Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Marcia Brookey

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Marcia Brookey

Marcia Brookey, APR – Senior Account Executive

I have lived in many cities and countries: Brazil, Italy, Israel and the United States. I enjoy starting a new life in a completely new city – although unpacking is a beast! I have over a decade of experience in marketing and public relations. I am a native of Rio de Janeiro and started my career in public relations in Sao Paulo in 2009. There, I served clients in the publishing, construction, architecture and interior design industries. But I married an Okie, and so in 2011 we moved to Tulsa, OK, where I consulted in public relations and market research for three years. Over the last six years I managed marketing and public relations for a large financial services organization in Oklahoma. I feel fortunate to have relocated with my family to the Phoenix area. I am ready to bring my experience and skills to The Valley and help boost brands!

If you didn’t work in PR, what would you do?
I would be teaching Communications and Film at the university level. Before working in public relations, I earned a master’s degree, taught undergraduate classes and published a book about documentary film.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
The right opportunity is waiting for you.

What is your most memorable PR experience?
Bragging, not bragging. I’ve put my client (the Brazilian Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers) on the front page of the largest business and financial newspaper in Brazil – the Brazilian version of Wall Street Journal. It was a homerun.

When you’re not at work…
I am hiking the beautiful Arizona and New Mexico trails and mountains, reading, traveling with my kids and husband, watching documentaries, taking care of my houseplants and trying to become a better photographer.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from your time in Public Relations?
Public relations is a long-term commitment to building mutually beneficial, trustworthy relationships with many, if not all, your stakeholders.

Who’s your celeb doppelganger?
I don’t think I have one, but a friend insists that I remind him of Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman. Yeah, right! I wish…

PR for the Win

PR for the Win.

While this new year has just begun, it already feels like a sprint. Not just from the renewed energy of our current clients, but as demonstrated by the significant increase in prospective client inquiries that we’ve already received this year.

Why is this year different? Significant change is imminent.

2021 initially might feel like a continuation of 2020, but the ending will be far different. I’m not just talking politically, but as it relates to the pandemic and ultimately the economy. The general public can finally see a potential end to the pandemic once enough vaccines are administered. Businesses are seeing it too.

But this year, it’s like everyone is on the same compressed schedule to make up for time lost due to the pandemic, forcing many companies to work harder to ensure they’re at the front of the pack when potential customers cross the pandemic finish line. 

Thinking about this finish line, I can’t help but think about how a company’s PR strategy correlates to a race day strategy.

Back to high school when I ran track, my primary race was the 400 (one quarter of a mile) or one full loop around the track. I was decent at it. My freshman year, my best time was 55 seconds, good enough to earn a spot at regionals. My coach tried me in some other races like the 100, but I didn’t have a great start out of the blocks so my times were never great. He tried me at the mile, and while I started strong, I would fade to the back of the pack as the race went on. 

My success at the 400 wasn’t based on technique or skill. Ultimately it came down to one thing: I always ran the race as a flat-out sprint. I wasn’t the fastest out of the block, but I was by far the fastest in the middle of the race building up a lead. By the end, I was running out of gas trying desperately to hold on to the lead that I had built. This often led to my getting passed at the end by a closing competitor who had saved some energy for their sprint to the finish.

It’s okay to sprint the entire way from start to finish, it is a valid strategy for some cicumstances. But if you want to win the race, the strategy is done before you ever step foot on the track. It means before the race even begins you need to know what length of race you need to enter to make sure you end up in the right spot at the right time. Otherwise, you risk of running out of gas as you to watch your competitors run right by you into the arms of your potential customers.

It’s why you see a lot more in-race strategy occurring in longer races. The goal isn’t having your personal fastest time across the finish line, it’s simply about crossing the finish line first. It’s why you often see a clump of runners in a pack despite everyone having a different strategy. The goal is about trying to force the competitors to react the way you desire to advance your strategy to win. The runners with a fast last leg sprint try to stay with the pack and keep the pace slow until the end knowing they can outrun the rest. The runners less known for their sprint abilities may try to push the pace faster early in hopes of leaving others so tired or far behind they have nothing left at the end and can’t catch up before the race ends.

Which brings us back to today’s race to the pandemic finish line. Current predictions are that sometime later this year, we’ll pass a threshold where enough people have been vaccinated and it becomes safe to start gathering in groups again, going back to the office or booking travel plans.

As a business, you need to think about this race route from start to finish and how a public relations strategy can help you come out ahead. Along that route, you need to place different potential “PR story” flags along the way. Maybe the best strategy is placing the flags equal distances apart and simply sprinting as fast as you can through all of them to reach the finish line before anyone else. Or, maybe your strategy is to start off slower and clump more of the flags towards the end to ensure you’re at your top speed as you reach the finish line. 

As a PR firm, my team excels at developing a plan, planting flags and implementing the strategy. If you need help, let us know. We’re already wearing our running shoes and are ready to go.

— written by Josh Weiss

One Last (Genuine) Thank You in 2020

One Last (Genuine) Thank You in 2020

With hindsight finally becoming 2020, I wanted to take this last opportunity to say thank you.

Bluntly, the year was just straight-up unprecedented.  While a difficult year for everyone on so many levels, I’m so humbled and appreciative that 2020 was by far the best year 10 to 1 Public Relations has had, yet. 

I just learned a number that simply amazes me. 

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Jeff Davidson

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson, Senior Account Executive –

Believe it or not, I have been in Public Relations for more than 15 years. In that time I’ve dressed up in a mascot uniform, been in a dump truck full of LEGO blocks, was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and ran around SXSW, CES, and HIMSS. Public Relations may seem glamourous, but it’s a lot of hard work. Although I’ve learned a lot from my clients, my coworkers, and my mistakes over the years – I wouldn’t change a thing.

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Sharda Veeramally

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Sharda Veeramally

Sharda Veeramally, Senior Account Executive –

I have been in Public Relation for over a decade and I can bet that most of my family members and friends still don’t know what is it that I do. Do I make ads or write articles for newspapers that don’t really have my name on them? My fellow PR pros can relate to this feeling. Right?! #faceplam. Nevertheless, I’ve had a great start to my career in India before moving to the United States five years ago. It definitely was a tough transition initially, but thanks to my amazing coworkers and clients for making it a smooth ride. It’s been a fulfilling journey, to say the least, and I am just getting started!

  1. If you didn’t work in PR, what would you do?
    Maybe a professional dancer or a theater artist – still telling stories, just like I do in PR!
  2. When you’re not at work …
    You’ll find me running around with my 2-year-old or in the kitchen experimenting with a new recipe.
  3. Best advice you’ve ever been given?
    The best advice I ever received was from my parents to “always trust your unique path and keep putting in the hard work. Everything will fall in place.”
  4. What’s your favorite quote?
    “Stay hungry, stay foolish” – Steve Jobs
  5. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?
    Maybe the power to change things instantly at the blink of an eye, like in the show “I dream of Jeannie.” I would use it every day to spruce up the house after my toddler destroys it! ?

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Erica Fetherston

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Erica Fetherston

Erica Fetherston, Senior Account Executive –

After starting my career in politics, government, and nonprofits, it’s been fun to experience what “agency life” is all about at 10 to 1 PR. From working with clients of all sizes in a diverse array of industries, to interacting with reporters and editors in media markets across the country, each day brings its own set of challenges and opportunities. I love sharing stories about others.

  1. If you didn’t work in PR, what would you do?
    In kindergarten, I aspired to be a zookeeper. In reality, if I didn’t work in PR, I might have ended up following my parents and becoming a lawyer.
  2. Best advice you’ve ever been given?
    Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
  3. What’s your favorite quote?
    “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” – Socrates
  4. Who’s your celeb doppelganger?
    I went as Taylor Swift for Halloween once and I think I nailed it.
  5. What’s one lesson you’ve learned from your time in Public Relations?
    It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be nice to others. Between working with clients, journalists, and other PR pros, you never know what someone else is working on or going through, so I always try to make the effort to be as supportive and understanding as I can when working with others.

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Laura Slawny

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Laura Slawny

Laura Slawny, Account Manager –

I was a former television reporter, news producer, and executive producer. I really like storytelling and proud to say I’ve earned four regional Emmy awards and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award. When I’m not at work, you can usually find me outdoors playing tennis, hiking or camping, riding my bike, working in the garden, or even just reading on my patio.

  1. If you didn’t work in PR, what would you do?
    I would love to be on a writing team for a television series about a diverse group that meets new challenges with each show. I am watching the Star Trek Voyager series now and think it would be a blast to collaborate on a similar format that provides room for character development, creativity, and moral issues.
  2. What’s your favorite book?
    Right now, my favorite book is called The Food Lab, by J. Kenji Lóbez-Alt. It is a cookbook that takes a scientific approach to why some cooking methods work better than others.
  3. Best advice you’ve ever been given?
    “Never be afraid of hard work.” It was one of the many great pieces of advice my Dad gave me. 
  4. Who’s your celeb doppelganger?
    When I was younger, I was told I looked like Laura Dern.
  5. What’s your favorite quote
    My mantra is “Keep moving forward” which comes from a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  I love this quote and remind myself that no matter how bad things get, I can always do something as long as I have more time.

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Josh Weiss

Unmasking 10 to 1 Employees: Josh Weiss

Josh Weiss, President and Founder –

My first job after college I worked as the Radio Coordinator for members of the Illinois House of Representatives where I effectively created radio press releases for House members.  When deciding to move to Arizona in 2000, I had a choice- choose a career in radio, politics or public relations.  I’ve been working in public relations ever since.  After leading PR efforts at a couple nationally focused public safety/first responder companies, I formed 10 to 1 Public Relations in 2012, and haven’t looked back since.

  1. If you didn’t work in PR, what would you do?
    Radio talk show host or an Ambassador to a foreign country representing the U.S.
  2. What is your most memorable PR experience?
    I’ve had the unfortunate responsibility of leading media relations during Line of Duty Death events for first responders who died as part of their job. Each experience is very intense and emotional, but also makes me very proud of the role I played in coordinating the company response and media coordination needs while ensuring the family and first responder were properly respected and honored through very tragic, and public ordeals.
  3. When you’re not at work …
    Swimming laps, watching my kids play softball and baseball, or streaming movies/shows.
  4. Best advice you’ve ever been given?
    Worry about what you can control (or influence), not what you can’t.
  5. Your favorite magazine, publication, or outlet?
    Washington Post

Why More PR Efforts Should be Coordinated Around Veterans Day

Why More PR Efforts Should be Coordinated Around Veterans Day

My PR team is always looking for opportunities to draw some media attention to our clients for doing something positive.  As part of this effort, we often coordinate media efforts around various holidays and shared cultural events. Out of all the dates on the calendar, I never expected Veterans Day to become my favorite. Both because of what it represents, and the media opportunities it has provided our clients.

Veterans Day has long been one of those specialty holidays recognized mostly by those who have a personal connection to the military.  It’s not part of a three-day weekend, and people often mix it up with Memorial Day which honors the fallen vs Veterans Day which recognizes the living who have served.

My team took Veterans Day efforts to an entirely new gear this year, and I want to share what we did. Not to brag, but in hopes of sparking your imagination or participation for Veterans Day next year.

The Veterans Day Giveaway Idea

We have several HVAC and plumbing clients. One of those companies was founded by a Veteran after WWII, and the company is now lead by his granddaughter (3rd generation).  Five years ago, we launched a now annual Veterans AC Giveaway Contest where the public could nominate a Veteran or their family member in need of a new AC unit or furnace. After verifying nominations and choosing finalists, the public was given the opportunity to vote for the recipient, with the prize awarded on (or around) Veterans Day.

That single contest has expanded.  In 2020 we held the contest in five different cities spanning the U.S. from Miami, Florida to Spokane, Washington. Yes, the contest is a nice thing to do and it’s generated publicity and stories in each City we’ve done it. But it’s much more than a contest.

Our goal is to share personal stories of local Veterans and active duty members that most people never hear about. These are the men and women who left their homes, their families, and their friends to dutifully serve our country across the nation and around the world. Their stories are incredible. Like an Arizona man who joined the Army after the attack on 9/11 to protect our nation and came back with a life-changing injury from a rocket propelled grenade. Or the Florida man who joined the Navy at age 17 and got to take a newly commissioned ship through the Panama Canal. Or the woman who was the first female in her family to join, and now copes with the debilitating effects of PTSD.

In our eyes, they are all heroes. They all deserve notoriety.  So we share their stories using videos, blogs, social media, and often the news media will help us reach a wider audience. These stories have helped old friends reconnect providing them with a sense of hope and some comfort during an increasingly stressful time.

It amazes me how grateful these Veterans are to be recognized. I am also impressed by their shared bond. They understand what it’s like to be too far from home, and why it’s so hard to talk about what they experienced. We are saddened by how many suffer from mental trauma and inspired by how many of them volunteer to help other Veterans heal.

The other major effort we launched was the #VetDayPledge.

The idea started in 2018, when one of our large construction related clients was looking for ways to recognize their employees that were Veterans. We suggested that the company gather employees on Veterans Day a job site or in their warehouse and simply invite all the Veterans to the front of the group to lead their co-workers in the Pledge of Allegiance.  We used smartphone video to then share it with media and post it on social media.  The response from employees who participated was so positive that the construction company expanded it to multiple cities and job sites the following year.

This year, with permission from the client we decided to expand the idea to include any company willing to participate.  Our only request was that anyone who participated include the hashtag #VetDayPledge to unify the message and make it easier for others to see and hopefully participate on their own. In addition to sharing the idea with other companies (clients and non-clients), we invited other PR firms to share the idea and created a website www.VetDayPledge.com with free resources and tips for companies to do it on their own.

I’m so proud that during this campaign’s first year going national and mainstream that we had participants from 10 states!  While some videos came from our clients, the majority of the participants were not!  In addition to several businesses, an elementary school participated, as did a senior living community!

A Wisconsin TV station even did a news story about one of the participants. You can watch the story by clicking here!

We’re excited to grow the #VetDayPledge further next year and believe that without the election (and COVID) related distractions, even more businesses and organizations will participate.  This idea has become a passion project.  We love that it’s a simple, no cost idea that anyone can do to thank our Veterans and their families.

Ultimately, the most important thing for companies to remember when doing a PR campaign around Veterans Day or Memorial Day is to do it for the right reason. We believe that the VetDayPledge and the Veteran AC Giveaway Contest fit that purpose.  Sure, it might generate some positive publicity for our clients, but most importantly, it generates recognition for those who’ve served and sacrificed- the individual veteran, and their families alongside them.

There are lots of great ideas that companies are doing to recognize Veterans. Share them below and help us inspire others!

Giving Back During a Pandemic

A lot of people are feeling helpless right now. We have been cooped up for months trying to do whatever we can to feel productive and hold on to some semblance of normalcy. With quarantine and social distancing protocols in place, non-profit organizations are also having a hard time keeping up with the need for their services. Many fundraising and volunteer events have been cancelled due to the global pandemic, but you can still get involved with virtual volunteering efforts.

We at 10 to 1 Public Relations took time to show how much we support the work that Teachers across the Valley are doing by writing virtual notes to a teacher through the Valley of the Sun United Way’s website. These cards will be sent to teachers and resource staff in the communities that Valley of the Sun United Ways closely works with and will remind our teachers how valued and appreciated they are. It’s an easy and fun team building exercise, which will make a huge impact to those receiving them.

In addition, our client Plexus Worldwide, a leading direct-selling health and wellness company, has been utilizing their paid volunteer time off policy to gather teams of employees together for virtual volunteer projects. At the start of the pandemic, Plexus joined HandsOn Greater Phoenix, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that puts volunteers to work where they are needed most. To show appreciation to medical staff on the frontlines, Plexus employees expressed their gratitude by sending heartfelt letters, cards, and emails to HandsOn Greater Phoenix, which handed them out to medical personnel who are working tirelessly to fight COVID-19. HandsOn Greater Phoenix is still collecting letters, you can contact them directly to see how you can get involved from home – a great idea for a family activity!

In addition, Plexus team members also recorded themselves reading their favorite children’s books for the children at Ryan House. Ryan House’s mission is to embrace all children and their families as they navigate life-limiting or end-of-life journeys. During this challenging time, Ryan House is limited on the number of children and guests they are able to have at their home, but they still want to continue to provide activities that they would normally have for the children. Click on the link or contact them directly to see ways you, your family, or your friends can get involved.

So how else can you help? After months of staying indoors, most people have gone through a DIY or home improvement phase. You can put that decluttering to good use by donating any clothing items, athletic equipment, furniture, office supplies, games, bedding, and other items to charities throughout your community. Collection bins are usually located at schools or near grocery stores, so you can either look up a location online or put the items in your trunk and keep an eye out for a donation bin.

You can discover the wide range of volunteer opportunities at Family Promise, a local Valley organization determined to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. Some of their events include organizing a supply drive in your neighborhood, recording yourself reading a story, or helping someone write a resume. Other local organizations that could use your help are Cancer Support Community ArizonaSt. Vincent de Paul, and The Salvation Army – Metro Phoenix, to name a few.

Afterall, just because we’re stuck inside, doesn’t mean we can’t give back.