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January had our teams busy with one focus: vehicles. With the arrival of January comes the arrival of perhaps the biggest event of the year in Detroit. We’re talking, of course, about the North American International Auto Show. We had a lot of fun running around Cobo Center for the annual event, and in between automotive press conferences, we even squeezed in some other events. Here’s what we were up to in January:

GM World Opened with the New Year

General Motors’ new vehicle showroom, GM World, officially opened Jan. 17! The GMRENCEN team headed downstairs to capture the grand opening by going live on client GMRENCEN’s Facebook and Instagram, as well as live tweeting the event and snapping photos. We’re excited for our client and we’re excited to use this beautiful space ourselves!

Crossed “Above the Noise” Off Our ‘To-Read’ List

Renaissance Readers decided to read Carrie Morgan’s “Above the Noise” in December, but we hosted our book club discussion in January. “Above the Noise” centered on creating trust, value and a positive reputation online through digital public relations efforts. Franconians new and old all took away helpful tips from the book.

An Eventful Two Weeks at NAIAS

The automotive team helped the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) settle into their new location in the center of the action at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The team joined SMDI at their all-new exhibit in Cobo Center’s main concourse to share some of the applications of advanced high strength steel that are driving innovation in the automotive industry through media relations, social media, on-site and digital advertising and exhibit design. Great job, Megan Peterson, Ann Marie Fortunate, Kellan Crow, Geoffrey Geist, Dan Horn, Tina Sullivan, Erica Harmon, Rachel Burnard, Tina Kozak and Nate Adkins!

Celebrated One Year of Avalon Café and Kitchen at WDIV

Account Executive Kellen Crow and Account Supervisor Marie Boyle joined Joanne Bower of client Avalon Café and Kitchen in Ann Arbor for a Live in the D segment highlighting the restaurant’s first anniversary. Cheers to Avalon!

Announced a New Top of the Tower Restaurant

The GMRENCEN team had a busy Sunday morning when they broke news that a new restaurant was heading to the 71st and 72nd floors of the GMRENCEN. James Beard Award-Winning Chef Shawn McClain will open a new restaurant at the top of the Marriott, along with his Detroit-native wife, Holly. To say we’re excited is an understatement!

New Year, New Franco Fit Club

Franco Fit Club went to a strobe light cycle class at RenCen Fitness inside the GMRENCEN. It was exhausting and sweaty, but a fun workout and good way to kick off the year!

Welcomed a New Intern

Recent Central Michigan University graduate Maranda Doney joined Franco in January as our newest intern. She brings experience from Quicken Loans and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and we’re excited to have her. Cheers, Maranda!

Talked Media Relations with PRSA Detroit


PRSA Detroit members Account Director Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin and Senior Account Executive Megan Peterson attended “One-Year Later: The Restructure of Crain’s Detroit Business” a panel featuring various Crain’s influencers. The panel focused on the changing media landscape and how public relations professionals and journalists can navigate the news industry together.

Met with the Detroit Tigers at Stahl’s Automotive Collection

Franco President Tina Kozak, Senior Account Executive Erica Harmon and Assistant Account Executive Rachel Burnard were present to welcome the Detroit Tigers Winter Caravan as it stopped at the Stahl’s Automotive Collection. The caravan checked out vintage vehicles, Stahl’s rare music machines and celebrated Stahl’s 85th and the Chesterfield Townships Police Department’s 50th anniversaries while there.

January centered-heavily around cars, and it looks like February will bring us even more. Stay tuned for what we get up to next month!

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