Cronkite Agency BIG Innovation Award

Cronkite Agency wins BIG Innovation Award 

Monday, March 11, 2024


The Cronkite Agency at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication snagged a huge accolade when the Business Intelligence Group named it a 2024 BIG Innovation Awards winner.

The Business Intelligence Group is an organization that recognizes talent and superior performance in the business world through its various awards programs. The annual BIG Innovation Awards honors individuals, companies and products from around the world that are bringing new ideas to life in innovative ways. 

The Cronkite Agency is among 47 organizations — mostly professional companies — from across the globe that were selected for the award. The companies represent a number of industries including education, chemical, insurance, software, financial services, manufacturing, government, and internet and technology. 

The agency, an award-winning capstone experience and class at the Cronkite School, won for its innovation as a business operating in the education space, receiving recognition for its work in both digital marketing and strategic communications.

“The fact that we put student teams together of digital marketers and strategic communicators and they work side-by-side on campaigns, is placing them lightyears ahead of where others will be when they enter the job market,” said Cronkite Agency Executive Director and Professor of Practice John Nicoletti. “They’ll already know how to talk about SEO strategy or why a social media post needs to have a digital marketing person review it. They learn to work together, to talk one another’s language, which is one innovative aspect of the course.” 

This was the latest honor for the Cronkite Agency, which won multiple awards last fall in the 2023 dotComm and MarCom international awards competitions honoring excellence in communication, web creativity and digital marketing.  

“It’s really exciting for our students to have that sense of self pride that they’re a part of an award-winning agency. It’s an honor to be among a select few to receive this BIG Innovation Award — especially because  ‘innovation’ is such a special word around ASU. We always aim to cultivate an innovative learning environment for our students,” said Clinical Assistant Professor Abby Zufelt, who leads the agency’s digital marketing team. 

Anika Newland, a Cronkite senior who is a part of the agency’s public relations team, said the agency allows students to have freedom with ideas and creativity. 

“The lab really is what you make it because (the professors) provide that foundation of ‘we encourage creativity, we encourage you to come up with the craziest idea, and then we’re going to help you figure it out’,” Newland said. “They encourage innovation and then provide a foundation for us to build upon that innovation.” 

Cronkite senior Aspen Montoya, a member of the agency’s digital marketing team, said her experience has allowed her to gain confidence, which is valuable when speaking to clients. The lessons learned at the agency will guide the rest of her career, she said.

“I will always carry the confidence that I’ve acquired. Having confidence means that you’re able to actually do what you set out to do. I’ve already learned things that I feel like most people wouldn’t learn until years into working in the field,” Montoya said. “In here, we have real clients, real businesses and I think that is a great introduction into both PR and digital marketing because you learn how to speak during your meetings, how to lead a meeting and how to sharpen your interpersonal skills.” 

By Lauren Boykins