Talk to Me
E45: Public Relations Guru, Jeff Caponigro

E45: Public Relations Guru, Jeff Caponigro

November 18, 2019

Bad news travels faster than ever. And bad stuff happens to everyone. Best make a plan to deal with those problems now.

Jeff Caponigro wrote the book on crisis management and has some good ideas on how to prevent crisis, as well.

[Watch the video version of this interview here.]

Fellow author and speaker, Michael Angelo Caruso, talks with Jeff about what it was like to work on one the biggest public relations campaigns of all time.

Jeff Caponigro, APR, PRSA is Executive Vice President-Corporate Communications and Chief Marketing Officer of Trion Solutions, Inc., in Troy, Michigan. and President and CEO of Caponigro Public Relations Inc., in Southfield, Michigan.

Jeff is one of the country’s most respected public relations and marketing professionals, specializing in branding, reputation management, media relations, speaker and media training, executive coaching and crisis planning and crisis communications.

More on Jeff:

- Worked with approximately 1,000 corporations and non-profit organizations
- In the PR-agency business for 30+ years
- Inducted into the prestigious Public Relations Society of America’s College of Fellows
- Inducted into the PRSA-Detroit Hall of Fame - Accredited in Public Relations
- Served on the Universal Accreditation Board

Jeff is the author of "The Crisis Counselor: A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing a Business Crisis," named by "PR WEEK" magazine as one of the “10 best PR books ever written.”  The book is published in English, Chinese, Norwegian, Polish and Danish, and used in more than 100 colleges and universities worldwide.

Caponigro was awarded PRSA’s highest national award, the Silver Anvil, for the public affairs program to encourage passage of safety-belt use laws in 48 states and increase national safety-belt use by 300 percent. That program was named by PR Week magazine as one of the “20 Greatest PR Campaigns Ever.”

He also has received national recognition for his crisis-management work on the 1995 recall of seat belts, which, at the time, was the largest recall in the history of the automotive industry.  He established Caponigro Public Relations in 1995 and Caponigro Marketing Group in 2003.

Jeff earned his B.A. degree from Central Michigan University, majoring in English and journalism, and participated in the month-long Wharton Business School Executive Development Program.

He is a popular business speaker who has addressed groups in the United States, Europe and Asia, and is regularly quoted by the news media on topics such as branding, corporate reputation, strategic planning, communications and crisis management. He has appeared on more than 150 radio interview programs on various marketing and PR topics.

[Watch the video version of this interview here.]


Jeff Caponigro
Michael Angelo Caruso 

E44: Former NFL kicker, Eddie Murray now helping others

E44: Former NFL kicker, Eddie Murray now helping others

October 31, 2019
Detroit sports legend, Eddie Murray, talks with Michael Angelo Caruso about his days with the Detroit Lions and his current role as ambassador for Hope Network.  The Michigan-based charity helps thousands of people with everything from opioid abuse to brain trauma recovery. 
Register to have lunch with Eddie on Dec. 4, 2019 at Trion Solutions in Troy, Michigan at
Murray grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. He didn't play football in high school, but Murray earned a football scholarship at Tulane University and became a four-year starter. As a senior, he had a perfect season making 35-for-35 field goals. 

Drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1980 and had a tremendous rookie year. He played in all 16 games, made 35 of 36 extra point attempts and booted a league-best 27 field goals, a franchise record.  He also won the NFC scoring title (116 points). He was named to the Pro Bowl where he made 5 field goals and became the only rookie to receive the MVP award until that time.

In 1983, he made the longest field goal in Lions history (54 yards). In 1985, he set a franchise record with 12 straight field goals. The next year, he set the franchise single-season record with 684 points. In 1988, Murray he tied an NFL record for the highest field goal accuracy (95.24%), missing just one all season (20 of 21).
Murray led the team in scoring in each of his first 10 seasons until 1990. In 1992, he left as the franchise's All-time leading scorer, ranking seventeenth in NFL history and was the ninth Lion to have played in 12 seasons. Murray left the game as the 16th highest scorer in NFL history.
Murray currently resides in Michigan with his wife Cynthia and daughter Nicole. 
E43: Rene Pothetes on Nutrition and Smart Food Choices

E43: Rene Pothetes on Nutrition and Smart Food Choices

July 22, 2019

In the previous Talk to Me podcast (Episode 42), you'll discover why Mark Wahlberg is about to make Michael Angelo Caruso's high school history teacher very famous.  

This is Episode 43, an interesting interview with nutrition coach, Rene Pothetes, on how you can ditch diets and find peace with food forever.

[Watch the video version of this interview here.]

Food is complicated, but not just because of complex ingredients and how they interact with your body.

Figuring out food is also challenging because the act of eating is closely linked to habits, emotions and psychology.

Highlights of this interview:

3:30    Everything in moderation?
5:00    Why food is so complicated (is comfort food good for you?)
6:00    The psychology of eating
11:00  The Great Betrayal (why we eat food that is not good for us)
15:00  Why diets are not helpful
22:00  So we poison ourselves...
35:00  "Hidden" choices

Author and speaker, Michael Angelo Caruso, interviews Rene for his "Talk to Me" podcast. 

Get more info on Rene and her online coaching program at and her Facebook group.

She can help you lose weight, get your energy back and improve the quality of your life.

Join Michael's "Present Like a Pro" Facebook group if you do presentations of any kind.

E42: Mark Wahlberg to Star in Movie About John Wukovits Book

E42: Mark Wahlberg to Star in Movie About John Wukovits Book

July 14, 2019

One of Michael's most interesting podcast episodes, yet! 

[Watch the video version of this interview on Michael Angelo Caruso's YouTube channel.

John Wukovits taught history when Michael attended Trenton High School back in the day.

Now retired, John has become America's pre-eminent expert on the Pacific Theater aspects of World War II.  John's the author of twelve books.

So far, his best-selling title is "One Square Mile of Hell," which came out in 2006. But book number six is about to get a big marketing boost because ""Hell From the Heavens" is being made into a movie starring, Mark Wahlberg and directed by Mel Gibson.

Talking points in this video:

 1:00  Michael and John reminisce
 5:00  Transition for teaching to pre-eminent American history author
11:30  Book title rundown (John's favorite, why one was most popular)
16:00  Martin Scorsese quote
17:30  "Hell From the Heavens" to be movie starring Mark Wahlberg*
21:00  Meeting Mel Gibson in Malibu, CA, working w/ The Hollywood Gang
27:00  The brief recommendation that made the movie deal happen
28:15  John's writing routine (6 hours per day)
33:00  Comparisons to Dutch Leonard

*The movie will have a different title

Remember, Michael said it first: "John Wukovits is the Elmore Leonard of World War II history!"

Find out more about John Wukovits's books at his website, Amazon or other bookstores.

Learn more about Michael Angelo Caruso at his website and join his "Present Like a Pro" group on Facebook.

Watch the video version of this interview on Michael's YouTube channel.  Subscribe to be notified of new interviews as they are posted. 

E41: Garold Vallie, Skateboard King

E41: Garold Vallie, Skateboard King

June 25, 2019

Episode 40 of the "Talk To Me" podcast is an interview with R.J. King, the author of Detroit: Engine of America. 

Episode 41 is a chat with Skateboard King, Garold Vallie. 

When Garold Vallie was born he only weighed four pounds.  Then things really got hard.   

Born with his feet facing each other, Garold had to wear painful Gatlin splints on his legs for the first two years of his life--and then he became The Skateboard King.

Garold's become a kind of elder statesman for what is now a $4.8 billion industry with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. Skateboarding is now an Olympic event!

So, Garold "Life Maverick" Vallie now does public speaking. He's a role model for the young skateboarders, especially in his town of Wyandotte, Michigan, where he's helping build a skate park for the sport he loves so much.

You have to admire his zest for life and "can do" spirit.

Check out Garold's red hot podcast and website for more info.

E40: R.J. King, Author of Detroit History Book

E40: R.J. King, Author of Detroit History Book

June 16, 2019
Episode 39 of the "Talk to Me" podcast features blind motivational speaker, David DeNotaris.

This is Episode 40, a conversation with Michigan resident, R.J. King, who has written a terrific new book about Detroit's amazing past.    

[Subscribe to Michael's YouTube channel to watch this interview and others.]
Michael Angelo Caruso, interviews R.J. about the "Detroit: Engine of America" and asks the author if we can move forward by studying the past.
The book is a narrative that covers the early days of the city and the official first one hundred years. Interesting facts, include:
  • Detroit is one of the few U.S. cities that's older than the country
  • The city's population was 100 in 1700 and 205,876 in 1890
  • The current Detroit Yacht Club is the largest such clubhouse in the U.S.
  • James Bailey of the Barnum & Bailey circus is from Detroit
  • Ulysses S. Grant lived in Detroit prior to becoming U.S. President
  • In 1895, Detroit had 80 newspapers, 7 of which were dailies
"Detroit: Engine of America" contains stories about many fascinating historical figures, including:
  • Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Ponchatrain du Detroit in 1701
  • Cadillac had 13 children, only 3 of which were alive when he died
  • Lewis Cass who served as a Detroit mayor and ran for U.S. President twice
  • The "Boy Governor," Stevens T. Mason who was Gov at age 22 and dead at age 31
"Detroit: Engine of America" is published by Momentum Books.
R.J. King is the Editor of "DBusiness" magazine, the DBusiness Daily News and Detroit 500. He and his team have won 30+ Editorial Excellence Awards.
As a business writer for the "Detroit News", R.J. wrote over 4,000 articles, mostly covering business in Detroit.
Feel free to like/comment below, especially if you just learned something about Detroit. Subscribe to Michael's YouTube channel to watch Michael's interviews with interesting people.
E39:  David DeNotaris Has No Sight, But Great Vision

E39: David DeNotaris Has No Sight, But Great Vision

February 1, 2019

Michael Angelo Caruso interviews David to learn more about his talks, his book and his lifestyle.

Highlights include:

- What you think about comes about
- Focus on "thinkability" not "disability"
- Be better, not bitter
- Do, delegate or dump
- Be curious, not furious

David's clients include Montclair State University, Boston Market, NASA, Verizon Wireless and New York Life.

His book, "Feeling Your Way Through Life," is about to be released as an e-book. He's been covered in USAToday, Scholastic Publications and the Washington Post.

Learn more about David at his

Michael offers communication strategies and tips in his Present Like a Pro FB group.

E38: Mountaineer, Andy Cave

E38: Mountaineer, Andy Cave

January 28, 2019

Andy Cave is a British mountaineer nominated for the Piolet d'Or award for his ascent of the North Face of Changabang in India.

This is Episode 38 of Michael Angelo Caruso's "Talk to Me" podcast.  E37 is a masterclass in speaking titled, 5 Steps to Amazing Presentations.

Author and speaker, Michael Angelo Caruso, interviews Andy for his "Talk to Me" Podcast and they discuss the parallels between climbing and business leadership.

Talking points include:

- The importance of "psychological safety"
- The difference between humility and humiliation
- The 1996 disaster on Mt. Everest
- Why mountain climbing is like flying in an airplane

Andy is the author of the books, "Learning to Breathe" and "The Thin White Line."

He now delivers leadership training to top leaders in businesses all over the world.

Michael and Andy met when they delivered keynote speeches at a leadership conference in Scarborough, England in the United Kingdom.

More on Andy at

More on Michael at 

Check out Episode 39...

E37: 5 Steps to Amazing Presentations

E37: 5 Steps to Amazing Presentations

December 19, 2018

Veteran keynote speaker, Michael Angelo Caruso, conducts a unique masterclass on the art of presentation.

Become an elite presenter following these five steps:

1) Make excellence your personal standard (no more "winging it")

2) Place a premium value on your time and expertise

3) Use Michael's secret weapon (the "Reverse Presentation")

4) Stop being chained to your slide deck

5) Get a coach

This webinar was sponsored by the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce and the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Angelo Caruso has spoken on five continents and in 49 of the 50 states.

He is known as "the speaker's speaker" and has helped thousands of leaders and salespeople become better through is "Present Like a Pro" online course.

More info about Michael's products and services at his website.

Watch the video version of this session on Michael's YouTube channel.  Subscribe to be notified of new videos. 

E36: Dan Musser, President of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

E36: Dan Musser, President of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

December 19, 2018

Dan Musser is President of the largest summer hotel in the world.

Grand Hotel is the crown jewel of Mackinac Island. A 397-room wooden building, the hotel is one of the most unique travel experiences you can ever have.

There is no motor transportation on Mackinac Island, only horse drawn carriages and bicycles.

The movie "Somewhere In Time," starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve, was filmed at Grand Hotel in 1980.

Hundreds of famous celebrities have stayed there. The following five U.S. Presidents have been guests at Grand Hotel: Bill Clinton, George Herbert Walker Bush, Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman).

Jane Seymour still attends "Somewhere In Time" reunions on the island.

This interview conducted as part of Michael Angelo Caruso's podcast series, covers a wide range of topics, including:

- How Grand Hotel finds good help
- The sweet spot between tradition and relevance
- How product and service differentiation can really pay off
- The value of "truth in advertising"

More interesting facts about Grand Hotel:

- During the 2017 season, Grand Hotel used 9,000 pounds of prime rib, 102,500 pounds of potatoes, 5,500 pounds of rack of lamb, 6,400 pounds of bacon, 42,500 pounds of strawberries and 6,000 pounds of pecans

- The 5 millionth Grand Hotel guest checked in (and out) in 2006

- More than 150,000 guests stay overnight each season

- At 660 feet, Grand Hotel’s Front Porch is the world’s largest

- There are more than 500 horses on Mackinac Island

- Grand Hotel’s kitchen staff of more than 100 prepares and serves as many as 4,000 meals per day

- Grand Hotel uses 2,500 geraniums, its trademark flower, in all its flower beds combined

- The hotel was built in only 90 days in 1986-87

- Mark Twain lectured in the Grand Hotel in 1895; admission was $1


Watch the video version of this interview on Michael's YouTube channel.