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McConnell Communications celebrates 10 years

Darci E. McConnell

Darci E. McConnell

Firm founded by former reporter taking part in Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses

DETROIT — McConnell Communications Inc., a full-service public relations and marketing firm founded by former journalist Darci E. McConnell, is celebrating 10 years in business. The Detroit company, housed in Greektown’s International Center, was incorporated May 11, 2004.

“I’m really proud of making it to 10,” said McConnell, 46.  “And I had an awful lot of help along the way. That help came in the form of early clients, referrals and mentors who knew me in my former life as a journalist, and who trusted me enough to give me a shot in this new line of work.”

Over the last decade, the company has served clients large and small, ranging from Synagro Corp. to Northwest Airlines to 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit. The firm has also worked on more than a dozen political campaigns, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s successful 2006 re-election bid and Lon Johnson’s victory for chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“Darci and her company deliver as promised every time,” said John M. Allen, managing member of the Allen Brothers PLLC law firm. “While we might rethink our relationship with other service providers from time to time, McConnell Communications is a constant for us, and we look forward to another 10 years of exceptional representation.”

While McConnell Communications offers nearly every service needed for a full marketing campaign, most of the company’s clients call on the firm for public relations and crisis management.

“When I started my company, I spoke with my cousin, Ed, about what services I would provide, and I hesitated about including crisis management,” McConnell said. “He said, ‘you used to cause the crisis, so who better than you?’ I guess he had a point.”

Many of her skills as a reporter and writer were transferrable to the PR business. And old habits die hard; McConnell tapped Alex Cruden, former head of the copy desks for the Detroit Free Press, to edit her firm’s written material.

To help build for the next ten years, McConnell applied for and was accepted into Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program. The course, currently under way, gives participants ways to grow a business and also provides the opportunity for access to capital.

“Most businesses fail not because the service or product was bad, but because the person running the business really didn’t have those skills,” McConnell said. “I’m a firm believer in being a student for life, and anyone who wants to give me free lessons on how to do that better, I’m all in.”

So what do the next ten years look like? “We’ve never wanted to be a big firm, but we definitely believe in staying competitive,” McConnell said. “That means we’ll continue to grow our new media capabilities and find new ways to marry the so-called old and new media.”

For more about McConnell Communications, visit www.dmcconnell.com or call 313.237.0100.

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