Mekky Media Relations Inc. held its first-ever Masterclass on Nov. 15, arming a diverse group of business leaders and entrepreneurs with media relations, public speaking and networking tools that will help them accelerate their businesses and/or careers. In the daylong workshop held at Exchange312 in Chicago, industry experts shared lessons they have learned throughout their successful journeys and tips to give participants more confidence in effectively sharing their stories.
The 22 Masterclass attendees represent a wide range of roles and industries, including banking, tech, real estate, travel, culinary, media, architecture and beauty. The day’s packed agenda helped participants become dynamic public speakers, conduct powerful interviews and discussions – with media or others – and put themselves out there with confidence. The topics targeted diverse interests and needs, with robust interactive discussions, role playing and Q&A sessions where participants could delve deeper into subjects of interest to them.
“I am so proud to have launched this transformative Masterclass along with my team – it has long been a dream of mine – and I was thrilled with the program we developed and the way the participants embraced it,” says Michelle Mekky, founder and president of Mekky Media Relations. “Many of them have told me it was a valuable day that gave them skills they will be able to immediately apply to achieve greater success.”
Lisa Fielding, WBBM Radio anchor/reporter, was the day’s featured speaker, sharing her career journey and offering tips for working with the media and handling an interview. She took insightful participant questions, with topics ranging from navigating the Chicago media landscape to how to take the perfect selfie at an event.
In addition, Mekky, along with PR and media veteran David Viggiano, led an interactive media training session that included tips for easing anxiety in front of a crowd or camera, handling tough questions and sticking to key messaging. Mekky, who has more than 20 years of experience as a broadcast journalist and award-winning PR executive, then presented a session on mastering public speaking. Kelli Hartsock-Packer, Mekky Media senior strategist and veteran PR consultant, spoke about the importance of professional networking and the do’s and don’ts of this essential skill.
Mekky says the Masterclass is the first in a series, and she looks forward to gathering additional industry leaders to share new expertise in the future. “We feel there’s a real need for this type of education,” she says. “Many of our clients tell us they have anxiety about leading a meeting, speaking in front of groups, interviews or basic networking. Our team members and other experts we partner with have diverse backgrounds in these areas and expertise to help professionals of all levels and industries build their confidence and fuel their growth.”
Snacks at the Masterclass were provided by Epic Gourmet Popcorn, and a gourmet healthy lunch was provided by Masterclass participant Mila Furman, culinary influencer and owner of Girl and the Kitchen. Gift bag sponsors included Epic, Be Loved, The Delta, Diptyque, Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Leah Chavie Skincare and Victory Italian. Following the Masterclass, presenters and participants gathered for a lively happy hour at Exchange312, featuring a signature cocktail provided by B2 Aviation, and celebrated taking a positive step forward in their careers.
Future Masterclass opportunities will be communicated on Mekky Media social media and at www.MekkyMedia.com.