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Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller is director of public relations. Her focus is finding unique angles and avenues to get her clients notices. One of her favorite quotes, "Write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin.

“Moonlight” winning the Oscar for best picture this year got us thinking about what movies were the best at telling the stories that live within advertising. After popping up a batch of popcorn (with extra butter, of course) and breaking out the M&Ms, we cast our votes for the following categories.

Best channeling of a target market—Going beyond Scarborough data and other secondary research, Mel Gibson embarked on a journey of primary research to best market a new product to women. For dedication and the best attempt to getting into the personae of the target market (and learning much more than he anticipated), the winner is “What Women Want.

Best ‘giving it your all’ in a creative presentation—Creative types often read lines and show story board of what ad is going to look like, but Tom Hanks and his team went the extra mile getting into costume, breaking out props and acting out their concept of A Trip to Grandma’s to win a major airline account for their Chicago agency. “Nothing in Common gets our nod for best presentation of a creative concept. Note: We couldn’t find clip of this scene online, but it’s worth the watch to check out the full movie.

Best creative lines a client would never approve ­– Deadlines and long hours leads an overworked AE, Dudley Moore, to lose all filters and begin delivering campaigns with the honest sell including “Buy Volvo. They’re boxy but they’re good” and “United, Most of our passengers get there alive.” This is a favorite because these truth is funnier than fiction and everyone who has worked in an agency knows lines like these are part of every brainstorm, Though, much to our chagrin, never see the light of day. For entertainment value, humor, truth “Crazy People wins the golden statue.

Best look at what keeps us up at night —Beyond brainstorms and creative briefs, this movie pulls back the curtain on a real look into the creative minds and methods behind the ads we love. Before the ‘big idea’ see what goes into developing a strategy, the stressors of channeling creativity today and worrying about where it’s coming from tomorrow, and the role advertising and PR has played and plays in our lives today. For best portrayal of the 60 hour work week, the Oscar goes to the documentary “Art & Copy”.

It’s been too long since we’ve had an ode to all that is advertising on the silver screen. Here’s hoping for a new release in the coming year. In the meantime, what can’t miss ad movies would you add to the list?

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From more than 75 entries ranging from agencies, universities, companies, nonprofits and government organizations, P2 was honored with the coveted “Best of Show” award for “Sundance—Helping Sundance Share Its Story Nationwide.”

Best of Show is earned by to the campaign that delivered on the outlined objectives and the entry was judged with a perfect score.

While we couldn’t be more proud of this award, we along with our clients brought home some other notable hardware too:

Golden Spike in media relations: UCAIR ShowUCAIR Winter Campaign

Golden Spike in creative tactics: Zero Fatalities VMS messages

Golden Spike in outdoor: UCAIR Digital Boards

Golden Spike in marketing products or services: Sundance

Finalist in media relations: Cabela’s Grand Opening

Finalist in interactive communications: Zero Fatalities

Finalist in public service advocacy: Zero Fatalities influencer campaign

Heralded as “Utah’s longest-running, most prestigious public relations and communications awards,” the annual best practice award competition was sponsored by the Greater Salt Lake and Utah Valley Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) organizations.

The Colorado PRSA chapter judged award entries. Different from most award programs, the Golden Spike awards criterion includes measurable demonstrations of increasing awareness, changing behavior and modifying perceptions. 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.

We applaud or clients for the experiences, products, safety and health programs that improve our quality of life and love being a partner on their team.

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From reducing fatalities on our roadways, to helping people find affordable healthcare plans, to sharing the storied tales of Sundance Mountain Resort, Penna Powers in partnership with our clients was honored with 12 awards from the international Telly Awards. The winning videos:


HARMONS – Main Dish


SILVERSTATE HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE Nevada Health Link Open Enrollment for three videos

  • Sweet Freedom
  • Reality Check
  • Little Angels


TOWARD ZERO DEATHS – Moving Toward Zero

UDOT TRAVELWISE – Rethink Your Trip


More than 13,000 entries from five continents were judged during this year’s competition. The Telly Awards were founded in 1979, and earning a Telly has become an industry standard of excellence among large brands, production companies, ad companies and communication companies.

The videos were viewed on websites, social channels, in-banner paid video promotions, and in cinemas.

We applaud our clients for their support of innovation and creativity to showcase the features of their properties and products and share the importance of their safety and health programs.

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“How many leads has PR brought in for us this month?” “How are we tracking on those website KPIs?” “Are referrals increasing?”


It may be a quick discussion with the CEO in the elevator, sitting in a client meeting or working with your team on month-end or year-end reports. The exact situation is unpredictable, but what is certain is that you will be asked at some point by your executives, client or team to demonstrate return on objectives (ROO) and return on investment (ROI) (aka, justify your value, your existence).

Here’s your open to bring in the analytics and other hard metrics that many people still think cannot be measured as part of their PR efforts. Let’s once and for all blow up that misperception. One of the primary principles of PR is setting measurable objectives and determining the measurement criteria for evaluation. Then, as with any assessment, the critical step to analyze, evaluate, retool and repeat.

While many agencies and larger organizations have the luxury of employing one of the sophisticated measurement and reporting tools that are available to help in these endeavors (Cision, Meltwater, Radian6, etc.), for many its not a budgetary reality. Or, even if you do have these tools at your fingertips, here are some terrific ways and what’s to measure that go beyond counting only placements and measuring PR’s real contribution and value to your company’s ROI. Best part, they many of these measurement approaches can be accomplished using existing technologies (e.g. Google analytics) or don’t require any additional hard cost for an additional third-party tool at all.

  • Dream Hits—Peg a few dream outlets and get placed. Include vanity URLs to drive to a particular page on your website, share content on your social channels that link to your site or have sales share directly with prospects. Track your analytics back to particular events to measure traffic, conversions or sales.
  • Key messages—Particularly instances when you are working to educate or persuade people on a particular issue, tracking if your key messages are include and how they are presented.
  • Completed action—Setting up call tracking numbers, unique URLs, hashtags, share, redemption, pixels, referral/lead capture that map back to a particular effort, offer, pledge request can let you know almost immediately if your initiative is performing as desired.
  • Influence—Measuring the percentage of news coverage that includes a spokesperson from your organization compared to those that don’t can give you a month-over-month or year-after-year glimpse into how you are able to influence the telling of your story vs. not being included.
  • Positioning—Whether benchmarking the perception of your product against a competitor, your organization’s reputation, brand awareness or adoption of a behavior, a survey, poll or other research instrument will show you where your currently stack up so you can plan your next move.
  • A/B testing—This can be used with different headlines, images, calls to action so you can measure which is/will perform most effectively.

Whether you’re using a third-party tool or are benchmarking and reporting through originally created metrics, the true measure of success is what, your CEO, CMO or client sees as a win. Start those conversations, set your metrics and then regularly report the true measure of your ROI.

What are some unique measurement benchmarks you have used in your campaigns, programs and publicity efforts? Tell us in the comments below!

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iStock_000020824252_LargeFrom caring for our air and helping reduce driving fatalities, to making the most of holiday celebrations with Utah’s premier grocer, Penna Powers in partnership with our clients won first place Golden Spike awards for the following communications:

  • Harmons summer print ad (print display)
  • UCAIR digital boards (outdoor)
  • Zero Fatalities Utah “Law to Save Lives” (public service/advocacy)
  • Zero Fatalities Utah Bicycle Safety video (video)
  • Zero Fatalities Utah Chalkboard Illustrations (print communications)

Heralded as “Utah’s longest-running, most prestigious public relations and communications awards”, more than 100 entries were submitted to this year’s annual best practice award competition. It was sponsored by the Greater Salt Lake and Utah Valley Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) organizations.

Additional accolades for campaigns and programs earning finalist status this year:

  • Harmons for the Holidays (publicity and media relations)
  • Harmons Mother’s Day 3D Video (social media)
  • Harmons Food for Thought summer edition photography (print communications)
  • Penna Powers “Have an Awesome Holiday” card (direct mail)
  • Safe Trails. Serious Fun. (videos)
  • TravelWise “Rethink Your Commute” (television commercial)
  • UCAIR “Show UCAIR” media partnership (publicity and media relations)
  • UCAIR social media campaign (creative tactics)
  • UCAIR “Show UCAIR” winter inversion campaign (public service/advocacy)
  • UCAIR “Woodburning” online ads (interactive communications)
  • UCAIR “Skip the Smoke, But Keep the Fire” (radio spot)
  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Fish Utah results research (research)
  • Zero Fatalities Iowa radio spot (radio commercial)
  • Zero Fatalities Utah “Ice, Snow & Construction” (publicity and media relations)
  • Zero Fatalities Utah elevator door wrap (creative tactics)
  • Zero Fatalities Utah chalkboard TV (television commercial)

Entrants this year were submitted by agencies, businesses and organizations from higher education, government entities, medicine, sports organizations, outdoor adventure and community education initiatives.

The Colorado PRSA chapter judged award entries. Different from most award programs, the Golden Spike awards criterion includes measurable demonstrations of increasing awareness, changing behavior and modifying perceptions. 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.

We applaud our clients for the products, safety and health programs that improve our quality of life, and love being a partner on their team.

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IMG_3980 800 pxHailing originally from far-off Park City, Samantha Martin joined our social team last month.

We knew we liked her when we learned that she could live on pizza, cheeseburgers and milkshakes. She could entertain us too as she plays the guitar, mandolin and ukulele.

From an early age, social media has been in her blood. She shared that in 2nd grade, she was the culprit of holding up a school field trip when she wandered off in her snowshoes, tromping through mud to take pictures to document the events of the day.

Her experience includes managing social media for several companies from footwear to food, and she recently graduated from the University of Utah.

At Penna Powers, she’ll be responsible for executing social strategies and promotions for a variety of clients from social change to retail.

#WelcomeToTheTeam Samantha!

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We revel in the opportunity to work with our clients side by side on safety efforts that are saving lives. While the greatest reward is every helping everyone get home safely, it is nice to also receive accolades for a job well done.

At the Pinnacle Awards, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America Nevada Chapter, we did a lot of celebrating with our client partners.

Best of Show in Tools and Techniques was awarded to the Zero Fatalities Bicycle Safety Social Media campaign for the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).

First place Pinnacle Awards were earned for:

An Award of Excellence was earned by NDMV for its Smog Spotter Grassroots Event Booth.

Now in its 19th year, the Pinnacle Awards highlight the best public relations programs in Nevada. The programs and campaigns earning recognition this year were awarded for the measurable strides that were made to benefit the community, the environment and the overall safety of Nevadans that included:

Zero Fatalities Bicycle Safety Social Media

Best of Show and Pinnacle Award

With the number of serious injuries and fatalities involving cyclists on Nevada’s roads, the Nevada Department of Transportation launched a public awareness campaign that encouraged both drivers and cyclists to share the road. Through social media, the Zero Fatalities campaign started a conversation about safe roadway behaviors among drivers and cyclists alike, and aimed to show them that both parties play a part in keeping each other safe.


With the use of both Spanish and English posts, a surge of engagements and click through to the website was achieved.

Zero Fatalities Nevada Rider Chalkboard Video

Pinnacle Award

After a surge of motorcycle accidents in Nevada between 2009 and 2013, an effort to educate riders on safe driving behaviors to decrease motorcycle fatalities was undertaken with the Nevada Rider Chalkboard Video. It illustrates the three most dangerous behaviors for motorcyclists in Nevada.


A targeted online media buy exceeded expectations for views, reaching 88.9% of motorcycle riders in Nevada.

Stay on the Go

Pinnacle Award

With a long-standing reputation as a sluggish, red tape-ridden institution with exceptionally long wait-times, The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles has taken great strides in eliminating the need to visit a physical DMV location. Through online tools, like MyDMV online processing, transaction kiosks located in grocery and AAA storefronts, and Dash Pass remote check-in, the Stay on the Go campaign’s aim was two-fold: Have people skip a trip to the DMV and improve the perception of the DMV.


Online transactions increased by 33 % and through a commitment to technology and innovation, Nevadans have ultimately been provided with excellent customer service and convenience.

Smog Spotter Grassroots Events Booth

Award of Excellence

With a goal to decrease pollutants from vehicle emissions, we launched the ‘Smog Spotter’ program with NDMV. Nevadans are encouraged to report smoking vehicles to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Spotters are able to report smoke emissions through both the phone and a mobile-friendly online form. Awareness for the program was increased in part by the Smog Spotter booth exhibit that traveled to community events throughout the state.


Smog Spotter report filings increased by nearly 10% over 2014.

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We often are sharing the good news with our clients of awards won on their behalf, so it was especially nice to get the news that we were being honored.

Penna Powers was awarded the 2015 Salt Lake Chamber Corporate Partner of the Year this week. The recognition was earned for its extra-mile efforts supporting the public policy initiatives of the Chamber, especially as they pertain to the Salt Lake Chamber’s public policy efforts with the Utah Transportation Coalition.

“It’s a privilege to work with the Salt Lake Chamber and the Utah Transportation Coalition on the important issue of transportation,” said David L. Smith, Penna Powers president and managing partner. “The Chamber’s leadership in advocating transportation investment is critical to the future of Utah’s economy, environment and the quality of life we all enjoy. Working with them has been a great opportunity to experience firsthand the great things our business community can accomplish when we work together.”

The Corporate Partner of the Year Award honors one organization in the community that has influenced the Chamber’s mission in the past year showing exemplary support by committing time and abilities to bolster the business community. The Award was presented during the Salt Lake Chamber’s 128th Annual Meeting. Initiated in 2013, the Corporate Partner of The Year award was previously awarded to Wells Fargo (2013) and Hilton Salt Lake City Center (2014).

The Salt Lake Chamber has a membership of more than 8,000 businesses employing more than 500,000 people in Utah. Founded in April 1887, it is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. Penna Powers has been an active member and supporter of the Salt Lake Chamber since its early beginnings and was honored with the Salt Lake Chamber Small Business of the Year Award in 2009.

As a full-service communications firm we are driven by strategy, creativity and technology. For more than 30 years we’ve started conversations that define an issue or opportunity, and then deliver big ideas to help clients solve tough challenges, change perception and encourage action. Our integrated advertising, public relations, social media and public engagement campaigns have helped build some of Utah’s most respected local brands and organizations including the Salt Lake Chamber.


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The news release is dead. This declaration has been made for a few years, but is it really? Maybe we shouldn’t kill the tool, they can still be very effective—however, a quick demise should be brought about to the misuse of the news release. For example:

  • Overuse – Aka the release a week syndrome. Really?
  • Misapplication – Sending out information under the guise of “news” that is not urgent or current. Seems a logical gauge, but one that often isn’t used. Really examine what you are trying to share – is it really news release worthy or should it be a targeted pitch, a social post or even an email blast that skips the media altogether?

It’s time to kick those bad practices (or convince those that you are working for that they need to be axed) and make the news release work for you. Six tips to put you on the right path:

  1. Subject lines – Email is still the best way to reach editors and reporters, AdWeek reports the subject line determines whether your email gets read 85 percent of the time. Crafting subject lines that get opened is crucial. Treat your subject line like a headline. Some tips:
  • Be brief, think five to six words max.
  • Focus on the benefit, don’t sell and don’t use jargon or buzzwords.
  • Use “you” whenever possible.
  1. Don’t forget the “new” in news – By its name, the value of an effective news release is that the information is unknown until the intended recipient sees it. If what you’re sending is already public on your website, on your social media channels or in your paid ads, what’s the point of getting it in front of media?
  1. Be prepared to share the rest of the story – A news release is a VIP invitation for media to be brought into the inner circle to help you tell your story to the people you really want to reach. Of course share the facts but be colorful, paint a vision and then offer sources for additional content, complimentary visuals and context—see #4.
  1. Don’t forget the “What’s In It For Me?” – Be careful not to get caught up in talking about yourself. Whether it’s your company, your discovery, your product or your new star hire… Frankly, nobody cares. What they care about is how that new location, new product or new hire makes their life better. How does it save them money or make them smarter? How does it help them achieve their dreams? If you can tell them that, then you have their attention, their support and their business.
  1. Make wise use of quotes – Quotes can deliver powerful perspective and context to a news release, but so many don’t. Stating that your CEO is “thrilled” or “excited” at your news should be banned. What does a quote like this add? Instead, use this valuable real estate to share your voice and why your news is important, relevant and worth getting attention.
  1. Make it easy – Journalists are busier than ever before and being strapped for time means if you get 30 seconds of eyeball time on your release you’ve made a good start. Now, get to the point, fast. Between your headline, subhead and lede you should be able to deliver the who, what, when, where and why of your news. The rest of the space (no more than a page) delivers the details. Use bullet points as they can deliver a lot of detail in a condensed, easy digestible format. Highlight relevant links and sources and make your contact info easy to find—then be available and helpful.

What advice would you add?

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Cool, calm, quirky, Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy, the successful real estate agent always entertains while at the same time sharing career advice in 30-minute episodic chunks. Beyond the one liners, “Competition can be a great motivator” and “Success is 1% inspiration, 98% perspiration, and 2% attention to detail.”; we watch him networking for prospective clients, taking the high road with his professional competition, delivering over-the-top customer service and listening, really listening to get his clients what they want. The pay off—all the things that TV’s happy endings are made of: top-performer professional awards, a terrific home life and a seemingly unending string of listings and sales. From the sitcom world to the real world, I work with a lot of smart, successful (and bonus, really funny) people and it got me to thinking, what career advice do they have?

Set a Realistic Expectation and Deliver on Your Promise
You’ll be judged on the expectations you set and the delivery on those expectations. Take for instance the Tuesday you arrive for lunch at a busy restaurant and you are told the wait is expected to be 20 minutes. The countdown is on. You have an expectation that in 20 minutes you will be seated and ordering. If you are seated in 15 minutes you are delighted, but seated in 30 and you are less than satisfied. Whether it’s your customer or your supervisor, look for opportunities to delight rather than just satisfy.

The Golden Rules
In life and in business the golden rules are always good to follow. A few tenets to live by:

  1. Show respect and kindness to everyone with whom you work.
  2. Never ask others to do something you’re not willing to do yourself.
  3. You are your own brand so manage it wisely because every action has a consequence.
  4. Always own your mistake, no excuses. The problem is solved much faster that way.
  5. Always say thank you.
  6. Honesty is the best policy.

Be Excellent
Known for his financial advice, Dave Ramsey’s advice on choosing a career became a touchstone for one of our staff, “pick something and be excellent at it EVERY DAY.” Along these lines, in excellence, there is no room for complacency. You should always feel green in your job. If not, you’re brown and dying.

We, our and us are the words of success…there is no “I” in team. The best ideas and solutions most often come from collaborations. Being a good team member is important to having a good team. A few favorite tips followed here: Don’t just demand changes; ask teammates why they made a certain decision. More often than not you’ll learn a new way to look at things, make the project better and strengthen your ability to work together. Stephen R. Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) echoes this sentiment with his counsel, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Some final words of wisdom from Phil – “When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like, “What?!”

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

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