Founder/president Michelle Mekky reflects on agency successes during the pandemic and sees continued growth in 2022
CHICAGO- Feb. 1, 2022- Mekky Media Relations Inc. continued its successful trajectory in 2021, reaching the milestone of becoming a seven-figure business. The five-year-old agency’s record-breaking annual revenue was $1.25 million, representing a 62 percent gain over the previous year. The agency was elevated to these new heights by the steady influx of new, high-profile clients throughout the year. In fact, the client roster – the largest it has been since Mekky Media’s inception in 2016 – doubled in size compared to 2020, which was also a year of unprecedented expansion.
In addition, Mekky Media won significant national honors in 2021 and grew its team. The staff is twice the size it was a year ago, with full-time account executives and account coordinators signing on over the past several months to meet increasing demand for the agency’s creative work and powerful results, according to founder and president Michelle Mekky.
“It is rewarding to see our hard work pay off, as businesses and individuals – from high profile to those just starting out – ask us to tell their stories so they can survive and thrive in this challenging business climate,” Mekky says. “It has been a hard time for many, and I’m grateful that a growing number of clients have placed their trust in us. Reaching that five-year milestone and our 2021 success proves that Mekky Media is a PR leader and a sustainable business that is here for the long term.”
Mekky established the agency in 2016 to provide PR strategy, media relations, media training, event promotion, social media strategy and influencer outreach. To meet demand brought on by the pandemic, the agency has added services that include integrated digital and PR programs, personal branding and internal communications.
The long and growing Mekky Media client list includes businesses and nonprofits in Chicago and coast to coast. In 2021, the agency was hired to promote the highly-anticipated summer opening of Chicago Gold Coast restaurant Adalina, as well as the national expansion of leading cannabis company PharmaCann and its Verilife dispensaries. These high-profile partnerships led to significant media attention, with both businesses signing on to continue with Mekky Media in 2022. Also new this year, the agency is partnering with Scott Harris Hospitality on a campaign to rebrand the former Francesca’s Restaurant Group and infuse new energy into its more than 25 restaurants including new ones to come. In addition, the agency has announced that it is supporting the launch of Sunshine Flyer as it becomes a new transportation partner for Walt Disney World Resorts® in Orlando.
Mekky Media added many other new clients throughout 2021, as well as continued to partner with organizations that have long been on its roster. The clients, ranging from startups to leaders in their industries, represent a broad range of verticals, including nonprofits, technology, retail, healthcare, restaurants and culinary, fitness and nutrition, financial and legal, and B2B. The agency and Mekky, who is a cancer survivor, also continue to support the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Triage Cancer.
In addition to rapidly expanding its client roster, Mekky Media added to its long list of national honors in 2021, including Gold and Silver Stevie’s in the American Business Awards – for PR Agency of the Year and PR Campaign of the Year, as well as Ragan’s Workplace Wellness Award and Publicity Club of Chicago Gold and Silver Trumpet Awards. In addition, the agency was named to Expertise PR’s list of Best PR Firms in Chicago. Michelle Mekky received a 2021 Ragan and PR Daily Communicator of the Year Award, which recognizes the industry’s best practitioners from the past year.
Other high points in the year were the fifth anniversary in June, which was celebrated at a Chicago rooftop party, and the agency’s invitation to the International Public Relations Network (IPRN) Annual Congress in Lisbon. Mekky and senior account manager Carleigh Rinefierd attended the prestigious global gathering of PR leaders in October and presented some of their successful client work.
Another highlight, according to Mekky, was the agency’s continued focus on promoting a healthy culture. She planned a series of innovative wellness events inspired by the agency’s core values, such as trust, authenticity and teamwork. Mekky says even though the pandemic has lasted so long, her team really connected over the past year. “We’ve developed a successful hybrid model of staffing, with full timers mixed with contractors, and with team members alternating in-office days. Everyone is deeply invested in each other and the success of the agency,” she says.
To celebrate the many successes of 2021 and plan for continued growth in 2022, Mekky Media embarked upon an all-staff retreat in Mexico in January. Mekky says it was a time to reward her team for hard work, as well as an opportunity to do creative brainstorming and strategizing that will fuel even greater client success in the months to come.
“I’m proud of how far the agency has progressed in just five years and my team’s hard work throughout the journey, especially during our record-breaking 2021. Everyone was dealing with their own stressors as a result of the pandemic, but they gave it their all on behalf of our clients,” Mekky says. “Organizations continue to reach out and seek our expertise. This is only the beginning for Mekky Media.”
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. The agency, which emphasizes personal attention and creative storytelling, has been widely recognized for its tremendous growth and success in its first five years. 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 Gold 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 Chicago, Mekky Media has a team of more than 10 PR professionals who come from top firms and leading media outlets. To learn more, visit www.MekkyMedia.com.