Blog Archives

HR Pet Peeves

Contributed by Traci Houghton

Since we are on the topic of spring cleaning here at PPBH, and graduation is right around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about cleaning up your professional content before you start the job hunt. As HR Manager, I have compiled some of my biggest pet peeves in hopes that they will help all of you job seekers out there get past the first gate:

Get rid of unprofessional photos on your professional profiles – You wouldn’t believe how many inappropriate and unappealing photos people use on their profiles. If you are going to use a photo for your professional networks (Google+, LinkedIn, etc.), use a business appropriate photo. Don’t use one of you and your friends, your dog, or a selfie.

Spell check/grammar check – This is especially important for your resume, cover letter and references. Finding a typo in someone’s correspondence tells me that they don’t check their work and they’re not careful.

Don’t use a template form letter – If you are sending out multiple resumes, chances are you’ll get someone’s name or a company name wrong. We’re all about communication here, so when a cover letter comes in with a competitor’s name in it, I hit delete.

Be creative – Especially when you’re applying for a job at an agency like ours, and even more importantly if you don’t have a ton of experience, you’ll either need to be creative in your cover letter to grab our attention or give us a reason why your past experiences will help you excel at an ad agency.

Clean up your social media sites – If your site is viewable to the public and potential employers, venture out to take a look. You should be wary of what a potential employer might find. Facebook not only tells the viewer about who you are, but a lot can be said about what kind of photos you upload and share. Check out these tips on how to quickly and effectively clean up your social media.

Do your research – If you’re just looking for a job at an ad agency because you think it will be fun, do a little more research about what “discipline” or area of advertising you’d like to be in. Most of the jobs in an ad agency require college degrees or specialized training like mass communications, design, digital development, public relations, journalism, etc. If you don’t know where you’ll fit inside an agency, then it probably won’t be very fun to work there.

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Utah Business
Each year I’m invited participate with Utah Business in a roundtable to discuss the ever-changing world of marketing. The roundtable is made up of around 20 folks that manage Utah’s advertising PR, digital, SEO and media firms, as well as marketing directors from some of Utah’s leading companies. It’s a great way discuss trends, triumphs and predictions.

Key topics that dominated the discussion year:

How Quickly our Industry is Moving. We’re changing from ad agencies, PR and interactive shops into content curators, producers and optimizers.

Cutting Through the Clutter with New Media. It is so important to understand the conversation going on around your brand and the best way to take part in the conversation.

The Perfect Blend. There is still a place for traditional media channels and, of course, a solid business case for blending in the new. Marketers expect their partners to have expertise in both to recommend the best mix needed to reach their target audience in the most effective way.

What’s Next After Facebook? With the success of Pinterest and the upsurge of Instagram, it is imperative to be aware of not only the next big social media channel, but also the best applications for a brand.

More on these topics in the full article.

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TwitterEverything needs a little organizing every once in a while and why should your social media be any different? Your pages and profiles are constantly out in the open for everyone to see, in many ways, they represent you and your voice to the masses. So whether it’s your personal page or business page, do a little clean up to make sure that only the right people are seeing your posts and that your social media past reflects who you want to be.

Here are some quick tips to help you clean up your social media:

Remove content that conveys the wrong message – First things first, what does your content say about you? If it says “Hey! I partied in college!” it’s probably time to clean it up a little bit. Go through your timeline, Tweets and posts and make sure that your content tells your followers who you are. This could mean getting rid of low quality photos, posts with old or wrong messaging, or any content that no longer reflects your company or personality.

Control who sees your information – It is important to have friends and followers, especially for your business’ social media channels, but if the followers are just numbers, they aren’t of much use to you. Take time to go through your list and make sure that the people there are benefiting your page or will benefit from seeing you on their wall. You don’t want to be sending out information to fake or empty followers. As for your personal page, make sure you’re not sharing personal information with people you don’t know.

Update your information – When is the last time you checked your About You section? It can be easy to forget about this part of your social media pages. Make sure that your website, phone number and About You sections are updated, especially if it is your company page. And if you don’t want all of that information showing, make sure to check your privacy settings.

As important as it is to clean up your social media, it can be a pain to do. Here are a few tools that you can try out to help you keep your social media organized:

AJAX Social Wipes

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Hello. My name is Stephanie and I’m an unashamed organize-aholic.

Alphabetized spices, organized car trunk, shoes lined up heel to toe by heel height, and a color-coordinated closet takes me to that place of Zen. So, when we kicked off our spring cleaning theme for the blog this month I couldn’t contain my excitement to share a few items in the workplace that can always benefit from some attention, cleaning and organizing.

Freshen up that contact list. Take stock of your business, media, and influencer contacts. In addition to updating the essential mobile and email info, add Twitter handles, birthdays and other personal contact notes. While you’re at it, send a thank you note or two to share with those in your network how important they are to you.

Make the most of your calendar—get insights about the people you’re meeting with ahead of time…and for free. This month, the Refresh app launched, a time-saving and networking savvy app that presents dossier-format information on the people you’ll be meeting with. It aggregates information you have collected and combines it with searchable information/data online.

Update crisis plans. Spring is a great time to open up your crisis plan(s). Update the people in your command chain, update your crisis scenarios and holding statements to your current and forecasted situation, and make sure that all your traditional and social communication and monitoring technologies and teams are standing ready.

Clean the clutter. It’s surprising how much clearing the clutter from your workspace can also clear the cobwebs and give you a fresh new outlook for all your planning, writing, budgeting, etc.

And for those of you that share my penchant for accuracy and order, I am guessing you too are counting down to the Container Store opening this fall. If you see me roaming the aisles, I hope you’ll say hello and share a tip or two.

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Contributed by Jane Putnam

The same philosophy of “out with the old, in with the new” that you may be using at your home during spring cleaning is the same philosophy that you should be using with your strategies and tactical planning and execution.

What does this mean? It means to take a step away from all of the busy-ness and take a good look at what’s working, what’s not and what new tools, technologies and approaches are out there that you should incorporate into what you’re doing. This doesn’t mean to toss something to the side because it’s “old” or has been in use for quite some time; rather, it’s an audit of sorts. Think of email marketing. You’ve probably used this for years, but does that mean it should be nixed from your list? Absolutely not! Use the spring-cleaning spirit to make, audit, or examine, what tools, tactics and strategies you’re using.

When approaching your spring-cleaning audit, focus on results, innovation and relativity.

Results: Are you getting results from this tactic/tool/strategy? Are the results what your leadership team expects? Can you modify or adjust the current tactic/tool/strategy to deliver better results? If yes, how?

Innovation: Never use something “new” or “cool” for the sake of using it. Make sure it ties into your bottom line or goals. That said, take this time to look for new tools, technologies and approaches that fit in with what you’re trying to do, that can take it to the next level, perhaps in stronger results or to help you achieve your goals.

Relativity: This ties into the innovation point, but I feel it needs repeating. Never implement something new just because it’s cool or new or fresh. You always, always must make sure it supports what you’re trying to do, and most importantly, that it makes sense! It’s all relative to your target audiences, goals, company, product, etc.

Use this spring-cleaning spirit to set the tone for the rest of the year. Best of luck!

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Punky Brewster

Image from

Digital advertising has been around since Punky Brewster was on TV. However, after meeting the show’s star at AdTech 2014, there has been a lot that has changed. Here are some facts* to preface this article. According to eMarketer:

  • 44% of all media time is spent online
  • Social media currently accounts for 13% of the total digital ad spending
  • 73% of US publishers offer native advertising on their site
  • 64% of digital display advertising can be purchased programmatically
  • 488% growth of daily time spent with mobile (2010 – 2013)

What changes do we foresee in digital advertising? Let’s break down each one of these facts into how it will shape the digital landscape in 2014.

Social media is leading the way to native advertising. Last year, there was an explosion of promoting organic content through social media beyond using the social platform itself. For example, Twitter started offering retargeted tweets. Now the big ad exchanges are starting to offer native tie-ins with your content. Instead of running banner ads, you can run what looks like a news story on a news site. As of the writing of this article, 73% of all US publishers are offering native placements on their site (eMarketer).

Programmatic buying is changing online media buys. There are literally thousands of ad networks and everything is still very manual. Programmatic buying is using technology to identify, purchase and deliver a campaign with limited human intervention. It’s becoming automated. Almost always, it will reduce CPAs and increase efficiencies. What does that mean for publishers? It means that your CPMs will not be set by you – but rather by algorithms. Similarly, what does this mean for advertisers? It means that ads will need to be dynamically tailored for each programmatic placement.

Mobile is very different from online. In fact, it should not even be classified as ‘digital.’ It should be planned, set-up and measured as its own entity. Mobile advertising will begin to be focused around natural breaks in a users’ experience. For example, if you are playing a mobile game where you virtually roll dice, instead of interrupting the user experience with an ad before their score loads, an ad could be dynamically tailored to say “Nice Rolling!” and have the brand message along with it. Various case studies have shown this has a 10x increase in engagement and higher brand favorability (AppSavvy).

Bonus! TV budgets will be shifting toward online video. Most agencies are already planning TV and video campaigns holistically. This change is because although TV viewership is still high, its reach is diminishing. According to Nielsen, the same buy in 2013 received a 5% lower reach than in 2009. In fact, transitioning 15% of a television budget to online will typically lead to a 3-6% increase in reach.

By 2016 mobile advertising spend is estimated to overtake desktop advertising.

By 2018 digital advertising spend is estimated to overtake television advertising.

Although digital marketing is on the rise, you are only as good as the content you create. Like P. Diddy mused in his keynote address, “We don’t follow the conversation; we make the conversation.”

Are you creating a worthwhile conversation in the digital sphere? If not, we’d be happy to help.

*Many of these figures were taken from presentations at AdTech San Francisco in 2014.

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Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have a few things we could get rid of, organize or just clean up this spring. Maybe it’s that weird collection of ceramic elves your mom got you for Christmas, or it could be a pile of clothes that you’ve been meaning to donate all winter. No matter, it’s time for some spring cleaning, and here at PPBH we are doing the same.

The communications industry is quickly and constantly changing, which means that those tactics and techniques you were using last summer might not be relevant anymore. So, we are taking the month of April on our blog to help you figure out which methods might still work for your communications needs, and which methods it might be time to let go of. Letting go of the old allows room to try something new, and in our industry being ahead of the curve is a necessity.

So keep your eyes out for some smart tips from our experts this month, and get rid of those piles of junk that just aren’t useful anymore.

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