Michelle Mekky, CEO & Founder
Michelle Mekky is a veteran, award-winning broadcast journalist and public relations executive who has led high-profile marketing and PR campaigns for some of the nation’s most innovative brands, businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits. She is founder and president of Mekky Media Relations, Inc., a boutique PR agency that strategically partners with many leaders in their industries, helping them tell their stories to new audiences to fuel their growth. Mekky Media has been widely recognized for its tremendous expansion and success in its first six years.
Michelle got her start in television news, spending over a decade as a senior producer and news writer for Fox-TV in Chicago. She transitioned from journalism to PR and marketing, working at top agencies and using her insider media knowledge and widespread connections to achieve top-tier coverage for clients ranging from startups to global powerhouses. She launched Mekky Media in 2016, to bring her own brand of PR to the market and deliver powerful publicity, with an emphasis on personal attention and creative storytelling. Mekky Media provides 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.
Mekky Media clients range from startups to leaders in their industries and represent a broad range of verticals, including nonprofits, technology, healthcare, restaurants and culinary, retail, fitness and nutrition, financial and legal, and B2B. In 2021, Michelle doubled the size of her team and led the agency to record growth, with a 62-percent revenue gain over the previous year. The agency doubled its client roster in 2021 as well, adding businesses and nonprofits in Chicago and coast to coast, such as iconic restaurant group Scott Harris Hospitality, Chicago Gold Coast hotspot Adalina, leading cannabis company PharmaCann, author and influencer Chelsea Austin, international retailer Primark, and aesthetic and reconstructive surgery practice Warner Institute, to name a few. In 2022, the agency partnered with major brands like Red Bull Great Lakes Region, Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center, FAN EXPO Chicago and Knot My Boat Charters. Mekky Media also continues to work with valued industry-leading partners, such as Wealth Management Group and Abt Electronics, and is a leader in nonprofit PR, elevating many leading organizations in Chicago and beyond. Michelle, who is a cancer survivor, supports the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Triage Cancer.
Michelle and Mekky Media have been widely recognized in the industry for elevating clients through millions of media impressions. The agency won the Ragan Awards Agency Team of the Year in the Multiple Campaigns category in 2022. Honors in 2021 included 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. In addition, the agency was named to Expertise PR’s list of Best PR Firms in Chicago, and Michelle received a 2021 Ragan and PR Daily Communicator of the Year Award, which recognizes the industry’s best practitioners from the past year. The agency also has won a 2020 PR News Top 100 Agency Elite Award, a 2020 Bronze Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year and several Publicity Club of Chicago Gold and Silver Trumpet Awards. Michelle was named a 2020 PR News Top Women in PR Honoree and a 2019 Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Entrepreneur, and she won a 2018 Bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business, in Entrepreneur of the Year category. She received the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Niles West High School in Skokie, Ill.
Michelle has grown the Mekky Media team to nearly 20 PR professionals who come from top firms and leading media outlets. She is committed to promoting a healthy culture, planning innovative wellness events inspired by the agency’s core values, such as trust, authenticity, and teamwork. She also has developed a successful hybrid staffing model, with full timers and contractors who alternate in-office days.
Michelle is part of the prestigious International Public Relations Network (IPRN), Forbes Agency Council and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She blogs for Forbes and is a motivational speaker, sharing about her journey, entrepreneurship, media training and more. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, achieving her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the renowned Medill School of Journalism.