Mekky Media celebrates fifth anniversary, national honors and agency expansion
Mekky Media Relations Inc. is celebrating the significant milestone of five years in business this month with the announcement of another round of national public relations honors, including prestigious Gold and Silver Stevie's in the 2021 American Business Awards -- in the categories of PR Agency of the Year and PR Campaign of the Year (for the Edie's All Day Cafe & Bar campaign.
In addition, founder and president Michelle Mekky has received a Ragan and PR Daily Communicator of the Year Award, which recognizes the industry's best practitioners from the past year.
The recent recognition is the latest in a series of high-profile honors that Mekky Media has achieved over the past five years, a period of consistent growth and success for the agency. Even throughout the pandemic, Mekky Media has expanded its client list and internal team, recently hiring several new account executives and managers and moving into a new office through WorkBox Coworking Co. in Chicago's Gold Coast.
"I can hardly believe how far we've come since I launched the company while sitting at my dining room table -- with zero clients -- in June 2016," Mekky says. "I feel this anniversary is important in that it proves we are a sustainable business that is here for the long term."
Mekky adds that she's proud of the team she's built, the creative work the agency has done and the powerful results achieved for clients. "I think we've solidified our reputation as a PR leader, and that's why so many organizations are constantly reaching out and looking for our assistance. This is only the beginning for Mekky Media."
The long and growing client list includes businesses and nonprofits in Chicago and coast to coast, ranging from long-term partners that have been on board since the beginning to businesses that have signed on during the pandemic. Mekky Media -- a member of the International Public Relations Network (IPRN), Forbes Agency Council and Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) -- provides PR strategy and media relations, media training, event promotion, social media strategy and influencer outreach. Since March 2020, the agency has pivoted to meet needs created by the challenging business climate. This meant expanding services to include integrated digital and PR campaigns, personal branding and internal communications. "We felt it was important the past year to stick to our core competencies but also expand and assemble the right team to take on new challenges and meet client needs," Mekky says.
This approach resulted in many new clients taking note and seeking to partner with Mekky Media. Recent additions to the client list include cannabis company PharmaCann, hot new Chicago restaurant concept Adalina, clothing and lifestyle brand SNOB Apparel, digital marketing agency White Shark Media, writer and speaker Chelsea Austin, and international women's tech conference GirlCon. Mekky Media also continues to work with organizations that have long been on its client roster, such as Abt Electronics and Wealth Management Group. And the agency is a leader in representing many of Chicago's top nonprofits, such as Chicago Lights, Chicago Scholars, The Ark and the Center for Enriched Living. In addition, the agency and Mekky, who is a cancer survivor, support the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Triage Cancer.
On June 4, Mekky Media celebrated the five-year anniversary at Vu Rooftop Bar in Chicago, with members of the media, several day-one supporters and clients and others who have been part of the agency's successful journey. The team will celebrate again on June 30, at a virtual ceremony for the American Business Awards, when the agency will collect its two Stevie Awards. Mekky Media previously won Stevies in 2020 (Bronze for PR Agency of the Year) and in 2018 (Bronze for Entrepreneur of the Year).
"We're so thankful we can come together and celebrate our success with some of the people who have helped make it possible," Mekky says. "I feel extremely fortunate that our agency has not only survived and thrived in our first five years but that over the past year, which has been such a challenging time for small businesses, we have been able to have some major wins for the agency."
Mekky says chief among these wins is the expansion of the team, with the hiring of senior account executive Charisse Barnachea, account executive Madie Holland, account executive Chelsea Rosenberg, and account manager Rachel Shaykin. The agency also has hired several interns, including students from Northwestern University's Journalism Residency Program. The new additions join PR professionals from top firms and former journalists from leading newsrooms. Mekky says the industry veterans and new staff exemplify the agency's core values of passion, authenticity, creativity, trust, commitment to excellence and teamwork. And she points to the hybrid model of staffing, with full timers mixed with contractors, as a key to the agency's success. "We have the right mix of talent to meet client needs, and everyone on the team appreciates the flexibility and the culture we've built," she says.
During the pandemic, Mekky made culture a top priority, planning regular virtual wellness opportunities, such as yoga, mindfulness classes, meditation, and wine and chocolate tastings. "Even though we were virtual for so long, I think we've built a really solid and connected team over the past year," she says. "Everyone is invested in the success of the agency, and we're all looking forward to even more positive momentum and exciting client partnerships in the years to come."
About Mekky Media Relations, Inc:
Mekky Media Relations, Inc. is a boutique public relations agency dedicated to delivering powerful publicity for a diverse roster of business and nonprofit clients in Chicago and beyond. Michelle Mekky, a veteran, award-winning broadcast journalist and PR executive, launched the agency in 2016, to provide clients with PR strategy, media relations, media training, event promotion, social media strategy and influencer outreach. With her dedication to personal attention, extensive insider media knowledge and contacts, and passion for creative storytelling, she quickly brought in new clients and began achieving high-profile media placements to fuel their growth. The agency has grown extensively in its first five years and has been widely recognized for its success. Honors have included a 2020 PR News Top 100 Agency Elite Award, a 2020 Bronze Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year in the American Business Awards, a 2020 National Bulldog PR Award, and Publicity Club of Chicago Golden and Silver Trumpet Awards. Founder and president Michelle Mekky won a 2018 Bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business, in the Entrepreneur of the Year category, and was named a 2019 Crain's Chicago Business Notable Entrepreneur. Based in WorkBox Coworking Co. in Chicago's Gold Coast, Mekky Media has a team of more than 15 PR professionals who come from top firms and leading media outlets. Mekky Media is part of the prestigious International Public Relations Network (IPRN), Forbes Agency Council and Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Michelle Mekky blogs for Forbes and is a motivational speaker. To learn more, visit www.MekkyMedia.com.