Michelle Mekky is the President and Founder of Mekky Media Relations. Michelle is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Michelle provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Mekky Media Relations.
Michelle Mekky joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Michelle join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Let’s start by telling us about your business.
Mekky Media Relations is a Chicago-based boutique public relations agency that provides PR strategy, media relations, media training, event promotion, social media strategy and influencer outreach for a diverse roster of business and nonprofit clients. I started the agency in 2016, to deliver powerful publicity with a focus on personal attention and creative storytelling.
Q: Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
We make it a priority to truly connect with each client and get to know their business inside and out. Then we build a customized strategy and plan that is designed to elevate their brand and fuel their growth. This approach has enabled us to achieve millions of media impressions for clients. These results, combined with the relationships we build, are what keep our clients coming back and enthusiastically recommending us to others.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
I have built Mekky Media on the foundation of six Core Values that guide us in everything we do: passion, trust, teamwork, authenticity, creativity, and commitment to excellence. With each campaign and project, we are constantly checking ourselves to ensure these values are top of mind and that we are giving each client our absolute best effort. This consistent attention to incredibly high standards is what sets us apart and what has fueled much of our success.
Q: And to finish this section, please tell us what is the one major key to your company’s success?
Relationships are a central part of success in PR, and I believe this is an area where Mekky Media stands out. Not only do we build longstanding relationships with our clients, but we have close contacts in the media industry, both in Chicago and nationally. I’m a former TV news producer, and my team comes from leading media outlets and top PR firms. Our media background, knowledge, and contacts enable us to craft compelling stories and pitches that will rise above the others. We also know how to target the right producers, editors, journalists, and influencers – because, in many cases, we know them personally and we understand the kinds of stories that will interest them.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Building something new is a huge challenge that will test you at times. So you must be a hard worker and incredibly driven to succeed, and you must really believe in what you’re doing. Also, remember that it’s okay to make mistakes. I’ve made many of them along the way, and I’ve recovered. The key is to search for ways that the mistake will help you learn and grow, and then apply those lessons as you move forward. I’m grateful for every good and bad experience as I’ve built my business because it’s all been part of the journey that has made me the leader I am today.
Q: For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Surround yourself with people who are supportive and have your back, whether it’s your team members or a mentor. Being in a leadership position can be lonely at times, and having trusted support is so important. Just make sure your support system is not only telling you what you want to hear. We can all benefit from valuable advice or a fresh perspective, especially when times are tough. Most importantly, make sure you’re open to good guidance when it’s offered, even if it might mean changing your approach or direction.
Q: In today’s fast-changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
I am constantly monitoring news outlets, social media, my team’s Slack channels, etc. to stay on top of my company, our industry, and my clients’ businesses. It’s a lot to keep track of, and, honestly, that’s why I don’t get to unplug as often as I’d like. One thing that helps is setting Google alerts for companies or industries I want to target, as well as monitoring LinkedIn to see what other business leaders are up to. I also carve out time each day, usually in the morning before things get too crazy, to read and watch news sources I trust. I mix it up so I’m being exposed to a wide variety of outlets and perspectives.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
Of course for my family, but also because I am driven by the responsibility I feel for my company, staff, and clients and giving my all for them every day.
Q: In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
It’s most important to be an authentic leader who motivates the team and shows up as her true self, committed to open, honest communication, willing to learn, and helping others be the best they can be.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
All of our clients have great stories to tell, and it is my passion and driving goal to creatively tell those stories to deliver powerful results that help them elevate their brands and businesses.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
Social media has transformed PR – and so many aspects of our lives – by providing new outlets that give people and organizations a voice and opportunity to elevate their messages and reach new audiences.
Q: In one sentence, tell us something positive to motivate our readers?
In business, parenting, leadership, and life, something good can almost always come from the bad – light from darkness – as long as we find the positive lessons and use them for inspiration and to become more motivated and passionate about the things that matter to us.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
At least 15 minutes of quiet time, preferably outside, with coffee, meditation, and a heavy dose of gratitude.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
I take a moment to feel the disappointment but then quickly shift into reflecting on how to grow, as I plan my next steps for moving forward in a positive way.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
It’s almost impossible to really get to know someone during the traditional interview process, but I have found that hiring against my company’s core values helps me find unity and common approaches and identify the candidates who are the best fit for our culture.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
I trust that good karma is on my side and that the hard work and energy I am putting out will reward me with good clients, experiences, and people.
Michelle Mekky, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Mekky Media Relations, nothing but the best.