When I first told people about my idea for a custom designed marble wall, some asked me if I was losing my marbles. It’s not your typical office artwork. There are flashing lights, bells and things that twirl. But once they see the 10 to 1 Public Relations marble wall, everyone loves it and just wants to watch it for a while because there are so many moving elements.
The response grows even more favorably when they hear the story behind it and recognize how it visually demonstrates our unique strategic approach to public relations. They love how we’re using the marble run to showcase our team’s success on a regular basis, too.
I’ve been asked several times for the backstory on it, so I’ll share that in a moment. What I really hope this article does is encourage companies to invest in and promote some type of signature piece in their office that describes their brand and approach to achieving success. Not just for their clients that visit their office, but for their staffs as well.
There are actually two different audiences that you’re doing this for. First are your office visitors, as you’re trying to give them something visual that they can remember that ties them to your brand or strategic approach. The second is your staff who see it or interact with it regularly. It serves as an excellent reminder of your philosophy and the company culture whenever they see it and provides reinforcement and acknowledgement for their great work in promoting the brand.
With that out of the way, here’s the backstory on our marble wall. We recently moved into new office space and wanted to create something that would really stick out as a signature for the office. Something worthy of sharing on social media, but also something that fit the company brand.
To create this signature piece, 10 to 1 Public Relations commissioned an art piece that is a 4 ft. wide by 3 ft. tall marble run with a public relations theme that reflects our philosophy.
We believe it takes 10 good things to be said about a company to make up for one negative comment, and our public relations strategies for clients generate lots of positive stories to create a “good will bank.” This helps our clients inoculate and protect their brands and their people when that negative story eventually occurs.
We started out with an idea for a selfie-friendly wall graphic in our conference room that would reflect our philosophies towards PR. While the designs on their own were impressive, none felt right for 10 to 1 PR.
Our team was trying to think of something unique around the 10 to 1 philosophy, and someone brought up the “drip” analogy that I use when describing our strategy to prospective new clients. The drip analogy refers to how small seemingly minor stories on their own (like new hire announcements or minor contract announcements) can add up to have a big impact. Like drips out of a faucet, if collected the water adds up and can be used however it’s needed in the future. We tried to think of alternatives to a faucet analogy and thought of a marble run where the marbles could each represent a different story and could be collected at the end like drips.
That night I searched for artists that created marble runs and found Matthew Gaulden of Rolling Ball Structures. I sent an email to him and we quickly started talking about what a public relations themed marble run might look like. Ultimately, we came up with the following.
- Bells that sound like the NBC news theme
- A spinning “Breaking News” sign
- An “On Air” light that would turn on
- A press conference scene which would flash like flash bulbs
- A spinning microphone
- Reference to print and online media
- A television set
- A social media carousel
Matt added some additional elements including a waterspout where the marbles would drip out and be collected.
Every week, our team now counts out how many stories we helped our clients earn, and we do a “Running of the Marbles” to celebrate these successes. We then collect those marbles and add the count to a separate jar for the year.
Since January, we already have more than 900 positive stories for our clients, and that number continues to grow daily.
Every time we run the marble wall and share on social media our new count of stories generated for clients, it serves as a reinforcement; reiterating to our team, our clients, and our supporters that our 10 to 1 long-game public relations approach and strategy work, making it an office signature piece worth sharing.
Click here to watch a short video with a tour of our new offices including the marble wall.