Beck cultivates team-building

Praisery developing savvy communications, marketing strategies

Like all praiseries, Beck Media promises to help grow its clients’ businesses by developing savvy communications and marketing strategies.

But the staffers at the indie firm make a point of working hard to nurture organic campaigns of an entirely different sort — with edible results. In the courtyard plaza of the company’s offices in an industrial sector of Santa Monica lies a vegetable garden that is cultivated by Beck Media staffers.

Company founder Todd Beck said the impetus for the garden came two years ago when the company moved to new office space in a building owned by showbiz maverick Stephen Chao, a friend of Beck’s.

“The new building had a very green, jungle-like courtyard,” Beck says. “Stephen Chao loved the idea of urban farming and gave us free rein to do whatever we wanted with the outdoor space.”

So, with a bit of sweat, “bushwhacking” and “truckloads of soil,” veggie crops began to spread their roots in the garden’s soil while Beck Media settled into its new digs. Beck quips that the building’s other occupants were “relieved we didn’t go with the other option, which was to raise bees and produce agency-branded honey.”

Since Beck Media Farms’ inception, the produce has become a mainstay at the company.

“It has actually been a great team-building opportunity for the agency,” Beck says. “We mostly work on it before or after the workday, though sometimes I can be found listening in on a conference call via wireless headset while untangling tomato vines or pruning our giant yellow squash.”

Garden work is voluntary, Beck assures, “but everyone contributes in one way or another whether it’s planting, pruning, watering or cooking the vegetables.”

Beck himself sees parallels between farming and building creative campaigns for clients. “Both call for vision, planning, tools, timing and meticulous attention to details from start to finish,” he says.

Beck Media Farm veggies are slowly making inroads with bizzers. HBO comedy exec Amy Gravitt preps dishes with the farm’s squash and has asked to pick vegetables from the garden on her way home from work. Beck also says bringing fresh produce to a fete at producer Charlie Ebersol’s home was “well-received.”

“Most people show up to a party with a bottle of wine — we bring tomatoes, onions and peppers,” he says.

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