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Goff 11.07.31 AM
Congrats to PPBH Account Supervisor Geoff Dupaix on joining the 5-year club!

Contributed by Jane Putnam

Geoff is a stand-up guy we’re lucky to have on the PPBH team and even luckier to have as a friend. Chances are, you have interacted with him or are now using one of the many new roadways he’s helped communicate about. Have you driven the new I-15 in Utah County? What about Pioneer Crossing in American Fork? Geoff has been a part of both of those teams (and many other teams), tasked with effectively communicating construction impacts, changes to traffic patterns and other important information the motoring public and nearby residents need to know.

Newspaper columnist Joseph Walker, author of the weekly column “ValueSpeak”, noticed Geoff’s strong work ethic and how Geoff never, ever said “it’s not my job,” and wrote this column about him, published in 2010. Mr. Walker describes Geoff’s attitude, work ethic and everything  we love about working with Geoff, to a “t.”

Let’s be very clear about this right up front: it was not Geoff’s job to remove that dirt.

It was his job to take the complaint and to notify others of the constituent’s legitimate concern. And he did so. Several times. Each time with increasing urgency.

But it wasn’t his job to actually remove the dirt from the elderly woman’s driveway. There’s no doubt about that.  He wasn’t part of the construction crew that left it there. In fact, he wasn’t part of a crew at all. In the blue collar world of road construction, his collar was decidedly white. It would probably be a violation of some union rule or regulation for him to move anything anywhere. And the last thing he needed at this point in his career was trouble with some union boss somewhere.

And it wasn’t as if he hadn’t already done a ton of stuff for this woman. He heard from her often, and he always responded. Even when she threatened to chain herself to a sign. Or a tree. Or whatever it was that she threatened to chain herself to. Geoff always responded patiently. Kindly. Graciously. That was his job.

Even if moving dirt wasn’t.

But this time his efforts to address the woman’s concerns were unsuccessful. He tried going through channels but never got anywhere. Everyone was too busy or too apathetic or too unwilling to accept responsibility. None of which mattered to the woman. She just wanted that pile of dirt removed from her driveway before the snow fell.

And according to the TV weather person, snow was on its way. That night.

Geoff made one last attempt to get the people responsible for creating the dirt pile to move it. “We’ll get to it – eventually,” he was told.  “But we’re awfully busy tonight. There’s a storm blowing in.”

“I know,” Geoff said. “That’s the point. We need to get that pile of dirt off her driveway before the storm hits. She can’t shovel her driveway if that dirt is still there.”

“We’ve got other priorities. We’ll get to it if we can.”

Geoff understood that tone. He’d heard it before. It meant: “She’s on her own.”

And to Geoff, that was unacceptable. This wasn’t about turf or responsibility or job descriptions. This was about a frustrated older woman who might get stuck in her driveway if somebody didn’t come move the pile of dirt. So he grabbed a truck from the motor pool and had his wife bring his shovel and broom down to the office. At the same time as everyone else in the office was going home, Geoff hopped in the truck and drove 25 miles to the woman’s house. As the first squalls of the first winter storm of the season billowed around him, Geoff shoveled the dirt pile into the back of the pickup, swept the last of the dirt off the woman’s driveway and hauled the dirt back to another project that he knew could use the material.

And yes, he sweated a little under that white collar – swirling snow notwithstanding.

In a perfect world, the woman would have seen him working outside her home and come out to thank him and warm him with hot chocolate. Or the workers would have finally showed up and helped him finish the project, apologizing profusely. But she didn’t, and they didn’t. As far as I know, neither the woman nor the workers even know what Geoff did. But Geoff knows. And now, you do too. I wanted you to know because as far as I’m concerned, the world is a little better place every time one of us sees a personal, human need and addresses it in a personal, human way.

Even if it isn’t our job.

Thanks for all you do, Geoff! Here’s to many more years on the PPBH team!
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Aereo Debuts
Image via aereo.com

Got your Aereo yet? Today marks the Salt Lake City-area debut of the controversial online television service called Aereo. Starting today, you need neither a cable subscription nor even an antenna to watch local broadcast television. And you can watch your live local Fox 13 or Channel 2 news broadcast from the comfort of your laptop, or iOS device (Android service coming soon). It also comes with a DVR service of up to 20 hours of recording time. Pay $4 more than the basic $8 per month service and you can get 60 hours of DVR space.

Aereo works by taking existing over-the-air broadcast signals and compressing them into data packets accessible through the internet. This summer the company scored a legal victory against network broadcasters who claimed Aereo was a blatant case of copyright infringement.

I’ve been testing the service for the last few days and I’m still not sure who this service is for. I love that I can watch live or recorded shows on my iPad or iPhone, something my current Comcast subscription does not allow me to do. But I also watch a lot of cable network programming and by its nature, Aereo is limited to only local broadcast stations. The video quality is great and it adjusts according to how robust your broadband connection is, but I did have instances of the programming pausing and kicking me off, forcing me to relaunch the service and again find the program I was watching.

Next to Milwaukee, Houston and Minneapolis, the Salt Lake DMA has one of the highest percentages of television households that are over-the-air (17.1 percent). Combined with its low cable penetration, young median age and highly educated population, Salt Lake might be Aereo’s most critical test market to evaluate if the service fills a real market need. Will young cord-cutting households sign up in droves? Or will they continue to avoid a cable bill through other means, like Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and the broadcasters’ own streaming services? I don’t see older over-the-air households signing up for this since Aereo is not currently available to stream through any TV device (currently only via Apple TV or Roku, but it will be coming for select internet-enabled TV sets). The television is still the dominant screen for most households, especially older ones.

Aereo is offering the first month free, so test it out and let us know what you think.

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PPBH Fall Preview
Contributed by Becki Letham

September usually marks several beginnings. It’s the start of a new school year, football season and businesses return from their summer slumber to ramp up for a healthy 4th quarter of earnings. For broadcast networks, it’s the start of a new season of entertainment, where the odds are completely against them. Since last year was a disaster, there are a lot of new shows debuting. Here’s PPBH’s take on some of each network’s new comedies.

The Crazy Ones

CBS – The Crazy Ones

Simon Roberts (Robin Williams), an unorthodox genius with a big personality, heads an advertising agency that has some of the biggest clients in the world. By his side is his partner and daughter Sydney (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who is focused and ambitious but spends more time than she’d like baby-sitting her father. They work with a talented team that includes handsome Zach (James Wolk), neurotic art director Andrew (Hamish Linklater), and deceptively smart assistant Lauren (Amanda Setton) as — despite their eccentricities — they continue to take the advertising world by storm.

CBS has a slick production in this and with Robin Williams returning to TV and produced by David E. Kelly, what could go wrong?  Well, that depends on how much Robin Williams you can take in one sitting. But we think this one will make it past the one season mark.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

FOX –Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), a talented and carefree cop with the best arrest record, has never had to follow the rules too closely or work very hard. That changes when Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), a man with a lot to prove, becomes the new commanding officer of Brooklyn’s 99th precinct.

There hasn’t been a good cop comedy since Barney Miller. But this could be the best new comedy on the block this season. If this show can find its audience, men 18-30, with its silliness and college-type humor, it will probably make one season.

TheGoldbergs

ABC – The Goldbergs

In the 1980s, geeky 11-year-old Adam (Sean Giambrone) uses a video camera to document his family’s crazy life. His mother, Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey), is overprotective and lacks boundaries, while his dad (Jeff Garlin) has a hot temper and finds it difficult to parent without screaming. Rounding out the clan are Adam’s terrifying sister, Erica (Hayley Orrantia), 17; his older brother, Barry (Troy Gentile), who has middle-child syndrome; and the family’s beloved grandfather, Al “Pops” Solomon (George Segal). Pops is responsible for wild antics, including offering drinks to Barry and teaching Adam about the ways of love, which create more chaos in an already high-strung family.

Hurray, another comedy about a dysfunctional family.  And it’s set in the 80’s!  What could go wrong? Comedian Patton Oswalt narrates. We wish he was starring in it. But audiences will watch to feel better about their own family and get a little nostalgia for a time pop culture can’t let us forget. This one will make it to at least a second season.

Also on ABC, look for Super Fun Night, coming in October, with Rebel Wilson, as well as other ABC comedies, Trophy Wife and Back in the Game which will sputter out of the gate.

the-michael-j-fox-show-trailer-tv

NBC – The Michael J. Fox Show

When Mike Henry (Michael J. Fox) gets a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, he decides to put his news-anchor career on hold to focus on his health and family. After five years at home, Mike is growing restless. His family concocts a strategy with his former boss, Harris Green (Wendell Pierce), to get him working again: They’ll arrange for Mike to “run into” Green and come up with the plan himself, to return to work! With Mike back to juggling his work and home lives, things return to the way they were pre-diagnosis — but somehow better.

Another television veteran returning in a starring role.  This looks like a smart, funny and well produced program.  It will be around for at least a couple of seasons.

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Lagoon

Contributed by Jane Putnam

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: At PPBH we work hard, but we play hard too. Last Friday, we closed up shop and the entire PPBH team (plus our families) headed to Lagoon. It was a fun day of rides, water and of course, food. A big thanks to the partners for making this fun day happen. We’re already counting down until the 2014 Lagoon Day.

We were so busy having fun that we didn’t snap too many pictures, but here are a few to showcase the great day we had!

    Christie_Clark

    Lagoon_Day

    Lora_1

    Lora_2

    Lunchtime

    Lunctime_2

    Smart_Family_2

    Smart_Family-Lagoon

    Stryker_Family

     

     

     

 

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Thumb Up Sign

Contributed by Jane Putnam

Last month, Facebook rolled out its revamped Insights to all page managers. If you’ve used Facebook’s Insights before, you’ll be excited to see the new information and analytics now available. Now, the challenge is upon us as digital marketers and community managers to actually put these Insights to work in our favor—increasing reach, increasing engagement and supporting our ROI for these efforts.

So, with this new data and range of information, what does it all mean? My recommendation: take the time to comb through your page’s Insights and explore what’s now available. I’m really excited about the revamp across the board, and some of my favorite additions include:

How each post type performs. It’s a basic principle in the social media world that you need to cater your posts (including the type of posts and content of the post) to your specific community. The new Insights include a breakdown of the average reach of post types (status update, photo, link, video) as a whole, and the “virality” score of individual posts has now been fleshed out to include number of clicks and is now known as an “engagement rank.” Use this information to your advantage—measure the success of your posts and cater to those successes in future content.

Know when your fans are online. To help your post be seen (in addition to making sure the content rocks), the new Insights include a breakdown of your fan-base and the most popular times to be online. Social media isn’t a 9-5 gig, and your posts need to be put out there at the best times for your fans, not for your schedule. Use this data to help you to determine those “best times.”

Reach broken down by fans and non-fans. When a fan comments, likes or shares a post on your page, it often time appears in the news feed of their friends, who may or may not like your page. The new Insights include a breakdown of the engagement on each post by fans and non-fans. What type of content performs best with non-fans? Can you determine a conversion rate of new fans, from your content appearing in their timeline from a fan?

 

What other additions to the Page Insights are you most excited about? Tell me in the comments.

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mad-men-season-5-sezonul-5-wallpaper-4-peggy-joan 11.42.37 AM
Photograph: Frank Ockenfels/AMC/AMC

Contributed by Patty Clark

(Spoiler Alert: While I’m not actually talking about major plot points, I might give some things away about the characters in Mad Men. So if you haven’t watched, go watch it already!)

If you’ve ever even seen one episode of Mad Men, you’ll quickly learn that everyone on the show is a terrible human being, least of all someone you’d actually want to work with on a client-relationship basis. If anyone tries to tell you they’re just like Don Draper, then hide your wife and fire them. But Peggy Olson is one character I find myself constantly admiring. As a female copywriter myself, it’s no surprise. While she doesn’t fall in the category of saint, the barriers she breaks down and her thirst for great work makes her one of the few role models in the show. Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned from her.

Grow a Little
Peggy has by far the most dramatic transformation of any of the characters . She starts as a twerp of a secretary and grows into the talented right-hand man for Don Draper. When you first start out, you’re probably not going to be very awesome. That’s OK. Just don’t stay that way.

Take Advantage of Opportunities
Peggy is soon promoted from secretary to copywriter, a rare move for a woman of the time, all because someone saw a spark of talent in her. Ask for extra projects, stay late, speak up, but don’t be annoying about it.

Learn From Others
Don Draper remains the creative genius of the agency, even if he is a scumbag. Peggy is constantly following his lead, taking note of his process and then doing an even better job. Drop the cocky attitude and be a sponge for information and ideas.

Stand Up For Yourself
Because she’s a woman, Peggy has to constantly stand up for herself and her work. Don Draper takes her ideas and wins awards all without giving her any recognition. Now, I’m not saying that you get butt-hurt anytime someone takes one word from your original headline and doesn’t bow down to your genius. I’m saying take care of yourself and make sure you work in a healthy environment.

Be Personally Invested in Your Projects
When everyone goes home, Peggy is often the last person in the office, taking it upon herself to fix something that just isn’t quite right. Good enough isn’t good enough for Peggy, and it shouldn’t be for you either. Your cats and favorite show can wait. Put in the extra hours and take your projects to the next level.

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iStock_000019239213Large
There are a lot of books out there that claim to give insight to business and advertising. So how do you sort through all those books and find the ones that will really make an impact? It can be difficult, which is why I asked the PPBH Partners and Directors to tell me about their favorites.

Here are some of their tops picks. If you want to see more, check out Professional Books That Are Worth the Read: Part 1.

Orbiting the Giant Hairball – Gordon MacKenzie: What does a giant hairball have to do with business? MacKenzie uses his work experience to encourage readers to stay creative and not get stuck in a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems (the hairball). It is an entertaining read for anyone interested in business.

Outliers – Malcom Gladwell: Malcom Gladwell has three books on our list, largely because he pulls you in by making you rethink what you thought you knew. In this book, an outlier is someone who is extraordinarily successful and accomplished. Gladwell takes a look at all of the factors that create success and makes you think about how much outside forces actually contribute to it.

Responsive Web Design – Ethan Marcotte: You guessed it, this book was added to the list by our Interactive Director. Users don’t just have one screen, they have two, or three, or four, so why would you create designs that are only compatible with one size? Marcotte takes you through the technique and design that is needed to please the mulit-screen users of today, and the future.

Switch – Chip & Dan Heath: The Heath brothers take a look at change and how it happens. The subtitle of the book is How To Change When Change is Hard. It shows that successful changes follow a pattern, which you can use to continue making more hard changes.

The Brand Gap – Marty Neumeier: In this book, the author talks about bridging the gap between business strategy, design and brand building. It is a unique book that focuses on each side of the brand process equally. It’s easy to read and great if you are looking for some marketing insight.

Purple Cow – Seth Godin: In Purple Cow, Godin takes a look at alternative ways of advertising. He focuses on the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising and just making a great product. It is an interesting viewpoint that really gets your mind turning and helps you think outside of the box.

The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell: This was one of the first books I read for a college course. I expected it to be dull and was surprised when I found it interesting. It trys to explain the sociological changes that send things over the tipping point. It is another one of those books that gets your mind going and sheds light on something you may not have though of before.

Who Moved My Cheese – Dr. Spencer Johnson: Who Moved My Cheese is written allegorically, which makes it very interesting to read. The characters in the book scurry about, looking for cheese. Their reactions the to situations they are placed in, help to show you An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and Life (which is the book’s subtitle).

Writing with Precision: How to Write So That You Cannot Possibly Be Misunderstood – Jefferson D. Bates: No matter your profession, writing is a huge part of everyday life. I firmly believe that good writing can take you a long way. This book shows you how professional writers are able to write clearly and effectively.

So that’s it! Pick a book and start learning. Do you have input on any of the books we’ve listed or feel like we missed an important one? Let us know in the comments.

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