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Buddy’s Pizza, the creator of the Original Detroit-Style Pizza and founder of National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, turned to Franco as their integrated communications partner to coordinate, plan and execute a national campaign for the holiday. One main goal of the program was to partner with at least 10 Detroit-Style pizzerias across the country to give back to local charities to help fight hunger and homelessness.

The focus of this program was to successfully coordinate local and national partnerships with community organizations, social media influencers and pizzerias to celebrate the second annual national holiday and gain media attention to engage Buddy’s customers and Detroit-Style Pizza lovers in Michigan and nationwide.

Objectives of the National Detroit-Style Pizza Day campaign were to provide the Buddy’s Pizza team, pizzerias and customers with:

  • Activations across three different markets (Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids) to encourage Michigan communities to purchase from Buddy’s Pizza on the national holiday.
  • Social media influencer content to increase awareness of the national holiday and the pizza style.
  • Opportunities for community nonprofits and pizzeria partners to get involved and celebrate the holiday in-person and online.


Buddy’s National Detroit-Style Pizza Day campaign is part of an annual campaign that occurs in June every year, with the first national holiday on June 23, 2021. The overarching goal of this campaign is to raise national awareness of Detroit-Style Pizza while giving back to local communities. This year, Buddy’s focused on raising funds to fight hunger and homelessness in partnership with The Salvation Army through pizzeria participation and community activations across Michigan.

As a part of this national campaign, Franco provided partnership coordination, influencer relations, event planning, media relations and social media support/integration to successfully execute and celebrate the second annual National Detroit-Style Pizza Day.

Influencer Relations
  • Conducted multiple rounds of outreach to influencers and celebrities for pizza kit partnerships
  • Coordinated and executed partnerships with 11 influencers across the country
  • Shipped each influencer Detroit-Style Pizza making kits with all ingredients needed, even the pan (which is unavailable for purchase)
    •  Influencers used this to create social media content (IG stories, IG posts, FB posts)
  • Influencer partners:
    • catherine_shapiro
    • nepapizzareview
    • Richardeats
    • Dinnerclubdiaries
    • Tasteofmichigan
    • Detroitfoodlover
    • Detroitdar
    • Baking Steel
    • Detroit Girls Eat
    • Jimmy Henry
    • Oakland County Moms
Event Planning
  • Detroit Temple Pizza Drop
    • Coordinated pizza drop to TSA’s Detroit Temple Community Core Center (pizza for 50 students and 15 adults)
  • Grand Rapids Pizza Drop
    • Coordinated pizza drop to TSA’s Grand Rapids Corps Center (pizza for 23 people)
  • Day-of Community Activations
    • Six Mile and Conant Celebration (original location)
      • Invited more than 50 media representatives to the location to celebrate the national day
      • Coordinated Motor City Cruise mascot appearance
    • Okemos
      • Coordinated Lansing Lugnuts signing and “Big Lug” mascot appearance
      • Morning live shots with WLNS-TV
    • Grand Rapids
      • Coordinated Grand Rapids Griffins ticket giveaway with free pizza for a year coupon books
Media Relations
  • Drafted and distributed national and local press releases to announce the campaign
  • Drafted and distributed media advisories for day-of community activations and Detroit Temple pizza drop
  • Drafted and distributed advisory for Detroit Zoo Animal Enrichment – tigers, grizzly bears and polar bears were fed animal-friendly Detroit-Style Pizzas, pizzas made specifically for each animal’s diet
    • Attended on site and facilitated interviews with WJBK-TV
    • Distributed recap pitch with photos of animals
  • Conducted multiple rounds of national outreach to TV, trade and print
  • Conducted multiple rounds of outreach to Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit markets
    • Attended WLNS-TV live shots on site in Okemos
    • Attended Lansing Lugnuts and mascot appearance
      • HOMTV and WILX attended; facilitated interviews
    • Attended Conant celebration
  • Drafted talking points for all media opportunities
  • Provided high-level media training to Buddy’s General Managers for day-of media opportunities
  • Drafted and distributed post-campaign release to announce donation results
Social Media Support
  • Provided insight on social media content for day-of and week leading up to
  • Provided guidance on direct communication with influencers and celebrities
  • Encouraged team to reshare influencer content and media mentions
  • Provided social media messaging, suggested copy and hashtags for pizzeria partners


The Buddy’s Pizza and Franco teams collectively agreed the 2022 National Detroit-Style Pizza Day campaign was a huge success! Specific results include:

  • Coordinated participation and partnerships with 10 Detroit-Style pizzerias (2021’s campaign had five participating pizzerias)
  • Coordinated partnerships with 11 influencers (2021’s campaign did not incorporate influencers)
  • Buddy’s Pizza raised $7,291 for The Salvation Army
  • The campaign as a whole raised approximately $10,500, which the pizzerias donated to nonprofits across the country whose mission is to fight hunger and homelessness
Earned Media
Between June 1 and June 28, 2022, the campaign hashtag #DetroitStylePizzaDay received 192 mentions and reached more than 620,000 social media users. Hashtag usage spiked and received the most mentions on National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, June 23.
Between June 1 and June 28, 2022, #detroitstylepizza received 68 mentions and reached more than 125,000 social media users. Hashtag usage spiked and received the most mentions on National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, June 23.

Thank you for your work on this and to Buddy’s for this remarkable campaign. Pizza makes almost everyone happy! Wow… what a tremendous outcome for our first partnership together.

Christina GallopDirector-Corporate & Foundation Relations, The Salvation Army-Great Lakes Divisional Headquarters