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Contributed by Jane Putnam

PPBH, along with two of our clients, has been awarded three W3 Awards for PPBH-designed websites. The W3 Awards, now in their seventh year, honors creative excellence on the web and recognizes creative and marketing professionals behind the award-winning sites, videos and marketing programs.

This year, PPBH took home three awards:

Congrats to everyone involved with these projects!

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Left to Right: Becki, Charlotte, Shannon, Caitlin

New projects and new client wins have equaled a growing team at PPBH. Most recently, our media and public involvement departments welcomed three new hires and our busy partners are getting a long awaited helping hand from a new administrative assistant.

Becki Letham, media planning supervisor, joined PPBH after working at regional and national agencies for more than a decade where she was responsible for developing and negotiating integrated media plans encompassing broadcast, print, outdoor, online and promotions for healthcare, banking, technology and retail/packaged goods clients. An avid golfer, she is already being courted to play on several clients’ tournament teams. Tacos are the “must have” food if she were stranded on a desert island.

Charlotte Chen, account coordinator, will be working with both the PI and PR account teams supporting community and media outreach activities. She most recently completed an internship at Goodman Media International in New York. A true adventurist, her ideal way to spend time out of the office is attempting something she’s never done before. Her inspiration for this discovery spirit, Walt Disney’s famous words, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Shannon Ver Linden, administrative assistant, will support PPBH’s four partners with project management, scheduling and other tasks to support them in their individual responsibilities. She’s a fan of all things comedy, a job requirement prerequisite? We’re still not sure, but we do think this penchant will serve her well in balancing the calls of four partners.

Caitlin Barrett, public involvement coordinator, will work with the public involvement (PI) team to support community relations and other constituent activities for numerous transportation and construction projects. She joins PPBH from SocialTyze, a social media marketing and technology company. A history buff, Barrett has her sights set on exploring the United Kingdom and is an avid reader of Jane Austin novels.

Fantastic hires for team PPBH, these four are welcome additions our continuing quest to be superheroes for each of our clients.


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Now that the summer has passed us by and the Emmy awards handed out, we’re finally getting some new television content that isn’t entirely reality-based. So whether you’re a traditional, linear TV viewer or a DVR/VOD/Hulu cord-cutter, here’s the PPBH scoop on what might work and what won’t.

Winner: NBC has jumped the gun and already previewed its lineup. In fourth place among networks, it has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Judging by how its shows have performed thus far in the Salt Lake City market, it looks like Revolution will be the winner, already having hit an 11.4 household rating in its premiere. With The Voice as a lead-in, NBC will be strong on Monday nights, at least until CBS debuts its new season.

Loser: Fox’s The Mob Doctor is dead on arrival. With little promotional support and a very underwhelming debut last week, this show will be swimming with the fishes very soon. CBS’s Partners also looks to be cancel-ready. But who knows? The same was said of Mike & Molly and that’s been a solid hit for CBS.

Winner: The Mindy Project on Fox will be an average success in Salt Lake City, judging by how well similar shows have done in this market. If anyone’s a winner on Tuesday, it’s CBS with it’s ever-popular NCIS extravaganza followed by Vegas, the new Dennis Quaid show pitching cowboys vs. mobsters in the early days of Sin City.

Loser: The New Normal is already a loser in Salt Lake City, with KSL refusing to air it (even though CW is airing it on weekends – did you find it? No, neither did we). KSL is hoping that its track record of picking on shows that are already ripe for cancellation continues. They might be right again, as critics haven’t really taken to it, nor have any audiences in its initial airings.

Winner: ABC might have the most buzzed-about show in Nashville, which will premiere after its successful comedy block that includes Modern Family. Poor little CW might have another cult hit on its hands with Arrow, which is based on a comic book (what isn’t these days?).

Loser: NBC’s new comedy duo of Animal Practice and Guys with Kids won’t bowl anyone over with the laughs. The monkey might take Animal Practice farther than Guys with Kids, which has overacting, pathetic fathers thinking they’re funny just by wearing baby bjorns. Jimmy Fallon, you can do better.

Winner: This is easy—the best new popular show award will go to CBS’s Elementary. It has all the ingredients of a successful CBS show: it’s a procedural with the bad guy usually getting caught at the end, it has a quirky lead (e.g. Mentalist) that often tries wild and wacky investigative tactics that perplexes and frustrates the regular police people. Also look for ABC’s The Last Resort, which has a terrific pilot episode.But will it last as a week-to-week show?

Loser: Beauty and the Beast has received much critical scorn, but isn’t that the most important ingredient for being a successful show on the CW?

Winner: CBS will rule the night as it usually does. CSI:NY gives way to the new Made in Jersey, which no doubt will trade in on the popularity of annoying Jersey stereotypes for Friday ratings gold. As a Jersey native, I’m hoping this one will be the least offensive of the lovely Jersey-themed entertainment that’s preceded it.

Loser: NBC is dumping two comedies onto Friday night, Whitney and Community. Both will get terrible ratings and one will not deserve them (Community, which will probably have an entire episode parodying NBC’s move to Friday). Grimm will be going up against Fox’s Fringe. Why, we’re not sure.

Everyone’s a loser on Saturday night. And so are you, if you’re home watching television.

Winner: No new shows will break through here. But NBC’s Sunday Night Football is the hands-down winner. Locally, ABC’s Once Upon a Time seems to work on a counter-programming level, with families sitting down together for this one.

Loser: We’re betting ABC’s 666 Park Avenue won’t last. Horror TV on Sunday nights usually doesn’t work. And especially not against The Mentalist, a ratings juggernaut in Salt Lake, which has been moved from Thursday to Sunday.

So there you have it. Let us know what you’ll be watching and what you’ll be avoiding.

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Contributed by Jason Alleger

As of June 2012, 80 percent of American companies have a Facebook page. Most companies post one to two updates to their pages every day. Yet it is estimated that only 16 percent of their fanbase will actually see their posts.

Yes, that is correct, if a company has 1,000 Likes, only 160 people on average will ever see their updates. Facebook uses algorithms based on how often you log on, the number of friends you have and how many brands you Like to determine how often to show a company’s post.

We have had success using Facebook’s sponsored stories and promoted posts to amplify our messages. For example, for one of our clients we compared its reach during and post campaign. You’ll note we went from reaching around 100,000 people per day to around 600 people per day. 

Effect of running Facebook promoted posts versus organic

This client has approximately 2,600 Likes, which means with paid posts it reaches 38 times its fanbase, whereas organically it is only reaching less than a quarter of its fanbase.

As a word of caution, promoted posts and sponsored stories only work well with good content. To get the best results, you must marry these tactics with good quality content. If people do not interact with your promoted content, Facebook will charge you more for spamming your audience. Facebook’s newsfeed is built for conversations. If you want an ad, put it on the side bar.

Sponsored stories and promoted posts are excellent options for companies looking to boost the number of eyeballs and amount of engagement on a company’s post.


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Contributed by John Haynes

If you want to know where the market is headed, read all the requests for proposal (RFPs) that have been sent out so far this year. They seem to have a grasp on where things are going and are surprisingly similar. Here’s what the majority of RFPs were looking for in 2012:

Mobile Marketing. With more than 80 percent of the population carrying a mobile phone, prospective clients are looking for mobile solutions.

Social Marketing Integration. Clients want to know how to seamlessly integrate social media into their marketing efforts so they can use it to collect customer data.

Traditional Marketing Softens. Prospective clients expected overall online marketing budgets to grow and traditional marketing budgets to diminish.

Value is Key. New clients asked to add value to their product or service knowing that in order to get consumers to open their wallets they felt they had to be perceived as a good value for the money.

Getting that ROI. Everybody wants to know how to better measure their marketing investment, especially with the increased emphasis on digital branding and digital marketing.

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Contributed by Jane Putnam

As a new mom, I am into all things baby, and since coming back to work from maternity leave, I have found many similarities in the raising of my sweet little baby girl and the development and management of social media outreach for various clients.

Whether you’re just now developing your company’s social media outreach plan or have been managing the plan for a while now, consider these tips for success:

Do you research and implement best practices. Name the baby book, and I have likely read it. I wanted to know as much as possible before welcoming our bundle of joy, and I sought out as much exposure to other babies as possible so I could get ready for the “real thing.” Social media is no different. Just because you have your own personal Facebook page doesn’t mean you will be ready to manage the efforts and outreach for a brand. Do your research, learn from the experts, observe other brands, see what companies are getting the most engagement and how and really have your finger on the pulse before you dive in.

Social media never sleeps. I sometimes thought people were joking about the odd hours and long/late/early nights newborns kept. They weren’t. Social media is the same. Social media engagement and interaction doesn’t limit itself to the 9-to-5 workday. Set the management of your company’s social media up so that someone is always on call or available to monitor for comments, breaking news, etc. Just as you wouldn’t ignore a call from CNN in the wake of a disaster or breaking scandal at your company, don’t let social media fall by the wayside.

Be prepared to change things on the fly. Just when, as parents, you think you’ve got a schedule and so-called balance, baby decides to throw that out the window. With your company’s social media outreach, be prepared to find that sometimes, your tactics may not be working, or they may only work for so long. It’s not just being prepared to refresh tactics; pay attention to trends and happenings and make sure your brand is taking advantage of these. Monitor what appeals most to your audiences and make sure what you’re doing—whether it’s deals, giveaways, other postings, etc.—meshes with that.

The good thing is, just like resources and information for new parents is abundantly available, the same is true for taking the social media plunge. Take advantage of the experts, resources and case studies out there to make the most of your company or brand’s social media debut.

What other tips do you have for social media implementation and management? How did you baby your brand’s outreach?

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Unless you’re living in a cave or on a mountaintop, you have a pretty good idea that a lot of money is being spent on political campaigns and the presidential election this year. Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker is mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article, as she  “raised her original estimate on all political ad spending to $5.2 billion, up $300 million from a previous forecast, after spending in August on political ads on local TV stations jumped 77 percent from July” (this is compared to $4.2 billion in 2008).

So how does that compare to America’s top brands’ ad spend? In an article in Advertising Age by Elizabeth Wilner, Wilner compares total spending on TV advertsting in the 2012 elections with what some of the top brands are spending. Here are some interesting highlights from Wilner’s article.

 Overall political ad spending in 2012: $5.2 billion

  • 1 year of insurance ads: $3.3 billion
  • 6 months of car spots: $3.2 billion
  • 1 year of education ads: $2.9 billion
  • 1 year of P&G marketing: $2.9 billion

Burgers and fries: The top 10 restaurant advertisers spend an average of $330 million a month on media.

So it looks like Obama and Romney can keep up with the insurance, cars and burgers. It will be interesting to see how the advertising continues to carry out in the final weeks leading up to the November election.

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Eleven years ago today, I saw the World Trade Center on fire through my commuter train window. I was on the tail end of my 90-minute train ride from New Jersey and we were just about to descend under the Hudson River when we saw the smoke trailing off the top of the tower like a lit cigarette.

My fellow commuters and I were alarmed, but not hysterical. We made small talk with one another and surmised that some kind of Cessna plane had hit the tower. We naively threw out projections about the potential damage and how much it would cost to fix. We really had no imagination for what was to come.

When the train reached Penn Station in Mid-town, I made my way to the surface for my usual 15-block walk to work. At the time I was slaving away as a media planner at MindShare, the result of a recent merging of J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather’s media departments. It didn’t take long to hear reports of the second tower being hit by another airplane. It was a bizarre and solitary walk to work, the usual sounds of the street replaced with an eerie quiet marred only by the faint siren sounds of chaos happening downtown.

When I finally reach the office, I was met with shocked, crying faces watching it all unfold on TV screens in the lobby. There were no words, only sobs and gasps, probably the first and last time a bunch of New Yorkers would ever be speechless. I went to my desk and tried to work, even returning a few calls from media salespeople who had left me messages the day before. I didn’t know what else to do. Nobody else did either. We needed an email from HR to tell us that the office was closed and to leave the building. After all, we worked in a somewhat iconic skyscraper and didn’t know if these crazies were done crashing planes.

In days that followed, our society would become hyper-sensitive to violence of any kind. I worked on the Qwest account and had to cancel ads because they featured imagery like this:

Not surprisingly, the release date for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action terrorist movie, Collateral Damage, was pushed back, as were any other films and TV shows with violent images or scenes of mass destruction. After watching hours and hours of footage showing actual carnage and destruction, Americans no longer had the stomach to consume fictionalized violence. While I was busy removing any possibly offensive ads from the marketplace, others were taking out full-page advertisements calling for the entire destruction of the Muslim world. These were strange times.

In the 11 years since that tragedy, we are back to consuming fictionalized destruction like 2012 and The Dark Knight Rises while cooler heads have mostly prevailed regarding the Middle East. I collected all of the newspapers and news weeklies that came out in the days after 9/11 and by far the best cover was the one from The Economist. It said simply, “The day the world changed.” Indeed it did.

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Imagine advertising an oil company right in the midst of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Some may draw a parallel to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (LDS, or “Mormon”) move to advertise their faith in the playbill of The Book of Mormon musical, now in Los Angeles.

The move is both opportunistic and bold. Some may see it as a risky media buy, which targets the wrong audience. But, the best advertising takes some risks. Why not take advantage of the conversation already happening and use it to spark curiosity and further investigation?

The ads feature diverse, almost hip-looking Mormons with phrases such as, “The book is always better,” or, “I’ve read the book.” Part of a full-blown integrated campaign, the ads highlight the individuality and values of members of the church. With a Mormon presidential candidate and a Tony-Award-winning musical that is critical of LDS church beliefs and culture, these ads help give the Mormon church a voice in the national conversation taking place.

So will these ads inspire audiences to investigate the religion further and explore the gaps of information the musical left out? Or will it fuel even more tension as the church gets wrapped up in social and political issues? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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