C-Strategies Inc., a strategic communications and public affairs firm, has been named the winner of one Gold and one Silver Stevie® Award in the 20th annual American Business Awards®. The firm won Silver for Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Company of the Year – Small, and President and CEO Becky Carroll took the top spot for Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year.
The American Business Awards are the U.S.A.’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and nonprofit, large and small. Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at a gala ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on Monday, June 13. Tickets are now on sale.
Gold Stevie® Award Winner Becky Carroll — Founder, President, and CEO of C-Strategies — is a seasoned communications veteran and one of Chicago and Illinois’ top public affairs strategists. Since founding C-Strategies in 2015, Carroll and her team have led communications on some of the state’s most prominent projects. The firm represents corporate, public sector and non-profit clients in a diverse range of industries and policy areas, including real estate, education, economic development, transportation, finance, healthcare and technology.
“I founded C-Strategies to build a communications and public affairs firm whose focus is on making Chicago and Illinois a better place for everyone and partnering with clients who share that commitment,” said Carroll. “Receiving this is truly a full circle moment that demonstrates the success of our mission-driven approach, and I look forward to working with my incredible team to lead more high-impact campaigns in the months and years to come.”
Drawing on decades of experience managing clients through frontpage crises, elevating thought leadership profiles, leading and executing event planning, and securing impactful media coverage across mainstream, trade and hyper-local media, Carroll led the C-Strategies team to several major successes during 2021. C-Strategies’ earned media and public campaigns in support of legislation to address long-standing systemic racism in Illinois government and its legal system, The Golden Apple Foundation, and UNITE HERE Local 1 led to the passage of a historic set of legislation combating systemic racism across the state, securing full state funding of $15 million on the heels of the pandemic, and the unanimous passage of a key ordinance to protect vulnerable hospitality workers during the pandemic, respectively. Additionally, the firm’s crisis communications efforts kept the doors open at a crucial community health institution, ensuring some of Chicago’s most underserved communities would continue to have a healthcare lifeline in their neighborhood.
More than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and industries submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories. More than 230 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s winners, which took place over the course of two months. Winning submissions are evaluated based on their overall quality, as well as evidence of innovation, integrity, effectiveness, creativity, growth, and more.
One judge said of Carroll’s accomplishments and work: “It is very clear Becky has built and leads a highly successful team that totally understands the pain points of its client base. There is a very clear link to strategy, application and successful outcomes for clients and the growth of the consultancy. Using powerful datapoints underscores Becky’s determination to truly lead a unique business that will leave the business sector, and the community in a better place.”
Taking home Silver for Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations Company of the Year – Small, C-Strategies’ winning earned media and advocacy campaigns secured a combined total of well over 730 unique earned media hits in the first three quarters of 2021, attention that helped clients boost public awareness of their issues, manage crisis situations, and help secure concrete results such as additional state funding. C-Strategies earned top remarks from judges not only for the growth in client base and success of campaigns over the past two years, but also for the meaningful goals and positive impact behind each partnership and campaign.
One judge remarked on the firm’s “impressive portfolio and achievements in a short span of 7 years,” while another lauded C-Strategies’ “dedication to social responsibility and equality that is admirable.”
C-Strategies works with corporations, advocacy campaigns, and organizations serving marginalized communities that face a multitude of inequities. The firm helps clients tell their stories, lead campaigns in support of public policy that aligns with its values, provides crisis management and brand reputation services, develops content across platforms, and works with corporations that aim to expand economic opportunity in communities throughout Illinois.