Blog Archives

Dave PRSA Professional of the Year

The PRSA Greater Salt Lake Chapter recently awarded Penna Powers’ Managing Partner and President Dave Smith, APR with PRSA Professional of the Year.

As a native Utahn and graduate of Weber State University, Dave epitomizes the homegrown mentality of the Beehive State; he started as an intern with Penna Powers and has worked on numerous high-profile projects for nearly 25 years. Now as the Managing Partner and President of Penna Powers, he oversees the company’s long-term direction and vision.

Throughout the industry, Dave is known for his strategic communication and his role as a trusted advisor to all clients. In fact, many campaigns led by Dave have won the highest public relations award in the nation—the PRSA Silver Anvil award. Dave’s work in the Olympic Transportation “Know Before You Go” campaign garnered international recognition.

Dave devotes himself to his clients and currently is the principal advisor for some of UDOT’s biggest projects, including I-15 CORE, Mountain View Corridor and the TravelWise program. With Dave on the team, clients can rest assured that their campaign is in very capable hands. He doesn’t rest until he knows that a campaign will work and is being executed in a way that will yield solid results.

Outside of the office, Dave serves on the Salt Lake Chamber’s Board of Governors, the United Way of Salt Lake’s Leadership Circle and is a member of Weber State University’s communications department advisory board.

With his free time—which is sparse—he keeps busy being a volunteer leader/advisor with the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he is a member of the Bountiful High School Community Council, a high school basketball referee and has coached little league soccer with his kids’ teams for more than 15 years.

An outdoor enthusiast, Dave can be found in the mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes of the intermountain region frequently. He enjoys hiking, camping, running, hunting and fishing with family, friends and colleagues.

Congratulations Dave on this prestigious honor. Penna Powers flourishes under your tutelage every day.

Penna Powers took home some serious hardware at the 30th annual Golden Spike Awards Gala on Nov. 16. We earned six Golden Spike awards and one finalist award at the 2017 Golden Spikes in categories ranging from research for governments/non-profits to community relations.

2017 Golden Spikes

Golden Spike Awards

Harmons Grocery Local Print Ads

Category: Print display advertising
Harmons Grocery has been operating in Utah since 1932. What started out as a farmstand has blossomed into a progressive chain of grocery stores committed to quality food, unsurpassed service and community wellbeing. Supporting local vendors has always been at the forefront of Harmons mission, in fact, Harmons has been an integral cog in helping many local businesses get started. Over 2,300 products sold in Harmons are local items. With this in mind, Harmons asked Penna Powers to develop print ads with an emphasis on local. The ads featuring local products and produce were placed in various local Utah publications reaching more than 250,000 in readers.

 

UCAIR & Penna Powers: Show Them UCAIR

Category: Community relations
UCAIR and Penna Powers have conducted fully-integrated educational campaigns for the past several winters, when Utah’s air quality suffers most. Research in early 2016 showed that Utahns are concerned about air quality, but many believe air quality challenges are beyond their control. However, research participants activated around the issue when presented with the health impacts poor air can have on those they love. Building on this insight, UCAIR and Penna Powers created the “Kidult” campaign, inviting Utahns to “Show Them UCAIR” by changing behaviors to reduce emissions.

 

UDOT & Penna Powers: UDOT 1-15 Tech Corridor

Category: External audience videos
Utah County is growing rapidly, resulting in commute-time traffic jams. The Utah Department of Transportation planned to expand I-15, but funding wouldn’t arrive until 2020. In 2017, the State Legislature approved a bond to accelerate construction.
A public awareness survey showed that only 24 percent of locals knew a project was coming. UDOT developed a video to educate stakeholders on the project and announce the accelerated timeline. The video link was emailed to government and business leaders and promoted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to area residents and commuters.

 

UDOT & Penna Powers: UDOT TravelWise

Category: Research for government/non-profits
In order to establish a baseline around the TravelWise Program, UDOT conducted a general public telephone survey of Wasatch Front residents through Lighthouse Research & Development, Inc. The research included a total of 810 interviews. It was the first time that research of this scale had been done on the TravelWise campaign. It substantiated our belief that the campaign is necessary, surprised us in the level of program awareness, and provided actionable insights that are currently being pursued by the team.

 

IDOT & Penna Powers: Iowa Zero Fatalities “Impaired Sports”

Category: Social media for government/non-profits

With 32 percent of all traffic fatalities caused by alcohol related crashes, Zero Fatalities Iowa identified a need to address impaired driving with residents. In an effort to reduce fatalities, Iowa Zero Fatalities implemented a social awareness campaign during NFL and NCAA sporting seasons targeting men ages 18-49. Event targeting reminded spectators to get a sober ride home after the game. The campaign successfully, reached 59.8 percent of the target audience and helped lift overall Zero Fatalities awareness by two percentage points.

 

UCAIR & Penna Powers: UCAIR Illustrated Inversion Education Video

Category: Photography and illustration
The Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) is a non-profit dedicated to clean air. UCAIR and Penna Powers have conducted fully-integrated educational campaigns for the past several winters, when Utah’s air quality suffers most. Part of the challenge of getting Utahns to engage around air quality is overcoming their general low awareness that what they do does, in fact, make a difference in pollution levels. Many believe nothing can be done about Utah’s poor winter air episodes due to the meteorology and geography of the local airshed. During the 2016-17 winter campaign, we produced an illustrated educational video to attack this issue head-on.

 

Gold Spike Finalist Award

UDOT & Penna Powers: Zero Fatalities

Category: Community relations
To reduce traffic-related deaths between Memorial and Labor Day, Zero Fatalities implemented a multifaceted campaign called the “100 Deadliest Days.” As titled, the campaign focused on educating Utahns about (1) the 100 DD of summer when roadway deaths nearly double in Utah and (2) how to best prevent a traffic-related tragedy during the summer. Not only has the campaign performed exceptionally well in reach, frequency and engagement – As of August 23, there have been 12 less roadway related deaths this summer when compared to this same time last year.

 

The Golden Spike Awards measure effectiveness regarding research, planning, execution, evaluation and project content. A Golden Spike Finalist is awarded to entries that earn at least 80 out of 100 points; the highest scoring entry earns a Golden Spike. The annual competition is sponsored by the Utah Chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association of Business Communicator and the Utah Society for Healthcare Communication and Marketing.

Additionally, President and Managing Partner Dave Smith, APR received the Professional of the Year award.

Thank you to our clients for your continued partnership. While we are proud to produce award-winning campaigns, what matters the most is driving meaningful change together.

Alli –

Alli Blake, our basketball superstar from Westminster, brought her talents over to Penna Powers to work as an associate project manager. Alli is one tough cookie, which is appropriate since her most memorable fortune cookie quote was “toughen up, buttercup!” Of all the famous people in the world, if Alli could only choose one that she wishes to meet, it would without a doubt be Jesus. Her spirit animal? A hyena – they are resilient and the females are boss. If you ever get the chance to meet Alli, you’ll learn she is a fierce, determined and hardworking woman that we are lucky to have here at Penna Powers.

Marissa –

Marissa Liu, our newest executive assistant aka our behind-the-scenes organizer, is nothing short of perfect. A motto Marissa lives by and is sure to portray through her actions is “always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.” She is the happiest gal around unless you get between her and her diet coke! When she’s not busy in the Penna Powers office, you’ll likely find her dreaming about traveling to Dubai or Bali, or off somewhere a little bit closer like Southern Utah; (until she gets the opportunity to make her dream vacation a reality).

Alec –

Alec Curtis recently joined us as a truck smart outreach specialist for Zero Fatalities. The best way to describe Alec (as told by Alec) is through his spirit animal, which happens to be an Emperor Penguin, as they are both adorable and majestic. Remember that Klondike Bar commercial song “what would you do-oo-oo for a Klondike Bar?” Well, plan on having that line stuck in your head for the next few hours since it just so happens to be Alec’s favorite jingle. When Alec isn’t out educating Utah about driving safe around big rigs, he’s probably counting his PTO days and planning a trip to his dream location, Italy.

Max –

Max Jensen, a BYU student, joined the Penna Powers family a few months ago as our media intern. If you have been in our office lately, it’s likely that you’ve seen him! He’s our only employee that stands tall at 15 feet 3 inches. When talking to Max, chances are you will end up discussing the 1977 restored Toyota Land Cruiser that he hopes to have one day. Max enjoys spending his free time fantasizing about the Bahamas, skiing and shopping at Costco. If you plan on lying to Max, you might want to think twice. Chances are he will call your bluff since he’s a firm believer that “the truth is the truth, no matter where you lie.”

 

Varick Media

Campaign minimums got you down?

Although all clients and campaigns are significant, they don’t always have budgets for massive campaigns. While there may be a perfect media channel for your campaign, it may not be executable due to minimum budget constraints. Varick Media is one of many great partners who have created solutions to this very problem.

Who is Varick Media?

Varick Media Management LLC offers digital advertising consulting services. It provides campaign planning, research, consumer insight, campaign monitoring and measurement services. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in New York, New York. Varick Media operates as a subsidiary of MDC Partners Inc., a marketing and communications network. MDC Partners has 50+ advertising, public relations, branding, digital, social and event marketing agencies under its umbrella.

What is the technology?

In 2012 Varick Media Management built its own in-house digital monitoring product.

That product, called The Lens, is paired with an internal pixel server so that Varick can track its online display and video ad campaigns across the various demand-side platforms and plug the resulting data into one central data repository that their clients control.

In October of 2015, Varick Media released Alveo—a planning, buying and reporting platform. Operating originally as more of an internal trading desk, Alveo can now be used by Varick’s clients to manage and visualize data as well as access reports across multiple campaigns. Alveo is available as a managed service “with all of the access and data of a self-service offering,” described Jim Caruso, SVP of product and client strategy at Varick. While agency trading desks aren’t renowned for open access and transparency, Caruso said, “Alveo was designed to be agnostic across media channels, DSPs and inventory sources.”

What is the solution?

Combining both The Lens (DMP) and Alveo (trade desk) technology, Varick’s clients can access inventory through a robust channel inventory and layer with premium custom audiences to manage through one platform. This married opportunity allows for accurate performance and audience insights across multiple channels. Because Varick is a subsidiary of umbrella network MDC Partners, campaign minimums can be achievable for a wider set of clients.