In the fall of 2000, veteran PR practitioner, Victor Pytko and PR Newswire manager Mike Isopi, began talking about forming a networking group of freelance public relations and business communications professionals that could support each other’s businesses by sharing knowledge, making referrals and introductions, partnering on projects - essentially acting as a virtual PR agency with a deep talent pool.
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No public relations or marketing communications agency in Michigan has a corps of senior executives with more talent and experience than our members.
We have experience working in all major public relations and marketing communications disciplines.
Within a few months, prospecting mostly within the Automotive Press Association, a dozen enthusiastic communicators began developing what they called the Individual Communicators Network. On April 24, 2002 the ICN By Laws defining the structure of the organization were signed by Joe Weaver, Paul Sichert, Joe Rohatynski, Steve Purdy, Sally Ann Brown, Larry Nutson, Bruce Walker, Bob Stockton, Joyce Cusmano, Angie Bournais, John Couretas and Frank Washington.
Over the ensuing years members have met every month as we have added and subtracted members skilled in writing, photography, public relations, marketing, video and audio production, event creation and management, and many other fields, while supporting each other’s businesses, enhancing skills and knowledge and serving clients individually and in small groups.
The most notable project we have done as a group was resurrecting and managing the International Wheel Awards for the Detroit Press Club Foundation. You’ll find a description of that project elsewhere on this site.
We also brought back the Detroit Press Club. The DPC has not found its niche but continues to co-present a variety of events throughout the year.
Three of our members – Joe Weaver, Julie Candler and Bob Giles – have been inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.