisha and the rest of the STAHLS’ team is interviewed live by Fox Chicago.

“It is great to see a message we helped to craft get picked up by so many media outlets. We just felt a huge sense of accomplishment.”

As draft time approached, Kozak and Swoish joined the huddle in Selection Square to watch the Draft live on the big screen.

“The energy was magnetic!” Swoish said. “We were right in the middle of the crowd. People who didn’t even know each other hugged and gave high fives when their team made a selection. I am not a die-hard football fan but you couldn’t help but get swept up in all the excitement.”

The two even purchased their own STAHLS’ custom made apparel before heading back to home turf.

And while the weekend was definitely full of fun, Swoish collected professional lessons that she will wear with pride.

“I experienced firsthand how important it is to make a local connection to any story when pitching the media,” Swoish said. “We received placements in key areas across the region because we were able to make a local tie. The Draft was an experience I never imagined having, but one I will definitely not forget.”

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Swoish and Kozak pictured outside of Selection Square in Chicago.

A bittersweet departure from a happy home

We talk a lot in public relations and marketing about “third-party validation,” the idea that what somebody else says about you is more trustworthy than what you say about yourself. You trust the restaurant reviewer more than the restaurant’s advertisements, your friend who hated the movie more than the actor praising it on the talk show couch.

I’m becoming that third party when it comes to Franco. Tomorrow , I’ll be turning in my office key and GMRENCEN tenant ID badge as I follow my passions into policy and politics as the new vice president for marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan’s leading voice for free-market economic policies.

John Mozena

John Mozena, APR

So, now that the only remaining question for me here at Franco is whether or not there’s cake on my last day, I wanted to share some newly “third-party” thoughts on what makes this place special. Nobody asked me to write this, and whether you’re a potential client, employee or just somebody interested in the agency, I hope you’ll take these as the sincere thoughts of someone who’s going through a bittersweet departure from a happy home.

Values

You probably skimmed over the part of the Franco website that lists mission, vision, values  and the like. I know I usually would, since that’s an area in which companies are all too often noteworthy when they do live up to their statements rather than when they fall short.

But I’ve been working professionally as a reporter and PR/marketing professional for two decades in a variety of different environments, and I’ve never been anywhere that the values are meaningfully engrained in day-to-day operations the way Franco’s “Courage. Integrity. Balance.” are. I don’t want to belabor the point – to paraphrase Chris Rock, “You’re not supposed to do bad things. What do you want, a cookie?”—but I can say that I never for one instant here questioned or doubted what was expected of me when any sort of ethical issue came up. You tell the truth, you do what’s right and you stand by it. You don’t represent or work with people who try to get you to function otherwise, regardless of the consequences. Period.

Too often, “values statements” are aspirational. At Franco, they’re simply descriptive.

People

It’s telling that when I sat down with Franco President Tina Kozak and gave her my notice that I was moving on, her first unfiltered reaction was to be happy for me. My talk with our CEO Dan Ponder was in a similar vein, and evolved into a discussion of civility in political and policy discourse and how I’d have an opportunity in my new role to model polite respect for opposing viewpoints, rather than the ad hominem attacks that have become far too common on our airwaves and in our Facebook feeds. In both cases, their instinctive and genuine reaction was to be happy for me as a friend and someone about whom they cared as a person, rather than an employee whose departure would create inevitable short-term challenges and workload. It’s a rare privilege to work for people like Dan and Tina who so genuinely value their employees rather than mouth the empty HR platitudes common throughout American business, and whose example challenges the rest of their leadership team to follow suit.

When I joined Franco, one of the things that first hinted what kind of place this was going to be was my breakfast with Dan. It wasn’t an “interview” in the traditional sense, but rather a wide-ranging discussion on life, family, philosophy, history and more at the Detroit Athletic Club where we ended up the last table as they cleared breakfast service. Having come to know him better, it no longer surprises me that an agency leader would take hours out of his morning to get to know me well enough to decide whether or not I’d be the kind of person he’d want on his team, leading his people and representing the agency to his clients. Our discussion had very little to do with what I could do, and far more with who I was and what kind of environment I’d be joining. It went beyond due diligence or simple chemistry, and it’s a lesson that I’ll take with me into my new role.

It’s this kind of care that Dan and Tina and the rest of the leadership team takes in finding good people that shows through not only for those of us who’ve had the privilege of working here, but also for the clients they serve and the partners with whom they work.

Joy

No, not Vice President Pat Joy, although she is certainly wonderful and I’d happily talk about how much I’ve enjoyed working with her after having been professional acquaintances for years. The “joy” I experienced at Franco is the all-too-rare professional joy of doing good work for good clients with good people by your side. It’s the culmination of capable and caring people given values-based guidance and then trusted and supported to do great work. It’s knowing that “team” isn’t just an empty word, and that anyone and everyone will pitch in as needed to meet commitments. (I’ll never forget our Senior Vice President Tina Sullivan volunteering shortly after dawn to find balloons somewhere just off Eight Mile Road in Detroit, when we realized that the unexpected pouring rain made our existing event wayfinding signage difficult for attendees to see. I have no idea how she found balloons at that time of the morning in that neighborhood, but she did.)

We hope for and hopefully can even expect joy in our private lives, maybe as a spouse or parent or friend. We seek it out through hobbies, sports, entertainment and more, and can plan and spend huge amounts of money to have that perfect joyful moment at a favorite band’s concert or Disneyland or celebrating stadium. That’s why finding moments of personal and professional joy in work – in doing the things you have to do – is a powerful gift. Franco’s not the only place I’ve had that privilege, and I expect to continue in my new role, but I can’t overstate how much easier it is to have the passion that’s required to truly do this job well when the potential for that personal and professional joy is nurtured by your leaders and colleagues.

Franco Team

Being a part of the team is important at Franco! Team Franco comes together for a little fun to enjoy Greenfield Village Holiday Nights this past December.

Farewell

I told Tina and Dan that I honestly couldn’t picture another job that would have enticed me to leave Franco, but that this role at the Mackinac Center is simply the perfect fit between my professional experience and my personal passions. (I also joked with Tina that it’s slightly disconcerting when your current employer says, “Oh, that’s the perfect job for you” when you tell her about your new job…) It’s bittersweet to have been given the opportunity to move to a “more perfect” role when I’d considered myself to be in a perfect place already, but I wouldn’t have traded my time at Franco for the world.

My thanks and best wishes to everyone here at Franco, all of my clients and the great partners with whom I’ve worked. And if you’re a potential client or employee reading this because you’re wondering if Franco is right for you…well, I can unreservedly give you that third-party validation that it’s worth your while to try to find out.

John C. Mozena, APR is an account director (for the next few moments) at Franco Public Relations Group, after which he will be joining the Mackinac Center for Public Policy as its vice president for marketing and communications. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter @johnmoz. Connect with Franco PR Group on Facebook and Twitter @FrancoPRGroup.

 

Franco On the Town – March Edition

In March, the Franco team could be found learning, engaging and traveling.

Tina K. and Elizabeth attended the EdelTrust Breakfast to discuss the results from this year’s Trust Barometer. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer surveyed more than 33,000 respondents in 28 countries to examine trust in government, business, nongovernmental organizations, media and more.

EdelTrust Breakfast

Erica, Mary and Andrea welcomed Eastern Michigan University’s PRSSA to Detroit for a tour of the Franco office.

EMU PRSSA day

Team Franco survived Daylight Saving Time with a little help from our trusty friends at Starbucks.

Daylight Saving Time Starbucks

Franco celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish themed lunch and lots of green.

St. Patricks Day

While the team celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, Tina S. snapped this perfect picture from the balcony of Hayworth-Adams Hotel while she attended the Western Automotive Press Association gala with the Steel Market Development Institute.

Western Automotive Press Association gala

Tina K. moderated The Tale of Our City: PR’s Role in Detroit’s Revitalization panel hosted by Wayne State University and Michigan State University.

Tale of Our City

While Tina moderated, Erica set up shop at the internship fair hosted by Wayne State University PRSSA at The Tale of Our City to speak to college students about Franco.

Wayne State University internship fair

Sarah and Marie made an appearance at Vinotecca’s monthly wine dinner, featuring Girard Winery, where they learned about different types of wines and food pairings.

Vinotecca wine dinner featuring Girard Winery

Lauren and Ann Marie helped IBAS Brewery host Yelp Detroit for a brewing event. Guests spent the day brewing a Belgian Tripel and in just a few short months, the 9 gallons of man-made beer will be ready for at-home enjoyment.

IBAS Brewery

Pat interviewed Jeff Zaleski of PricewaterhouseCoopers  at the Belle Isle Aquarium for the Belle Isle Conservancy Grand Prixmiere welcome video.

Belle Isle Aquarium

Andrea coordinated The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Director, Chuck McDougall interview on CW50’s Street Beat.

CW50 Street Beat

Mary ended the month by attending her first IABC Detroit event, The Power of Storytelling. Not only did she learn a thing about what makes a good story, but she found time to live tweet the event from Franco’s Twitter account.

IABC

Election 2016: The Power of Earned Media

DISCLOSURE: This is not a partisan post, an endorsement for a particular candidate, or a political rant.

This is about the power of PR, more specifically, the power of earned media, something I speak about frequently in my business as president of Franco. We’re often asked to measure the value of media coverage, or to counsel a client on how to most effectively spend their marketing dollars, whether it’s media relations, traditional advertising, digital, events, etc. While we are an integrated agency that does all of the above, our roots are in public relations and good old earned media. And so far, this presidential election is shaping up to be an incredible case study in earned media.

No secret. Donald Trump is spending far less on political advertising than most other candidates. The most recent Ad Age Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard  tracks him at eighth in ad spending, even behind the failed campaigns of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. Yet, Trump’s strategy seems to be working, as he continues to lead state after state in primary elections, most recently here in Michigan last night.

Why? Earned Media. The Power of PR.

Donald Trump's campaign is capitalizing on earned media

Donald Trump’s campaign is newsworthy. Media can’t help but cover him. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Media outlets, and not just traditionally conservative ones, are dedicating an unprecedented amount of time to covering Trump and his unique campaign approach because it’s newsworthy. The definition of newsworthiness is fairly subjective, but the bottom line is that it’s making the networks money. Even CBS Exec Les Moonves has admitted that Trump is ‘damn good for business.’

Just last night, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News networks all aired Trump’s press conference live without interruption, while completely ignoring Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s speech which occurred at the same time. Trump didn’t have to spend millions on advertising last night; he just set the stage, and the media flocked to it.

At Franco, we counsel our clients on what’s newsworthy. We tell them to do things differently (a press conference on a plane?!), use big gestures and colorful language (note: we DO NOT endorse insults), display energy and passion, examine a topic from a different angle, etc. Like it or not, Donald Trump is doing many of these things, and the media can’t help but cover him. He has consistently received a disproportionate amount of airtime from the major networks. Last month alone, Trump had 35 appearances on Fox News and received more than six hours of airtime on that single network, the most airtime any candidate has received in any month since Media Matters began tracking appearances in May 2015. And according to media monitoring service IQ media, the value of earned media from Fox News alone from May-December 2015 was nearly $30 million.

And according to many accounts, this was his plan all along. An excerpt from a Feb. 1 POLITICO article “How Trump Did It” by Eli Stokols and Ben Schreckinger

Notoriously frugal, Trump insisted he wouldn’t need to spend much money on paid advertising, drawing disbelief from the professionals gathered around his table.

“You can’t run for president on earned media,” one attendee recalled telling Trump.

The billionaire looked up, and paused for a long moment. “I think you’re wrong,” Trump said.

“I’m going to get in and all the polls are going to go crazy. I’m going to suck all the oxygen out of the room. I know how to work the media in a way that they will never take the lights off of me.”

Earlier this year, POLITICO calculated the value of Donald Trump’s earned media. I can only imagine it’s skyrocketed since January.

The Power of PR. The value of earned media.

The most interesting primary election season in recent memory.

As to who wins the White House, we endorse a candidate who shares Franco’s core values of Courage, Integrity and Balance.

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.

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