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Elyse Freeman

2017 Impact Award

At the recent board retreat for the Utah-Southern Idaho Multiple Sclerosis Chapter, Penna Powers’ Chairman Emeritus Chuck Penna was honored with the 2017 Impact Award.

The impact award recognizes a member of the MS community who has been instrumental to the success of our community during the previous year.

According to Chapter President Melissa Mathews, Chuck was chosen for his avid participation as a member of the Board of Trustees.

“As a business owner, Chuck has always felt the responsibility to give back to the community through supporting non-profit organizations and causes. Chuck became a member of the board of trustees in 2016 and quickly has made an amazing impact in the lives of those with MS, said Mathews. “His expertise in marketing has improved awareness of MS and the society.”

Last year, Chuck led the Penna Powers cycling team in the MS: Harmons Best Dam Bike Race. During the two-day event, the Penna Powers bike team raised $3,800.

Congratulations, Chuck, for receiving the 2017 Impact Award.

 

make_the_podcast_bigger_logo

Have you ever wondered how an ad gets made? Are you dying to hear the gory, behind-the-scenes details of the marketing world? You’re in luck. We’re excited to announce the Penna Powers Make the Podcast Bigger podcast. We’ll pull back the curtain on what it’s like working in an agency environment and give you an in-depth look at marketing and communications in the modern world.

The podcast will be season-based and contain insights, how-tos and interviews from some of the top experts in the Utah marketing scene. Our agency has been fortunate enough to work with some of the best—ranging from clients to employees—and we’ll share their secrets to success on the show.

Our first episode is now live and features KSL Newsradio host Amanda Dickson. Podcast hosts Elyse Freeman and Alex Antonino will grill Amanda on everything from starting a successful career to advice for young professionals who want to drive meaningful change.

Tune in on Thursdays on iTunes and help us Make the Podcast Bigger by rating and reviewing our first episode.

We recently attended the 2018 Silicon Slope Tech Summit to learn about the state of tech in Utah. The conference covered everything from gender equality to the entrepreneurial spirit. Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from the conference:

Relevance is key

Facebook’s Vice President of Global Communications Caryn Marooney stressed the importance of relevance in content marketing. If you can’t get relevance right, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you can offer. If you can get relevance dialed in, that’s the real ticket.

Don’t mistake motion for progress

Another highlight from Marooney’s talk centered on progress. She paraphrased Bill Gates’ famous quote: “People overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in ten. You need to put a building block on it every day.” However, Marooney stressed the importance of staying simple; be intentional in what you create. “The longer you are in business and the more successful you are, the harder people will pull at you to become more complicated,” Marooney said.

Your employees deserve transparency

Allbirds CEO attributed the success of his company to the employees. He stressed giving employees access to the greater vision in order for them to make better decisions. If your employees are truly invested in your vision, they are being driven by the right reasons. As soon as money becomes the motivating factor, you’re going to be paying a lot and the employees are going to jump ship.

Utah is the place to be

Although shadowed by Silicon Valley, the Silicon Slopes is operating at optimal density right now. Because of its competitive tech culture, Utah’s talent pool is creating something magical in the state. Multiple Utah-based CEOs agree that the state and its quality of life are the driving factors for success. “Almost everyone I know who comes here says ‘I’ll give it a little bit of time.’ Utah is a wonderful place that wins you over,” said Experticity CEO Tom Stockham.

We loved attending the 2018 Silicon Slope Tech Summit and look forward to the presenters they bring next year.

 

We’re honored to win Utah Business’ Best Companies to Work for Award once again this year. This marks the sixth time we’ve won this award and the fourth year in a row. While we could list out the million reasons why working at Penna Powers is incredible, it’s easier to let our employees speak for themselves.

 

“I love the laid-back atmosphere and the fun, yet professional people I work with.” – Account Manager Melinda Macfarlane

 

“I get a great sense of fulfillment working at Penna Powers because the clients we work with are dedicated to making a difference in the world. It’s amazing to know that the work we do helps make our communities a better place.” – Associate Project Manager Aubrey Souvall

 

“Penna Powers is the perfect collaboration of great minds coming together to create meaningful work. The fun, inviting environment makes Penna Powers the best place to work!” – Receptionist Sabrina Wilhite

 

“The people. All companies are the same, but the people make Penna Powers stand out. The arcade games, the pool table, great bosses…” – Senior Content Strategist Nick Giustino

 

“I love the flexibility this company has with its employees.” – Videographer Jordan Whitney

 

“The people are my family, the things that happen behind the scenes that clients don’t see (charades, practical jokes, parties, videos, etc.). We do such great work.” – VP of Finance & Ops Traci Houghton

 

“I have experienced a great deal of autonomy working here. Autonomy requires vertical and horizontal trust and just like any productive relationship, trust is the foundation for success. For example, apart from any of my dedicated duties, if I have an interest in contributing on any particular project, all I need to do is express that desire and I am awarded the freedom to do so. This independence and freedom allows for growth and creativity, independent of bureaucracy or other entry barriers.” – Media Planner Jennifer Beaudoin

 

“I love knowing that the work I do helps people live better lives.” – Director of New Business Brent Wilhite

 

“I love the hoodies, staff meetings, that Nerf gun wars are normal and that we get to do great, strategic and creative work every single day.” – VP of Account Planning & Management Stephanie Miller

 

“I like that no two people are the same here. You can be yourself and everyone is accepting of you for you! At the end of the day everyone is different and unique, but we all come together to create some really awesome work.” – Content Coordinator Kelsey Hess

 

“I’ve yet to have a dull day working for Penna Powers. Various clients, new campaigns, creative tactics and great people keep things lively.” – Digital Project Manager Collin Brian

 

“When I started working at Penna Powers, I was fascinated by the amount of employees who were celebrating their 10th or 20th anniversary. After working at Penna Powers for a few months, I realized why. Whether you’re in an entry-level role or a vice president, you know that your voice and your work matter at Penna Powers. The partners ensure that work-life balance is a priority and facilitate activities for the company to grow together. On a Friday night, you’ll find me on the soccer field with my coworkers because I genuinely love hanging out with them outside of work.” – Content Specialist Elyse Freeman

 

“I love that Penna Powers employees take their careers seriously. They are not just in a job. I love that everyone at Penna Powers is really smart. I love that we are not micromanaged ever. We are expected to do our jobs like the true professionals we are. I love that the company will allow you to have flexible hours if you need to take care of something outside of work. I love that we celebrate every employee’s 5, 10, 15, 20-year anniversary. I love that Penna Powers takes our family to Lagoon every summer. I love that the management keeps us informed and gives us a “State of the Agency” presentation once a year. I love that Penna Powers has such a fun, cool culture. I love the work that Penna Powers produces!” – VP of Project Management Chris Menges

 

“I like the overall vibe around the office and unlimited M&Ms.” – Account Manager Bri Binnebose

 

“The partners are so good to us!” – Account Planning Director Wendy Hansen

 

“For me it’s simple: the people and the work. Penna Powers is full of committed, smart, talented people doing work that truly matters to our communities and our future. Pretty rewarding to work at a place like that.” – VP of Client Services Justin Smart

 

“I love working with awesome people, doing awesome things.” – Senior Copywriter Bobby Brinton

 

“I love the change we make in the world, it may be on a small scale, but we are saving lives on Utah’s roads.” – Zero Fatalities Outreach Specialist and Associate Project Manager Kylie Christensen

 

“I laugh every single day. Maybe not all day, every day, but at least once a day I find myself with full on tears in my eyes and big belly laughter. Work can be busy, timelines can be tight, but I find joy and gratitude every single day in my role and I find the stressful days are few and far between because the people of this company make this place such a pleasure to be a part of.” – Traffic Manager Alex Antonino

 

“I like the fact we never get bored. Every project is always something new. And, I’ve got damn good friends here.” – Senior Project Manager Britni Brozo

 

“I love how accepting everyone is.” – Associate Project Manager Alli Blake

 

“I love that it always feels like a positive environment, even when things may not be ideal. It’s always a happy place for me, anyway.” – Receptionist Michelle Adams

 

“I love Penna Powers because it fosters an atmosphere where the best idea can come from anybody.” – VP of Channel & Content Management Marc Stryker

 

“I love how everyone will work together to get things done. It’s a family work environment. Where everyone, no matter role, works to provide the best product for our clients.” – Media Relations Specialist Allyse Christensen

 

“I love the emphasis on being one unified team despite our different projects and assignments.” – Truck Smart Outreach Specialist Alec Curtis

 

“I love the parties and the solid work ethic. Plus, everyone is super inviting and outspoken. If someone has something to say, they’ll say it!” – Zero Fatalities Outreach Specialist Aja Domingo

 

“Laughing is constant during staff meeting,” – Content Specialist Julene Thompson

 

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.”

 

Reddit Ads

Reddit has grown from a small community forum to one of the top influential news sources online. Because of its passionate audience, Reddit has the 5th largest website audience in the United States with the most influential community online. Because of Reddit’s nature, many users often ask for advice in areas that are not their expertise. Using Reddit ads, your brand can provide the answer to their questions.

Reddit’s advertising platform is simple. Advertisements may redirect to a Reddit thread (subreddit) or redirect to a website. You can narrow the funnel depending on interests and also by location. Sponsored advertisements appear in a native content form, which blends well with organic content.

Bidding works similar to other content platforms, such as Facebook, and offers daily or campaign max spends. The platform also offers a creative preview, so you can see exactly how your advertisement will look on the website.

For our client Nevada Health Link (NHL), we saw an opportunity to reach the 18- to 35-year-old male demographic through organic and paid advertising on Reddit. This demographic is often hard to reach, especially on a topic such as health insurance.

For organic advertising, NHL will utilize the popular Reddit “Ask Me Anything” series. The feature has hosted everyone from an appliance repairman to the President-elect of the United States. It allows Reddit users to ask questions based upon a host’s knowledge and experience. These series are often successful and receive thousands of organic impressions.

For paid advertising, NHL will extend the longevity of the “AMA” series by linking advertisements to the subreddits. Advertisements before the “AMA” series will increase brand awareness and drive enrollments to their website.

With many of the health insurance questions on Reddit already focused on millennials enrolling for the first time, Nevada Health Link will be able to get on 26-year-olds’ radars and assist them with their first health insurance enrollment process. Be sure to look for our Reddit ads and “AMA” series during open enrollment from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

Reddit Ads

On the morning of Halloween in 2012, something stirred within the agency and things would never be the same again. Citizens of The Underground, the creative team’s lair, were up to business as usual when the sultry notes of “Careless Whisper” started flowing through the basement.

Bobby Brinton, copywriter savant, sauntered into The Underground and serenaded everyone as the Sexy Sax Man. Everyone stopped what they were doing, instantly enamored by Bobby’s dance moves to George Michael. Rumor has it that Major Street’s shenanigans are attributed to the sweet, sweet music that Bobby created on that fateful day.

More than just a pretty face, Bobby also possesses the highest power of the pen at Penna Powers: senior copywriter. His nationally-recognized creative has earned awards ranging from an Emmy to multiple Addys. He strikes fear into the heart of the content team with his red pen and is the ultimate authority on AP Style. Every other copywriter pales in comparison to Bobby… except when it comes to skin color.

Intentional and articulate in everything he does, Bobby has commandeered the creative team on many occasions. Account services often refer to him as “Father Bobby” for his role in keeping everyone on track. His direction, along with partner-in-crime and fellow Kelly Osbourne fan Kenny Hammond, steers Penna Powers’ creative team toward an innovative future.

Bobby makes sure that any and all creative tactics are executed flawlessly, even if it means providing thousands of dollars in talent for free. If he had a nickel for every time he provided free voiceover, he would already own a Tesla. For now, he’ll just have to settle for being the agency rock star as the former lead singer of the Sony-signed Hudson River School band.

Thank you, Bobby for five years—minus eight days—of kickass work as our copywriter. While we appreciate your impeccable writing, we admire your sense of humor and witty personality even more. We’ll never be able to get the sight of your Sexy Sax Man costume out of our minds and we’re pretty okay with that.

Utah has a serious problem with fatalities on its roadways year-round. However, during the summer months fatal crashes nearly double. In order to create awareness for the Zero Fatalities’ 100 Deadliest Days campaign, we knew we had to capture attention on social media.

Using Facebook’s auto-play feature, our creative team designed several 100 Deadliest Days cinemagraphs to get people to stop scrolling through their social feeds. The isolated motion within the cinemagraphs is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also unique enough to capture attention among various Facebook advertisements. This offers a unique experience from other social ads.

The 100 Deadliest Days cinemagraphs were used across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Some cinemagraphs featured major holidays or were used in a collection of statistics comparing your odds of dying in an unbuckled car crash to other events.

In order to highlight their full beauty on Instagram, we broke apart the images into smaller thumbnails that were accessible on the Zero Fatalities profile. Clicking on the center image would then deliver you to the full cinemagraph.

Check out our favorite 100 Deadliest Days cinemagraphs used for the Zero Fatalities campaign below.