Skip to main content

Cronkite School to launch new student-run strategic communications agency


Side-by-side portraits of Nicole Macias and John Nicoletti.

John James Nicoletti (right) will lead the Cronkite Agency as its executive director and professor of practice, and Nicole Macias (left) will serve as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Strategic Communications Professor of Practice and work within the agency to lead the Southwest Health Reporting and Communications Initiative. Photo courtesy the Cronkite School

|
December 15, 2022

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is combining two of its award-winning programs to form a new integrated strategic communications agency that will allow students to develop communication strategies and implement comprehensive campaigns for local, regional and national clients.

The school will launch the Cronkite Agency, merging its Public Relations Lab and Digital Audiences Lab to allow students to gain real-world experience serving corporate and not-for-profit clients while leveraging the expertise of the agency’s faculty leaders. 

The agency will also integrate the RWJF Southwest Health Reporting Initiative, part of a multiyear, $1.3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which will create a public relations campaign, community education outreach and digital marketing strategies aimed at the Spanish-speaking parents of young children in the Southwest.

John James Nicoletti will lead the Cronkite Agency as its executive director and professor of practice, and Nicole Macias will serve as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Strategic Communications Professor of Practice and work within the agency to lead the Southwest Health Reporting and Communications Initiative. The Digital Audiences Lab will continue to be led by Professor of Practice Abby Zufelt.

“The Cronkite School is known for its immersive, professional programs and the caliber of graduates who complete them,” said Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “With the creation of the Cronkite Agency, students will be able to learn and demonstrate their storytelling prowess to unique, diverse audiences through strategic communication campaigns, social media and digital marketing.”  

The Cronkite Agency will offer its clients a full range of services, including communications strategy development, public relations campaigns, digital marketing, integrated communications, communications research, internal and external stakeholder engagement, content development, paid and organic social media campaigns, SEO and paid search advertising and analytics.

The RWJF Southwest Health Reporting Initiative will engage Cronkite Agency students and seek to inform public officials, health care providers and others about the concerns and challenges surrounding health and health care in underserved communities across the Southwest. 

Given the growing geographic footprint of the Cronkite School at campuses in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, the Cronkite Agency will look to expand its offerings to students and clients in those locations in the future. The agency will also increasingly work on strategic communications projects with clients in the sports and health sectors as it taps into two of the fastest-growing areas of interest at the Cronkite School.   

Nicoletti has served as the interim director of the Cronkite Public Relations Lab since June, working with clients such as the Arizona Science Center, Bubble Skincare, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Host Committee, Yubico and Phoenix Suns. 

Prior to joining Cronkite, Nicoletti was senior vice president of corporate communications at InStride, a workforce education company. Previously, Nicoletti worked for more than a decade at The Walt Disney Company in the parks and resorts and Walt Disney Studios segments, leading global and site-based communications teams. He also was the chief spokesperson for the city of Anaheim, California, and has served as an adjunct professor at several universities, including Pepperdine University and the University of Southern California.

Macias has spent the last seven years as director of multicultural strategy for AARP’s office of community engagement, where she implemented marketing and communications strategies that increased membership and helped multicultural communities engage with the organization’s products. 

Before AARP, Macias was management supervisor with advertising agency d expósito & Partners in New York, and previously worked at Arvizu Advertising & Promotions Inc. in Phoenix.

For more information on working with the Cronkite Agency, please call 602-496-5051 or email CronkiteAgency@asu.edu.

More Law, journalism and politics

 

Woman talking with two student journalists in office

ASU's Carnegie-Knight News21 wins RFK Journalism Award for 'America After Roe'

The Carnegie-Knight News21 program has been honored with two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards — including the prestigious 2024…

May 22, 2024
Students sitting on outdoor tables in courtyard in downtown Phoenix

ASU Law, Diné College, Navajo Nation partner on first-ever tribally affiliated legal program

In a historic move in the advancement of legal education, the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University has …

May 20, 2024
Headshot of Angela Hill.

Winning the ultimate prize

When Angela Hill left a good-paying job in marketing for a shot at journalism, all she wanted to do was tell stories, inform…

May 17, 2024