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Buddy’s Pizza




Public Relations
Media Relations
Program Management
Event Planning
Influencer Relations


Since founding National Detroit-Style Pizza Day in 2021, Buddy’s saw a significant spike in traffic and sales on the national holiday (June 23), with media coverage Franco secured playing a significant role in raising awareness about this day.

For the 2023 campaign, Buddy’s goal was to increase restaurant traffic and sales for the entire month of June and own share of voice not just on June 23, but for the weeks leading up to the celebration.

With competition mounting in the Detroit-Style Pizza space as national players like Jet’s Pizza, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars spent major dollars to gain awareness for their versions of Detroit-Style Pizza, Buddy’s also didn’t want to lose relevance and wanted to further solidify its name at the epicenter of Detroit-Style Pizza.


Franco took a multi-faceted approach, coordinating strategic partnerships and providing media relations, influencer relations, event planning and social media support/integration to successfully execute and celebrate the third annual National Detroit-Style Pizza Day.

The entire month was planned to a tee, with announcements, activations, giveaways and more scattered throughout to build momentum and keep Buddy’s top of mind during the month of June.

  • Karen Dybis, author of Detroit Style Pizza: A Doughtown History:
    • As Karen Dybis finished writing about the history of Detroit-Style Pizza, she came to Franco to see if Buddy’s would be interested in hosting a launch event. We took it one step further and offered to provide media relations support to launch Karen’s book, in addition to hosting a launch party on National Detroit-Style Pizza Day. We recognized this as a huge opportunity to share the Buddy’s history and cement the brand at the center of the Detroit-Style Pizza phenomenon.
  • The Salvation Army Great Lakes Division:
    • Buddy’s Pizza has a long history with The Salvation Army, which made the organization the perfect charitable partner for National Detroit-Style Pizza Day. The partnership included giving away $1 from every pizza sold on June 23 to the nonprofit, as well as a volunteer activation at Harbor Light to provide a pizza lunch to residents recovering from addiction.
  • Visit Detroit:
    • To engage the Detroit community and provide a more integrated approach, we leveraged our relationship with Visit Detroit to create a partnership with Buddy’s Pizza for the month of June. This included:
      • A feature in Visit Detroit’s 30+ Things to Do in June, which was featured as a Reel on Instagram and blog post on Visit Detroit’s website.
      • A featured blog post about the history of Detroit-Style Pizza, interviewing Buddy’s Pizza Chief Brand Officer Wes Pikula. The post was shared across Visit Detroit’s social platforms and its e-newsletter the week of National Detroit-Style Pizza Day.
      • Short-form video content that was posted to Facebook and Instagram.

Visit Detroit’s Facebook post generated:







Visit Detroit’s Instagram Reel generated:










User Saves

Media Relations
  • Kicked off the month by launching Karen’s book Detroit Style Pizza: A Doughtown History by drafting a press release and distributing it to Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing media, as well as national TV, trade and print. Provided Karen and Buddy’s Pizza Chief Brand Officer Wes Pikula as spokespeople.

Announced events throughout the month by drafting and distributing media advisories to local media. This included:

Detroit Zoo Feeding

    • For this activation, we fed animal-friendly Detroit-Style Pizza to select animals at the Detroit Zoo.
    • We pitched this in advance and secured media for the lead-up, as well as onsite coverage. We also drafted and distributed a post-feeding pitch with photos to relevant media and national TV.

Harbor Light Pizza Feeding

    • Buddy’s Pizza provided lunch for all residents at The Salvation Army Harbor Light in Detroit for individuals recovering from substance abuse. In addition, employees from Buddy’s Pizza volunteered, helping to prepare food.
    • Pitched to print radio and TV for onsite coverage and post-event coverage.

Conant Celebration

    • On National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, we hosted a book launch party at the original Buddy’s Pizza location where it all began. As part of our strategic partnership with Karen, we worked closely with her as she communicated with and invited major players in the Detroit-Style Pizza space, including Jet’s Pizza, Detroit-Style Pizza Co., Cloverleaf, Blue Pan and Michigan & Trumbull, to join us in the celebration.
        • Worked closely with the Detroit Mayor’s office; secured the attendance of Deputy Mayor Tom Bettison (after Mayor Duggan could no longer attend).
        • Pitched to print, radio and TV stations, and provided pizza drops to interested media.

      Out of Market

          • To drum up excitement for out-of-market restaurants in Portage, Okemos and Grand Rapids, we decided to offer a “Free Pizza for a Year” giveaway to the first 77 customers (in honor of 77 years in business).
          • Developed tailored pitches for each media type and coordinated on-site coverage.
          • Pitched to print, radio and TV stations, and provided pizza drops to interested media.
Influencer Relations


Results of the 2023 National Detroit-Style Pizza Day campaign include: