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Infused PR & Events

33228 W. 12 Mile Road
Farmington Hills, Michigan 48226

Tatiana Grant

What is the name of your business?
Infused PR & Events, LLC

How many people work for you?  
One part-time employee, and additional interns/volunteers to work specific events.

Why did you go into public relations and marketing?  
I took a marketing course in high school and enjoyed the work, but it wasn't until taking a PR course in undergrad that I realized that it was a natural talent and what I wanted to make a career out of.  After gaining my first internship, I knew it was my life and work passion (unlike my original thoughts of sports medicine).

Do you think there is support for entrepreneurs in metro Detroit?  
I do think that there are great resources for metro-Detroit entrepreneurs.  I have received support from Dan Gilbert's Bizdom U program, the Kaufman Foundation's FastTrac, the Great Lake Entrepreneur Quest (GLEQ), and many other seminars and workshops.  I have also experienced the other side of things, and not received support that I have thought as being a natural fit to particular entities.  There was a particular instance where I learned that one state's government entity provided a relatively easy partnership with a local business and when I approached the equivalent entity here, they provided no support. 

One thing that is advantageous is other entrepreneurs, and business people.  I have received great support from small business owners, who really lend helping hands and advice.  I am also very thankful to have received support and mentoring from some great individuals who run some great departments and corporations. 

All-in-all, Michigan has a great support system for entrepreneurs.  

What do you see as the biggest obstacle to small business development?

I think the biggest obstacle in small business development is creating a system/process to go after business.  As a owner/business developer, you have all these great ideas and "wish lists" of companies to go after for business development purposes, but unless your approach/communication, timing, contact person at that company, marketing materials, follow-up, etc. are fully aligned, the business development process can create miscommunication, expectations disconnect and a bad perception of your company.  It's taken me approximately 2 years to get one, and it's constantly changing and adjusting to client needs.    

Who are your clients?
The complete list of clients can be found at www.infusedpr.com, however some of the entities we do work for are: Braylon Edwards/Braylon Edwards Foundation, Heaven4Toes, H&R Block, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Total Sports Complex, and Sommer Solutions (have been sub-contacted to do the DEC's National Summit and Parade Company's Hob Nobble Hobble).

You travel a lot. What is the view that businesses outside of the city have about Detroit?  
I feel that I am constantly educating and advocating for Detroit when out of town.  Some people (mostly business people) understand the history of Detroit, our business-strengths and are slightly optimistic about Detroit's "comeback".  Others think that what they see on TV is reality and are baffled that such a young, articulate and business-minded woman such as myself comes and claims Detroit.  There's a lot of re-branding that has to be done for our city; I actually did my undergraduate thesis as a competitive analysis on the re-imaging campaign of Detroit compared to other cities.  I think that the success of our perception will be based on the unemployment rate, safety, government/City of Detroit re-build, and diversifying our "portfolio".

Does the current economic climate impact your business?  
The current economic climate does impact my business, but not as much as one would think.

What is your background and how does it tie to what you are doing?  
My background includes extensive public relations, marketing, branding, and event planning across many sectors.  I have interned in the public relations/marketing departments for WJBK Fox 2 News, the General Motors Minority Dealers Association (GMMDA), Court TV, John Bailey & Associates (North American International Auto Show Intern), and WEMU.  Upon graduating from Eastern Michigan University, I worked full-time for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee, The Taubman Company and The Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E).  I left The Palace to pursue my entrepreneurial desires.

What advice would you give to starting entrepreneurs.
The biggest advice is to make sure you know what you're doing.  Any time you're selling a product/service there is a level of expectation; make sure you can deliver on that.  
· Furthermore, make sure that you have competitive pricing.  
· Always work to develop yourself, whether it be a seminar, podcast, etc.  
· Stay current with industry trends and your competition.  
· Get mentor(s).  
· Give back.  The money can be tight but give your time, it's very rewarding.  
· Be balanced.  Whether it's work, family, fitness, nutrition, spirituality, etc. just make sure your "being" is balanced and focused.
· Know your strengths and weakness and figure out a way to get someone who is capable and you trust to handle your weaknesses.  
· Make sure you're doing what you love, because the grind gets tiring and the long nights and ups/downs can be discouraging.

Bankole Thompson
[email protected]
Michigan Chronicle

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