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May 19, 1989 - Image 73

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-19

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Tina Bassett: Ad Woman of the Year.

Plan Of Action

01 '





any people make
plans. Few put
them into action.
Very few make
them work. Yet
Tina Bassett is one of the
very few.
"In my professional life I
always knew where I was go-
ing," she says. Her direction
was a path toward owning her
own firm.
One thing she did not plan
was to work toward that goal
with a husband.
Tina met Leland Bassett at
a business meeting 15 years
ago. She was advertising
director for Kresco, Inc., a
restaurant holding firm. He
was vice president of com-
munications for the Greater
Detroit Chamber of Com-
merce. From the moment they
met, Tina says, "we planned
and built toward that mo-
ment of opportunity" when
they could open their own
communications company.
"We made decisions that we
would gain our work ex-
perience and build our net-
working so when the time
came to open our firm we
would be known quantities in
the marketplace," Bassett
Then three years ago, when
twin sons Robert and Josh,
now 25, left home, Bassett
and her husband quit their
jobs and formed Bassett and
Bassett, Inc.
Three years later, the
business, Bassett and
Bassett, Inc., is successful
enough for Tina Bassett to
receive the Advertising
Woman of the Year award
from the Detroit Women's
Advertising Club.
Filmmaker Sue Marx, who

has known Bassett for 15
years, nominated her for the
award. She calls Bassett, "in-
teligent, supportive, efficient,
quick, creative. She's my idea
of what a woman executive is
all about. She's soft, in the
sense that she has a very giv-
ing nature, but she can also
be tough — I've seen both
Bassett says although many
women are in the communica-
tions business, not enough
are at the top.
"If you look at the top heads
of the major advertising com-
panies in the country, they
are not women. Nor are the
top heads of the major public
relations firms. It makes you
wonder, are we really making
progress; are we making it in-
to the boardroom?" "-
Bassett does not see pre-
judice against women, rather,
"It's just part of the working
cycle that women have been
out there and the oppor-
tunities to move forward are
coming, but they're coming
Marx praises Bassett for
her interest in "networking
with women. I think that's
the only way women are
going to continue to move for-
ward in this man's business
world. She's into quality but
she knows women can
The. Bassetts' nationwide
client list includes Fortune
500 companies, as well as For-
tune magazine. The Bassetts'
firm does a variety of special
sections for the business
The same type of planning
that put Bassett and Bassett
into business now goes into
all of their client accounts,

Woman Of
The Year
Tina Bassett
has turned
into reality
as owner of
a successful


Special to The Jewish News

Bassett explains. "We design
communications plans, much
like you would design a
business plan. We take all the
elements of communications,
be it advertising, public rela-
tions, marketing, whatever
those elements are that are
necessary to achieve what a
client wants us to achieve,
and incorporate it in one
plan. Much like you would
bring all the instruments of
an orchestra together to play
a symphony. So each of the
messages leverages off
Bassett gained much of her
experience during a 12-year
association with the city of
Detroit. She began as 'a
volunteer and rose to director
of the city's department of in-
formation. She resigned to
open the firm.
Dorothy Brodie, an ex-
ecutive assistant to Detroit
mayor Coleman Young," has
known Bassett for nine years.
"Tina's an extremely profes-
sional individual," Brodie
says. "She ran a very good
department and the mayor
seemed very pleased with the
work that she did!'
Under Bassett's leadership,
the department of informa-
tion was computerized. She
had a TV studio built,
developed a color photog-
raphy section, and expanded
the department into a
40-person, $3 million
During that time, Bassett
also worked on political cam-
paigns, including Dennis Ar-
cher's successful run for state
Supreme Court justice.
Today, there is little time for
such volunteer efforts,
although Bassett worked on

last year's annual Ford
Auditorium concert to benefit
the Zionist Organization of
America. The one thing that
has not gone strictly accor-
ding to plan for the Bassetts
is the time factor.
"As we've become more suc-
cessful," Bassett says, "the
responsibilities grow as well.
You take on new projects and
new people and new things.
It's tremendously ex-
hilarating and professionally
stimulating. I enjoy every
minute of it; I'm never bored!'
The down side of owning
their business is "we do not
have a lot of time for one
another," she says. "That's
been a big sacrifice because
we are working all the time!'
But the couple maintains a
strong partnership. "We
really work very well hand-in-
hand and keep each other in-
formed on what's going on.
He tends to be a little more
scientific and I tend to be a
little more artistic?'
In March, the pair took
their first vacation since
opening their business — for
one week — "and we took a
portable fax machine with
us," Bassett says.
The plus side is working
their own way, with nobody
above them to say "no."
"You're allowed to really
practice to the best of your
ability," Bassett says, "with
complete intellectual
Bassett's hope is that her
company continues in its pre-
sent direction.
"We are living our dream,"
she says. "We're doing things
that are very worthwhile and
I'd like to do more of it, that's
all." ❑



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