Blog Archives

Contributed by Jane Putnam

Since we launched the PPBH blog more than a year ago, we’ve highlighted several PPBHers and some of the fun, fabulous things they do in their spare time. From juggling flames to playing the lead in a play, PPBH has all sorts of hobbies and skills under one roof. Without further ado, I’m pleased to introduce PPBH Interactive Specialist Jon Manning and his YouTube Channel, “The Burning Pan.” 

Jon, who heads our New York office, launched this year his very own web series, “The Burning Pan.” In these webisodes, Jon gives cooking lessons on great, healthy recipes and other tips for gardening and growing your own food. So why his own cooking show? We asked Jon this very question:

“I was watching a really well done video on how to MIG weld that someone had taken the time to shoot, edit and post on YouTube. I realized that while cat videos are awesome, there’s a huge potential to use sites like YouTube and Vimeo as a down-to-earth educational resource. I wanted to try to give back to fellow experimental kitchen do-gooders or people that might want to start cooking but might be  intimidated by the more elaborate & sophisticated recipes in traditional cooking shows. Plus, it’s a great outlet for testing random improvised recipes or ‘craft’ ideas that may or may not work in the end.”

Currently, two episodes are available on The Burning Pan YouTube Channel:

Episode 1: Tomato Triage (Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes)

Episode 2: How to Make a Wine Bottle Hydroponic Planter

Keep a look out for upcoming episodes on home coffee roasting, parsnip sushi and bread making.


So, what are you waiting for? Go visit Jon’s channel, subscribe to his episodes and let us know how the recipes and tips turn out.


We’ll continue to highlight PPBHers and their unique hobbies, skills and favorite pastimes in future posts. 

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At PPBH, we love to work hard and play even harder. This year we stuck with tradition and closed up shop early last Wednesday for the fifth annual PPBH ‘Bowlffet.’

What is the ‘Bowlffet’ you ask? Well… we take over FatCats in Salt Lake City, don our tackiest bowling shirts, strap on our shoes and gorge ourselves on pizza and breadsticks.

This year between gutter balls and strikes, we thoroughly enjoyed the pre-Thanksgiving carb load, music and some of us even busted a move (you know who you are). We also learned that some PPBHers are awesome bowlers, some could use a bit more practice and some should definitely keep their day jobs.

The ‘Bowlffet’ was a huge success and is definitely a PPBH tradition we hope to keep for years to come.


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Contributed by Jason Alleger

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” –John Wanamaker

One of the greatest dilemmas in advertising is knowing what is working. Attribution is often difficult because media hits people in so many directions they oftentimes can’t tell you what influenced their purchase decision.

One example we have seen is when we ran a large, online-only campaign for one of our clients. We spent thousands of dollars on a post-survey to measure brand recall and to see how people heard about it. What did everyone say? Television.

Measuring attribution can be difficult.

Media influences what you think about, not what you think. Typically a person needs to see/hear a message between four and 20 times before they will start to think about your product.

Your product in mind (and assuming this person is your target audience), that person may talk about it with a friend or search for it online. It is shortsighted to attribute all of your leads to word-of-mouth or Google. It is also shortsighted to stake everything on a survey, because customers will always say they saw it on TV.

The solution to avoiding wasted ad dollars is to do your research ahead of time. At PPBH, we layer in qualitative data onto our TV and radio campaigns. For example, if we are targeting truckers, we won’t only place media on radio stations that index well with men ages 25-64. Using Scarborough data, we will place media on stations that truck drivers listen to. This reduces wasted impressions and increases the efficiency of a media placement.

Another remedy to properly attribute sales is to track everything. We oftentimes will set up a specific phone number for print, television or radio so we can see what calls came from each media type. With websites, you can set up a specific landing page (e.g., instead of telling customers to visit, tell them to visit For online ads, we use a URL builder to track the source of each website visit from our banner ads. You can also measure the increase in direct visits to a website during a campaign flight to see the brand lift.

Ensuring media delivery is a tedious process, but must be done. For example, one cannot assume the television station ran all of your spots exactly as you ordered. You should receive weekly or monthly reports and compare it to what you originally purchased (and ensure all GRPs were delivered). Using an ad server for online ads helps keep publishers honest with delivering the impressions you ordered. Always perform a post-analysis report to see which media delivered what they promised, and use that as your starting platform for the next campaign.

Properly attributing leads can be difficult, but not impossible. Do your research ahead of time, set up tracking and measure your results.


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A year of strategic brainstorming, campaign planning, tactical implementation and painstaking monitoring of results culminated in more than 100 communications pros gathering at Rio Tinto Stadium eagerly awaiting the announcement of who would take home the gold—the Golden Spike Award, that is.

Dozens of Utah agencies, organizations, associations, institutions of higher education and corporations enter their work in the annual best practice award competition sponsored by the Greater Salt Lake and Utah Valley Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) organizations. Different from most award programs, increasing awareness, changing behavior and modifying perceptions are the key criteria that distinguish a Golden Spike winning entry from the pack. And to ensure a critical judging eye, the entries are judged out of state.

PPBH, in partnership with our clients, celebrated earning first place gold for:

More entries earning finalist awards:

The easiest won accolades that night, the door prizes. Continuing our winning streak, we had a stroke of luck and had the “lucky” tables of the night that clean up there too!

All in all, it was a great night of celebrating and in this month of being thankful, a reminder of how privileged we are to team with smart, strategic clients whose programs and campaigns are making a difference locally and globally. From helping to improve safety and increase mobility to delivering the products and services that enhance our way of life, it’s rewarding to do work that makes a positive difference. Cheers to all!



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Contributed by Patty Clark

Halloween is over, but I still have zombies on my mind. Blame it on The Walking Dead or maybe the foretold Mayan apocalypse, but it turns out that zombies are useful for more than just entertainment. Now they can help you get a free grammar check.

Thanks to tweeter @johnsonr, you can now use zombies to distinguish between active and passive voice.

A quick lesson in passive voice.

In a sentence like “A zombie ate Steve,” a zombie is the subject performing an action. This makes it active voice. However in this sentence: “Steve was eaten,” you aren’t sure who ate Steve. Resurrected mummies or cannibals could have eaten him. The subject, Steve, is being acted upon rather than acting, making it passive voice.

Passive voice isn’t necessarily incorrect. It’s just less clear. But sometimes that’s the effect you want.

People often quote Ronald Reagan for his famous use of passive voice: “Mistakes were made.” This political quote’s vagueness shows that he was trying to hide the actor. Rather than saying “I made mistakes” or “Congress made mistakes,” Reagan intentionally left the actor out to avoid pointing a finger.

However, when I write for advertising, I try to stick with active voice because it often eliminates wordiness and confusion.

So, how exactly can zombies help in this situation? Simple. Here’s the tweet.

So let’s test it on the sentences we talked about above.

Steve was eaten by zombies. Passive voice!

Mistakes were made by zombies. Passive voice!

Zombies ate by zombies Steve. Doesn’t work. Therefore it’s active voice.

I made by zombies mistakes. Doesn’t work either. You get the point.


I hope this grammar check will help you identify and kill any unwanted passive sentences. As for zombies, aim for the head.

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Contributed by Jane Putnam

Several times in my life, I’ve had the best intentions to do something, but the end result leaves something to be desired. I think immediately of a scarf I was determined to make. I followed most of the instructions, but in the end, what I missed along the way ended up being pretty crucial to making the scarf wearable or at least decent looking. Needless to say, that failed scarf project is buried in the back of some closet in my house.

While it’s a shame my scarf will never see the light of day, it doesn’t really affect my life one way or another. However, when it comes to marketing and communications, failed results will negatively affect your product, company, and brand. We see these all too often in marketing. Make sure your best intended efforts – and budget – don’t fall victim to failed results.

Potential epic fails, in no particular order, include:

1. The Wrong URL. You know that campaign-specific landing page you built (and probably spent a decent amount of time and portion of your marketing budget to create)? Well, the wrong URL gets nobody there, and that means nobody will see it.

2. The Broken Link. “404 Page not found.” Ugh. As a marketer, probably one of the worst messages your customer or potential customer can get.

3. The Nonexistent Hashtag. You’ve seen this at conferences, in webinars or as part of overall campaigns where the brand or company encourages you to use #SpecificHashtag in all of your tweets, but when you search in Twitter for that hashtag, you find #nothing. If you’re asking people to use your hashtag, it’s a good idea to start it off with a few pre-populated tweets with said hashtag in there.

4. The One-Digit-Off Phone Number. Always, always, always (always) test numbers on any collateral or website before the piece is distibuted or the site goes live. If you’re like me, you’ll call multiple times just to be sure it’s right. Make sure it goes to the right place, and while you’re at it, make sure the person answering is aware of the influx of calls they should be receiving from your hopefully wildly successful marketing efforts—and that they know what to do/how to respond to these calls.

5. The Typo. Proffread, profread,proofread. Always get an extra set of eyes, too. Never hurts to get a fresh set of peepers on that text—before that typo makes its debut in front of hundreds, thousands… or even millions…

Here’s to your best intentions—and best results.

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Just back from a conference in LA where some of the top communication minds and major brand Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) forecasted what’s next on the marketing horizon. I returned buoyed about what we’re doing well and inspired to take on the next.

A snapshot of some of the gems from attended sessions (when I wasn’t out surfing the big waves on LA’s beaches):

“The pace of change is only accelerating.” – Christian Juhl, Razorfish president

“Agencies need to create brand behavior for the modern world.” – Laurie Coots, TBWA/Chiat/Day, worldwide CMO

“Entertain first. Advertise second.” – Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal, Rhett & Link cofounders

“Today’s forward-thinking agencies define creativity as well-conceived and well-crafted ideas executed not just in paid, but in earned and owned media channels.” – Tim Williams, Ignition Consulting, managing director


So, what do all these insights mean for agencies and their clients? The old brand model is quickly on its way out the door, if the door hasn’t already closed, to be replaced by the new model that aligns with a changed consumer personality. For example: 

Old Brands New Brands
Broadcast “push” model
Create a sale
Educate and relate
Peer-to-peer engagement model
Create a customer relationship


My takeaway? Communication done in a silo equals an epic fail. Consumers are savvy and have the expectation of a brand relationship. To get to this point means ‘all hands on deck’ at an agency. Every discipline—advertising, PR, digital, and media—needs to be involved from the beginning “a-ha” strategy creation and stay involved at every step.

The greatest thing about this changing paradigm: we’re never bored.

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Contributed by Jane Putnam

Just when you thought election season was over, we’re here asking you for MORE votes. This time around, it’s all in fun and for the recognition of some very deserving people… without further ado, PPBH is proud to announce that two of our fabulous team members have been named as finalists in the AAF-Utah’s Rockie Awards (industry awards recognizing the top people in their categories—the gritty, unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes that make up our business). Congrats to all 30 finalists!

A special congrats to Traci Houghton, PPBH finance director, and Stephanie Miller, PPBH public relations director, for being named finalists in the office support and public relations categories.

So, now we need you to go vote for these fabulous candidates. It’s simple:

1. Before you can vote, you must first login to Facebook and ‘like’ the AAF-Utah page.

2. Once you have ‘liked’ the page (or if you already ‘like’ it), you can now vote! You can vote once per category:

* Traci Houghton, office support category (sixth category)

* Stephanie Miller, public relations category (eighth category)


Voting ends next Friday, Nov. 16, so be sure to get your votes in!


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While I may not have fully embraced this election season, I at least gave it an awkward side hug. I watched parts of the debates, read articles, asked questions at social gatherings and even attended my first community meeting as an actual community member—not for work.

And now that it’s all over, I can say that there are a lot of things I won’t miss about it. Here are a few:

1. Unidentified calls to my cell phone from candidates’ voice recordings.

2. Oversimplified descriptions of why I should vote for people.

This quote from the TV show The Middle says it well, “Hey you told me to get informed but this is, like, way harder than I thought it was going to be. Seriously. Sherriff? How do you pick? I like this guy because he’s serious about crime but this other guy is gonna get tough on crime.”

3. Morning runs through my neighborhood full of alternating “Vote No” and “Vote Yes” yard signs.

4. Trying to get the oversized political post cards out of my mailbox.

5. Political billboards on I-15.


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Contributed by Patty Clark

Tuesday night, a momentous occasion happened.

No, I’m not talking about the president getting re-elected. I’m talking about the president’s Twitter account. After tweeting a picture of Barack and Michelle embracing in celebration, the picture was retweeted a record-breaking 690,000 times.


The last tweet to have gotten so many retweets was one from Justin Bieber, at over 223,000 retweets. Congratulations to President Obama for breaking the Bieber record.

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