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Contributed by Jane Putnam

When it comes to reaching your target audience, there is an ever-increasing number of ways and media channels to do it through. When Twitter launched its Promoted Tweets service earlier this year, it caught PPBH’s eye as a new and very targeted way to reach key groups. In fact, the use of Promoted Tweets dovetailed nearly seamlessly with an overall online campaign for the Zero Fatalities program, which we have worked on since 2006. The online campaign, which included pre-roll on online videos and banner ads among other tactics, aimed to get people to view the “10-85 ECHO: A Texting Tragedy” video to educate them about the dangers (and illegalities) of texting while driving through the telling of a 19-year-old Utahn who learned the hard way.

By way of a quick background, Promoted Tweets are ordinary tweets purchased by advertisers (us, in this case) who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers. Promoted Tweets are clearly labeled  “Promoted” when an advertiser is paying for its placement on Twitter. In every other respect, Promoted Tweets act just like regular Tweets and can be retweeted, replied to, favorited and more.

Running from August to early October, the use of Promoted Tweets allowed us to reach an audience, which we were able to target geographically, that we had never reached before. Through the Zero Fatalities handle, @ZeroFatalities, we grew our followers by 1,100, garnered clicks and added to the number of video views. The campaign proved successful, as we met or exceeded the goals set out at the start of the campaign.

PPBH was one of the first advertisers in Utah—and among the first 600 nationwide—to deploy Promoted Tweets as part of an online campaign. It was a great mix of public relations (the content providers and strategists), the advertising department (campaign strategists) and the media department (purchasing and monitoring the buy). In fact, the success of our first Promoted Tweets campaign has prompted us to put it to use for a second one. Want to learn more about the second campaign? Follow us @PennaPowers.

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I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to combine a message about safe holiday driving with turkey frying safety. But I think this is a message that every driver and deep-frying turkey enthusiast needs to hear. We’ll start with some tips from Zero Fatalities and finish with an important message from none other than William Shatner.

Safe Driving During the Winter Season
Utah is known for having the “greatest snow on earth,” but sometimes as a driver, that snow doesn’t seem so great. As we enter the winter months and prepare for snowstorms and other inclement weather, it’s important we’re all primed to be as safe as possible while driving. UDOT is doing its part to keep roads plowed with its fleet of 498 snowplow trucks and is getting ahead of storms—literally—with new technology to better manage snow maintenance.

Before you hit the roads this winter, keep in mind these important safe driving tips:

    • Allow extra time to reach your destination during inclement weather
    • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
    • Give snowplows plenty of room and don’t pass them until it is safe
    • Slow down (try using the mantra, “On ice and snow, take it slow”)
    • Always, always wear your seatbelt
    • Give the road your full attention

You can also take advantage of UDOT’s CommuterLink website to plan your trip before you go, view current road conditions and crashes, check weather conditions and get information on road closures.

Use caution when traveling on or around holidays. While you may be fully alert and focused on driving, other drivers on the road may be drowsy or impaired. Remember, alcohol is not the only thing that can impair your driving. Illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and even a lack of sleep can impair your ability to drive safely.

Together we can make this a Zero Fatalities holiday season.

Safe Frying for the Holidays
And now, for a message from William Shatner on how to safely fry a turkey, check out this article on his Epic Turkey Frying Safety Public Service Announcement in a recent edition of ADWEEK.

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Contributed by Lauren Soderberg

This year’s UDOT Annual Conference was a smashing success. Our presenters educated and entertained, our smoothies refreshed and our leis became legendary. We were able to meet new people and reconnect with others. The conference is a unique opportunity to network and socialize, and many PPBHers were able to attend and work at the booth. We appreciate all of those who stopped by and said hello, charged your phones/computers and shared in some smoothie goodness.

We’re already excited and planning for next year!

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Contributed by John Haynes

Not too long ago the Muppets were the deadest brand in Hollywood. Who wanted to see a group of analog puppets bouncing around the screen and forced awkwardly into some classic literary tale like Treasure Island or A Christmas Carol? But if there’s one lesson to be learned, it’s to never count the Muppets out. Their forthcoming movie has an original storyline (sorry, no Dickens tie-in here) just like in the good ol’ Rainbow Connection days. But the real buzz is being generated by their social media efforts. That’s right, the Muppets have embraced social media as naturally as if they were computer-generated avatars.

In fact, the Muppets have used social media so well that pundits are touting their campaign as the most sophisticated social media campaign of any previous studio release. Ever.

Here’s what we’ve seen so far:

Facebook: Their official Facebook page has generated more than 1.2 million fans. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Animal also have their own followings on their personal pages.

Twitter: More than 70,000 followers are keeping up with the Muppets’ every move on the official Muppets Studio Twitter account.

Mobile Apps: Tap Tap Muppets app is available on Apple’s iOS, the world’s most powerful platform. And, Muppet characters can be inserted into a special mobile app on Viddy.

Google+: Muppets are one of the first mega-brands to show up on Google+.

YouTube: As expected, music videos, movie trailers and even viral music videos are showing up on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

And while Saturday Night Live isn’t social media, joining Jason Segel during his monologue on the show certainly upped their “hip factor.”

I actually wasn’t going to go see the new movie, but as I conducted this research I couldn’t keep from smiling and laughing. I had some moments of reminiscing over my days in front of the TV watching the Muppets on Sesame Street. Maybe that’s the whole idea behind this social media campaign. I think I’ll change my mind and catch the movie during the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Cutting off a semi may cost you. The cost could be a ticket or your life.

This is the message of the annual Badge on Board campaign that kicked off this week in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev., to educate both passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers about safe driving behaviors and sharing the highways.

PPBH teamed with the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the Nevada Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Division for this year’s effort. Media events unveiled wrapped semitrailers that will be traveling along the enforcement zones carrying the safety message that passenger vehicle drivers need to give commercial motor vehicles room. Reporters and radio personalities will be riding and reporting this week from the wrapped big rigs.

Earlier this year, we teamed with the UDOT Motor Carrier Division and the Utah Highway Patrol for Utah’s inaugural Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) effort. In addition to Utah and Nevada, 15 additional states have active TACT programs.

Research from both states demonstrates crash rates are declining. As an agency, it’s rewarding to have the opportunity to work with these departments and support their efforts to keep our highways safe and, ultimately, help save lives.

We all need to do our part. Every time you’re behind the wheel remember to:

  • Stay out of a truck driver’s blind spots
  • Make safe lane changes
  • Keep a safe following distance – one car length for every 10 miles of travel
  • Yield the right of way
  • Always buckle up
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Contributed by Lauren Soderberg

Every year, PPBH has the privilege to man a booth at UDOT’s Engineering Conference. This year, our theme is simple: Recharge. Work can get busy, especially at this time of year. So come to our Tiki Lounge and enjoy soothing sounds and smoothies while recharging your computers and mobile devices between breakout sessions. And feel free to grab a cube of our famous PPBH Post-It notes while you’re at it.

Not only will we be manning the “chillest” booth at the conference, PPBH also has representatives who will be contributing to breakout sessions this year:

  • Mary Rice, Public/Media Relations Manager, will be presenting on Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 8:00-9:30 a.m. on “Finding the ‘News’ in a Project or Study.”
  • Mike Brian, Partner/Interactive Director, will also be presenting on Wednesday, from 10:00-10:50 a.m. on the “Six Keys to Success within Team UDOT.”
  • Dave Smith, Partner/Client Services Director, will be presenting on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 8:30-10:00 a.m. on “Implementing Public Research Findings on Your Project.”

Come one, come all to the 2011 UDOT Annual Conference. Please stop by our booth and say hello, and check out all of our presentations. You won’t be disappointed.

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With the passing of Web 1.o, marketing people hoped that the business world has moved past the era of young technologists convincing seasoned marketing directors that flaming cauldrons would really attract people to their website. But look around the Internet and you’ll see it isn’t so. In fact, some of these young code slingers have redefined Web 2.0 as “taking the cauldrons to a new level – flame throwers baby!”

In reality, if you want your website to work – make it right, not wild. Don’t assume that you have to push the edge in technological gadgetry. Instead, push it to the edge by harmonizing your content and leveraging the research your marketing department is cultivating into valuable and productive content. Make your website what your customers want it to be, not what you think it should be. Listen to what your customers are saying and learn to interpret your analytics to create a technologically transparent experience for your customers.

Remember, unless your website is an amusement park or an online game – don’t make it look or act like one. Take it seriously and it will prove its value.

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Each day at PPBH we get the opportunity to work with our clients to develop and implement communications campaigns that increase awareness, change behavior and modify perceptions. In addition to the reward of supporting our clients in achieving their business and communication goals, each fall we rally the troops and begin drafting nominations to enter the work in the annual Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Golden Spike Awards.

Different from most award programs, measureable results are the key criteria that distinguish a Golden Spike winning entry from the pack. In this year’s competition 87 entries were submitted from agencies, organizations, associations, institutions and corporations around our state. Judges from the Indiana Chapter of PRSA evaluated the entries.

PPBH, in partnership with our clients, is celebrating winning the following:

GOLDEN SPIKE AWARDS

Boost ’til 8: Kyle’s Story – UDOT and the Utah Department of Public Safety teamed with PPBH to create an educational video about the importance of using booster seats for children under eight. Highlighting how one family’s daily routine has been changed as a result of not using a booster seat, the video is a cautionary example for parents.

Express Pass Education Campaign  – Allowing solo drivers to pay an adjustable fee based on congestion to use the remaining space in the under-utilized carpool lane was new to Utah. An integrated communication campaign successfully educated drivers about the concept and resulted in an audience that was eager for the Express Pass.

Pioneer Crossing DDI Public Education Campaign & Pioneer Crossing DDI Movie Theater Spot – UDOT authorized the Pioneer Crossing project to construct a new type of freeway interchange called a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). In order to build public confidence in the functionality and safety of the new DDI concept, a campaign that included public relations/public involvement/grassroots, interactive and paid media educated motorists about the DDI and how to navigate it.

Sam White Bridge Move – As part of the I-15 CORE project, UDOT moved the Sam White Bridge. It was the longest bridge to be moved by Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) in the Western Hemisphere. 

FINALIST AWARDS

Emergency 911 PSAs & Mobile Site – America’s emergency number “911” is known throughout the nation, even the world. However, this proved to be more of a problem when residents of Utah were calling for non-emergencies and delaying help for life-threatening situations. The Utah Department of Public Safety teamed with PPBH to create PSAs and a mobile website that gave easy access to non-emergency numbers. The ease of the one-touch call functionality made it straightforward to call directly from the mobile device.

Road Respect Campaign – UDOT and the Department of Public Safety teamed with PPBH to create Road Respect, an educational share-the-road program for cars and bikes in Utah. The campaign included a bike tour throughout the state to raise awareness of the message.

Stargate Squadron Holiday Card – For us, the annual ritual of sending good tidings and well wishes with a holiday card also presents an opportunity to demonstrate our creativity, showcase our multimedia digital capability, and highlight the personality of our team.

TACT Enforcement Period Campaign – Cutting off and tailgating semi-trucks on Utah’s highways is killing passenger vehicle drivers. To educate Utah drivers about safe driving behaviors in and around commercial motor vehicles,
UDOT and the Utah Highway Patrol teamed with PPBH and introduced the federal Ticketing Aggressive Cars & Trucks (TACT) program.

UDOT 2011 Strategic Direction & Performance Measures – The demands on Utah’s transportation system have never been greater, and meeting the stateʼs transportation needs is an ongoing challenge. To find ways to meet the challenge, UDOT focuses on its “Final Four” strategic goals: Take Care of What We Have, Make the System Work Better, Improve Safety and Increase Capacity. The Strategic Direction & Performance Measures document explains to state legislators how UDOT is continually focusing on those goals by highlighting achievements and performance trends.

The Golden Spike Awards program is sponsored by the Utah chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and the Utah Society for Healthcare Communication and Marketing (USHCAM).

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It’s no secret that tall men get all the love in our society. Studies show that tall men have greater success with the opposite sex. They get more replies on dating sites, have more physically attractive partners, have higher wages and are more likely to have children. Being tall is regarded almost synonymously with being wise, attractive, decisive and virile.

So if you’re a smaller company without the big enterprise bucks of your taller, entrenched rivals, how do you compensate?

It’s called retargeting (or remarketing if you don’t like targets). As digital media continues on its field-leveling war path, retargeting has become one of its most essential soldiers.

Retargeting is the ability to serve up relevant display (banner) advertising to people who have already visited your website or landing pages. By simply placing a small piece of code on your website, you can then have your message show up when visitors leave your site and travel elsewhere on the web.

By adding much-needed frequency to your online marketing, you can close a sale that might have been lost. You can be more efficient by marketing to people who match your customer profile. And you can appear much bigger and taller to your customer than you really are. It’s like wearing platform shoes without the embarrassment.

Full disclosure: By visiting this blog page, you might be a target of our very own retargeting (yes, we practice what we preach). See you soon!

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