Who We Are

We’re Renegades.

Renegade (noun): An individual who rejects conventional behavior.

We reject the conventional cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to media. We reject the worn-out platforms and messaging of the past (and so does your desired audience).

We are a media and public relations company helping clients tell their story, increase brand awareness, and protect their reputation.

What We Do

We help you tell your story.

Your story + research + creative content = RESULTS

We work with you to gain a thorough understanding of your organization, target audience, and desired outcome. We become an extension of your team. We recognize that we live in a dynamic age of communications with many new and evolving media platforms.

Our team constantly audits the media landscape to determine which platforms have the eyes and ears of your target audience. Our services fully integrate with traditional media to create a comprehensive strategy that encompasses everyone you need to reach. Once we find the right combination of platforms, we tailor your message, create compelling content and execute highly-targeted, cost-effective campaigns.

Your story becomes unstoppable. And we provide the reporting and analytics to prove it.

What We Do

Meet the Renegades

Ben Tracy

President & Co-Founder

Ben Tracy is the President & Co-Founder of Renegade Media Strategies, where he manages the day-to-day operations of the company.

In this role, Ben designs and executes full-scale media and public relations campaigns for corporate and non-profit clients. His specialties include digital marketing and strategic communications.

Prior to founding Renegade, Ben cut his teeth working on political and advocacy campaigns. He has carried out comprehensive paid and earned media plans, managed the day-to-day complexities of political races, and helped candidates navigate today’s fast-paced media environment.

In addition to his work with Renegade, Ben runs the Safe Social Network, a platform that provides content for parents and students on how to navigate life in the digital age. Through the Safe Social Network, Ben continues to share his own powerful story about how social media impacted his career at high schools and colleges across the country.

Ben graduated magna cum laude from Saint Xavier University in Chicago where he studied business and political science. He was also captain of the track & field team.

Ben Tracy

President & Co-Founder

Mel Thillens

Partner & Co-Founder

Mel Thillens is a Partner & Co-Founder at Renegade Media Strategies.

Mel is an entrepreneur and community leader. He is also Vice-President of Thillens, Inc., an armored car company that has been in business in the Chicagoland area for more than 80 years.

Additionally, Mel is on the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and sits on the Illinois Steering Committee for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). He is active in his community as a Park Ridge Park Board Commissioner, Chairman of the Taste of Park Ridge, youth football coach, and former candidate for the Illinois General Assembly.

Mel and his wife, Stephanie, are the proud parents of four boys – Max, Nathan, Sammy, and Teddy.