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With 201 active construction zones on Utah’s roads in Summer 2011, UDOT proactively planned ongoing outreach to ensure the safety of work crews and Utah families throughout the construction season. To accomplish this goal, UDOT implemented its “Think Safety” program to reach out to elementary school-age children to drive home the message. In June, UDOT used a targeted media pitch to garner a leading 10 p.m. news story on Utah’s top-rated TV station about the program. The exclusive successfully communicated several key messages while providing a great visual and insight into what UDOT is doing to keep Utahns safe during road construction.


Target audiences: Motorists, children, families and the recreating public

Goal: Reduce the occurrence of safety incidents in construction zones

Strategy: Inform the public about the dangers of recreating and driving recklessly in work zones and persuade them to adopt specific safety behaviors around work zones

Measurable objectives:

  • Generate at least one news story on Utah’s top TV station, KSL
  • Get top key messages incorporated into story (See messaging below)


  • UDOT is reaching out to elementary schools in and near construction zones to educate children about the dangers of playing in or around construction with a “Think Safety” program
  • There are 201 active work zones this summer; be aware and plan ahead for delays, impacts, etc.
  • Adults are reminded to slow down, buckle up, adhere to construction signs and not recreate in work zones


Too often, organizations send a blanket press release to multiple news agencies, only to receive little or no coverage in return. Because the safety message was too important to be buried in the newscast or not picked up at all, we approached this pitch with an exclusive offer to one station. This unique approach was the best for this tactic because it delivered better coverage, generated stronger impressions and successfully communicated the program’s key messages than could have been done through a standard press release. In addition to the 10 p.m. broadcast news story, the story was also covered in the No. 2 daily newspaper and No. 1 news radio station.


This tactic successfully accomplished the goal of generating awareness of the Think Safety program and the active work zones throughout Utah. This tactic utilized existing tools and resources—the Think Safety program was already implemented in several schools and had received a tremendous response; active communication with residents and motorists near work zones was being done. The team used these resources to its favor to make for a better news story, with hard facts and statistics, plus children engaged to provide a great visual.


The media coverage exceeded initial expectations and accomplished the goal and objectives. The client deemed the effort a success and was extremely happy with the end result.


  • Generate at least one news story on Utah’s top TV station, KSL
    Result: One broadcast story in the A-block of the 10 p.m. news, plus a radio story on KSL Newsradio and an article in the No. 2 daily paper, The Deseret News
  • Get top three key messages incorporated into story
    Result: All key messages included in story

Other Notable Achievements:

  • More than 1,300 impressions on the Mountain View Corridor Facebook page
  • Incredible reach achieved:
    • 800,000+ daily hits to (Utah’s most-visited website)
    • 73,075 daily circulation in The Deseret News (plus 130,000 website hits)

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SunSmart is St. George’s effort to support sustainable solar energy throughout its communities and harness the power of one of its most abundant resources. The program provides residents the opportunity to supplement their energy consumption with solar power by purchasing solar units from the City’s solar farm, SunSmart. Residents get all the benefits of solar power without the hassle of paying for the installation and maintenance of panels on their homes. The program is the first of its kind in the nation and presented the opportunity to generate interest for the program while at the same time garnering support for the City of St. George and its partners. The public involvement effort included the development of an informative Web portal, media relations, a four-color newspaper insert as well as the management of multiple public events including a groundbreaking and an installation event with Utah’s Governor.

Aside from continuing to inform St. George residents through the portal, PPBH has worked with the City of St. George to obtain coverage for SunSmart from numerous news outlets including the Deseret News, The Spectrum, KSL, The Salt Lake Tribune and other local and special interest outlets.

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Saving Lives on Utah’s Roads.

The goal of the Zero Fatalities campaign, developed for the Utah Department of Transportation, is to save lives by raising awareness of the top five behaviors that are killing people on Utah’s roads. PPBH implements strategic partnerships, grassroots outreach tactics and emotional TV and radio spots to captivate drivers, instill the importance of driving safely and ultimately reduce traffic fatalities to the only number we can all live with — ZERO.

By the end of the campaign’s first year, drowsy driving fatalities were down 60 percent, aggressive driving fatalities dropped by 36 percent and 32 percent fewer deaths were blamed on lack of seat belt usage. Since then, overall awareness of the Zero Fatalities program has grown from 35 percent awareness in 2006 to 75 percent in 2009. In 2006, the campaign received one of the nation’s highest traffic safety award; the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Safety Leadership Award.


In 2008, Zero Fatalities received the only Emmy award in the Western US for its public service announcement. The campaign’s texting while driving video has been mentioned in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, the Today Show and was featured on Oprah January 2010.

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Local Credit Union Increases Loans by 65%.

Although Utah First was doing well cross selling to its existing members, it was progressively losing more members than it was gaining. Utah First came to PPBH in an effort to attract new members, stimulate loan growth and increase checking penetration. PPBH immediately went to work rebranding its campaign and working to inform bank customers that Utah First Credit Union provides everything one could want from a financial institution, with a higher level of service. We recommended that “Credit Union” be put back in the name and a new slogan be employed, “How Banking Should Be.” We also aimed the campaign at promoting products and rates with clear messaging through online ads, movie theater spots, interactive banners, social media ads and news and magazine ads.

Within the first month of the campaign, Utah First has seen an increase of 65 percent in new auto loans. Apart from helping Utah First significantly exceed its goals, the campaign is attracting new members and increasing awareness amid a competitive banking environment.

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Lets Keep Motorists in their Seats.

An estimated 50 percent of deaths and serious injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes could be reduced by consistent use of safety restraints. PPBH, in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Utah Department of Public Safety, has been successfully prompting public awareness and behavioral change for over a decade. The Click It or Ticket campaign targets all motorists and specifically focuses on males between ages 18 and 34 with advertising that during a two-week yearly seat belt enforcement period in Utah. The underlying message of the campaign both nationally and locally is that failing to buckle up day or night can cost you not only $45, but possibly your life. With comprehensive media placement including busses, Trax, bulletins, movie theater, radio, television, online and print ads, Click It or Ticket consistently generates positive results. After the 2009 campaign, there was a reported increase in nighttime seat belt usage for those between ages 18 and 30 from 84 percent to 92 percent. Since the campaign’s inception in 1999, overall seat belt usage in Utah has increased from 67.4 percent to 86.1 percent in 2009, and has continued to increase among drivers and front seat passengers.

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