In June 2016, media and public relations veteran Michelle Mekky set out to establish a different kind of PR agency, one built on personal attention and a passion for creative storytelling. Her goal was to fuel growth and achieve a better bottom line for a diverse roster of clients in Chicago and beyond. She entered a competitive public relations field, but with her relentless drive to attract new clients and deliver results, she has ushered her company through a fast-paced launch with some high-profile successes. This summer, with Mekky Media Relations Inc. turning two, the firm and its founder are poised to take their place among Chicago’s PR leaders.
As Mekky Media celebrates its second anniversary, it prepares to enter a new phase of growth by establishing offices in the iconic Wrigley Building on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue, sharing space with strategic partner and Mekky Media client TimeZoneOne. Mekky and the firm also recently were honored by being invited to join the Forbes Agency Council, a prestigious organization for owners and executives of PR, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.
In addition, Mekky Media is preparing to launch a Media Training and Public Speaking Division, which will offer workshops and training to companies across the globe. “I plan to expand my services of coaching established and up-and-coming business leaders on how to own a room when networking or speaking to groups or the media,” says Mekky, Mekky Media founder and president. “This is one of my passions, and an area where I believe we can really make a difference, helping business leaders achieve new levels of success.
“It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since I started the firm two years ago with little more than a laptop in my dining room,” Mekky adds. “There were many stressful days and sleepless nights, but I couldn’t be happier with the result. It’s so rewarding to watch this business take off, as more and more clients realize the power of the top-tier publicity we can achieve for them.”
Mekky says she’s thrilled to celebrate her firm’s anniversary by announcing several new restaurant clients that have helped Mekky Media carve a leadership position in Chicago’s competitive culinary space. This includes new hotspots such as FARE Chicago, The Gringo, Untitled Supper Club and Vinny’s Pizza Bar.
Other Mekky Media clients have ranged from innovative start-ups to established businesses, including Abt Electronics, The Art of Plastic Surgery, Big Game Air, INDISTRY, Inspired Interiors, Jessica Zweig SimplyBe.Agency, LiqrBox, Three60fit, TimeZoneOne, Author Christina Vazquez, Wealth Management Group LLC, Wi-Tronix and Brand Knew, the agency’s first Los Angeles-based client. Mekky Media also has served several of Chicago’s leading non-profits, including Susan G. Komen Chicago, GiGi’s Playhouse, IES Abroad, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and OneGoal Chicago. The firm recently led PR efforts for the CPD Finest vs. CFD Bravest Charity Baseball Game, which took place July 18 at Guaranteed Rate Field, in support of the Gold Badge Society and Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
Mekky gives much credit to the team she has assembled, which includes PR professionals from top firms and former journalists from leading newsrooms. She says these industry veterans live and breathe the firm’s core values of passion, authenticity, trust, creativity, teamwork and commitment to excellence. “My team is committed to exceeding the expectations of our clients, and I’m so proud of everything we’ve been able to achieve together in this short amount of time,” she says.
Mekky Media’s personalized, targeted services include PR strategy and media relations, media training, event promotion, social media strategy and influencer outreach. Clients have indicated that Mekky Media takes a fresh approach in each of these areas and leverages its extensive list of media contacts, to help them raise their profile. “Since hiring Mekky Media, we have seen our business ramp up quickly, and we are having a record year,” says Wealth Management Group CEO Craig Bolanos, who has become a go-to financial expert in many broadcast and print outlets.
Jon Abt, president of Abt Electronics, agrees that his already successful business has benefitted from the personal attention and media expertise and connections of the Mekky team. “Michelle and her team have gotten to know our business inside and out and have found innovative ways to get our name out there—whether through traditional media, social media or events—so we can reach and serve new customers.”
Mekky says she looks forward to building on her firm’s success and finding more innovative partners “who have great stories just waiting to be told.”