Opinion: Why my growth-focused business is moving to Detroit
Detroit is Michigan’s gateway to the world. The state’s commercial and cultural hub is one of the country’s top metro areas. For Michigan businesses looking to make an impact outside the state, Detroit is the place to be.
From cars and music to technology, finance and community activism, Detroit is more than a great city; it’s a great brand for any company smart and lucky enough to call this city home.
Including, starting today, my company, Truscott Rossman, a leading communications strategies firm based in Lansing since our founding in 2011, has moved to Detroit, one of the country’s largest and most dynamic markets that suits our growing emphasis on digital storytelling and national reach.
Since opening our first Detroit office in the Renaissance Center seven years ago, the Motor City has driven significant growth for the firm, and we now represent some of the largest corporate, nonprofit and governmental organizations in the city. This move to Detroit solidifies our position as a major-market firm with an expanding list of local and national clients.
From our new headquarters in Eastern Market amidst the vendors and vibrant art, we’re able to connect our Michigan clients to the world, and help bring the world to our state. With Michigan roots and national reach, Truscott Rossman’s offices and relationships in Lansing and Grand Rapids are more important than ever.
For TR, that’s always been the vision. In 2011, Kelly Rossman-McKinney and I agreed to merge our competing firms to create Michigan’s only statewide bipartisan firm. After Kelly retired in 2018, I found a new partner in native Detroiter Ron Fournier, a former White House correspondent and AP bureau chief. We hit the ground running, opening a new office in Washington, D.C. in 2019 to complement our offices in Lansing, Detroit and Grand Rapids.
Now, we’re taking the next big leap. With a new home base in Detroit and recognizing that the traditional media industry is shrinking, Truscott Rossman also is increasing its focus on digital storytelling. When I was press secretary for Gov. John Engler, we delivered hard copies of press releases to dozens of cubbies assigned to reporters in the Capitol. We do things a little differently now. With smaller newsrooms across the state, companies need to be able to deliver stories directly to people. Opportunities in brand journalism, digital advertising and emerging social media platforms allow immediate engagement as billions log in to digital platforms daily.
Our clients need us to be more than just a public relations agency, more than a public affairs firm and more than a marketing agency. They need creative storytellers who can take their stories and drive change through any platform or medium.
This sort of innovation is what makes Detroit tick. It’s what makes so many Detroit-headquartered companies successful — their drive to change and even disrupt their business models without losing the original essence.
That’s why we’ve made this move: we want to be deeply rooted where Michigan’s biggest stories are being told — stories that are heard across the state and the nation. That’s good for all our clients.
It’s a new chapter for Truscott Rossman, and we think Detroit is the perfect setting. From here, we can strengthen our Michigan roots and expand our national reach. And you can, too. For Michigan businesses looking to better connect with the rest of country, Detroit is where you want to be.
John Truscott is CEO and co-founder of Truscott Rossman.