Category Archives: Detroit

It’s true! I’m coming out of retirement

det-trans

I am honored to help Truscott Rossman, a highly respected Michigan PR agency, grow its Detroit business.

Here is the official press release:

John Bailey joins Truscott Rossman

DETROIT – John Bailey, a highly regarded strategic communications leader in Michigan for more than four decades and founder of John Bailey & Associates Public Relations, has joined Truscott Rossman as its first business strategist.

Bailey, a member of the Public Relations Society of Detroit’s Hall of Fame, will be based in Detroit, helping expand Truscott Rossman’s presence in the city as well as across the state. Truscott Rossman, which also has offices in Grand Rapids and Lansing, opened its Detroit office a year ago.

“Since my retirement two years ago, I have been speaking about building careers and businesses to general audiences throughout our state and have enjoyed it immensely,” Bailey said. “Now, with TR, I can work with a respected group to help them build their public relations business in the city I love, Detroit, Michigan. And it will be fun getting back into public relations.”

Bailey is an expert in public relations strategy, media relations and crisis communications, and often speaks on the topic of ethics in business.

“I’ve held John Bailey in the highest regard for as long as I’ve known him,” said Kelly Rossman-McKinney, CEO of Truscott Rossman. “John worked for every major PR firm in Detroit before starting his own highly successful firm, and we are truly honored that he chose to help us build Truscott Rossman in the same way: through good, hard, honest work.”

Bailey is the author of “The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business.” The book details the challenges he overcame in building his successful career, including founding his own public relations firm in 1996 and growing it into a $5 million company in just 12 years. He sold the firm in 2009.

“John Bailey’s professional experience and personal reach will help us not only in Detroit but statewide and beyond,” said John Truscott, president of Truscott Rossman. “We’re honored to have someone of John’s caliber working with us. Even more important, throughout John’s career, his commitment to ethics has guided so many professionals in this business. We’re so glad to be able to continue that legacy with him.”

Bailey has been active in the Detroit area’s professional, civic and cultural organizations. He is a graduate of Leadership Detroit, a program for executives designed to bring about positive change in the community, and has been a director of the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Truscott Rossman represents local, statewide, national and international clients. The firm offers a full range of communications services, including issues management, crisis communication, media relations, new media, government affairs, ballot initiatives, community relations and grassroots initiatives.

You can also read coverage of my announcement on Crain’s Detroit Business.

Avoid being laid off or downsized. Make an entrepreneurial decision today

Tired of what you see and hear at work? Maybe it's time to make your own call.

Tired of what you see and hear at work? Maybe it’s time to make your own call.

A friend of mine told me recently that he had turned down a good job to keep his own business going. “Excellent!” I said, especially since this is Detroit Entrepreneur Week 2014. This made me think of W. Edwards Deming, the father of Total Quality Management, who said: “Put a good person in a bad system and the bad system wins. No contest.”

You all know that I was laid off or downsized four times early in my career, which totally irked (insert stronger word) me. In all those situations, my termination was because some person above me had either made a bad decision to add my function to the company, or they made many bad decisions that led to cutting staff and me.

After the fourth termination, I vowed to never let it happen again. I began an unrelenting quest for more knowledge, I built my network to the point where I had more contacts than my bosses, and I committed myself to always doing the best possible job in my volunteer work as well as my professional work. These steps helped me become the best professional I could be, while establishing and always growing my network, and building my reputation as a person who gets things done.

Still I was about to be laid off or downsized a fifth time because of an acquisition (and some incompetent person above me in the org chart). So, I started my own firm, finally realizing that the only way I can be sure not to be cut from a payroll is to maintain the payroll.

It is not easy for sure. But, you have control of you. You “own yourself and your career” when you own your own business. My friend told me that he knew he made the correct decision to keep his business but, “it is scary,” he said. I told him that fear is a great motivator.

So, keep this in mind as you build your career and future. If you are in charge of you, you make the decisions, not someone else.

Make an entrepreneurial decision today.

Let-downs and pick-me-ups: On the road with “The Power of Ownership”

People often ask me, “How’s your book selling?” I am happy to report “just fine, thank you.” It’s the “THANK YOU” part that I can’t stress enough! Your support, reviews, likes and tweets are what keep this new author going strong. Sure, I like good sales numbers (who doesn’t?) but it’s hearing your many stories of struggle and success during my roadshow that makes promoting “The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business” an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience.

Just this week, The Detroit Free Press published my very personal take on the downfall of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. This is a respected newspaper that I helped many a professional client “get in” during my years in public relations. This time, I was the one with a voice. Kilpatrick’s tale is well-known, so I won’t rehash it here. What I wanted to remind readers was to respect the opinions of others, especially the wiser ones, and not just your friends’. Be honest, stay true to yourself, and don’t be greedy. Such simple advice for complex times. The younger version of Kwame I first met showed me such promise. The older, shameful Kwame will walk away from federal prison years from now, wishing he had taken my advice. Continue reading

Building your network and continuing education are career-long opportunities

On September 23, 2013, JP Morgan Chase laid off 367 people in Metro Detroit, a region where every job counts as being mission-critical. Earlier in the year, that same company announced they would cut 15,000 jobs nationwide.

It make me think of the impact downsizing has on workers, a subject I often blog about, have personally endured and recount in my book. It is unfortunate that layoffs and downsizings happen, yet it is a fact of working life. Layoffs always happen, and always will.

So, how can employees of a century-old banking giant, or a truck plant in Toledo, or anywhere subject to business disruption ever truly prepare for such a career calamity? The key is knowing that this could happen to you, and preparing for involuntary separation long before it happens. Continue reading

Detroit: A great place to build a career and a business

Detroit Skyline

With all negative news Detroit has received (and really, since 1967!) it is a wonder how any of us could have built a career or a business here in the Motor City. But we did.  

Yes, Detroit has been a victim of the “kick-a-city-when-it’s-down” syndrome, and it may feel like bad things happen all the time here. But bad things happen to cities, communities and citizens everywhere. And they all generally survive, as I firmly believe will Detroit.

I began my working career around the time Detroit’s issue gained widespread attention in the late 1960s. Based on all the negative news the city and region received then and continue to now, to be a success, perhaps I should have moved to another city. Continue reading