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There are pros and cons to everything in life, but one of the most talked about is technology. Most likely because technology is constantly evolving, and in doing so it consumes us more and more. Every new advancement intrigues us just a little bit more, which can be seen as good or bad depending on the way you look at it.

No matter what your feelings are regarding technology, it’s easy to agree that it would be hard to live without if it suddenly disappeared. We rely on technology so much now-a-days for communication, work, education, dating, staying in touch, shopping and much more. So what does that say about us? It isn’t completely a bad thing, but it isn’t necessarily a good thing either. So here’s the good, bad and the ugly of technology and what it says about us.

Good:

Without a doubt, technology is definitely good for us in numerous ways. The use of computers and smartphones allows us to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, in seconds. Not to mention the fact that we don’t have to use paper maps anymore. You can type an address right into your phone and directions of how to get there immediately pop up right at your fingertips. If you don’t have time to run to the bank or the post office to pay a bill, no problem. Online banking allows you to pay bills, transfer money and even deposit checks now. Technology even provides education for people with the ability to complete college via online courses. The ability to find out family history and research ancestors is also a great resource technology allows us to use.

Using technology to teach others and spread positivity through acts such as, blogging, sharing quotes, motivational videos and more is also a great way to use technology. Pinterest and Facebook both provide inspiring and educational videos and photos for a number of things. A couple of the most popular and favorite ones are cooking and exercising videos and photos. However, you can find just about anything from home improvement projects, DIY projects, event planning, ‘how to’, fashion and much more online.

Bad:

According to CNN, Americans devote 10 hours a day to screen time. The more that technology evolves, the more addicted and reliant we become. While technology can be healthy and useful, we need to remember to use it in moderation. When is becomes valued as a necessity is when it becomes a problem. In today’s world, we hate to be bored. However, if you have a phone or a computer, you don’t have to worry about that, and that’s the problem. Any time we feel bored, what’s the first thing we do? Pull out our phone or computer and find something online to pass time. Instead of sitting in silence with our own thoughts or talking to someone next to us, we find more comfort in our devices. The things that draw us to our screen are anything from games, to social media, apps and even emails. There is always something new to see or learn online, whether that be a photo, video, article or something else, we don’t have to worry about missing out with our constant access to technology.

Ugly:

Although there are multiple ways that technology is good for us, there is also an ugly side to it. The truth is that not everyone who uses technology, uses it for the rights reasons. For example, instead of using the internet to learn, people use it to view or research inappropriate content. The fact that you can find anything on the internet, can be a good and a bad thing. When it comes to the bad things, people need to remember that just because it is available doesn’t mean you need to look at it or read about it. In addition to viewing inappropriate content, technology can also be used to threaten or bully others. With everyone using social media, it makes it almost impossible not to find someone online and reach out to them. While this can be a great way to stay in touch, not everyone uses it for that reason, causing the Internet to be a scary place for those who have been victims of bullying.

Technology has played a big role in our lives, and as it continues to evolve, it will only become more popular. So, it is your responsibility to stay up-to-date with technology and use it only for good. Technology is not the problem, how we use it is. The way we choose to use it and how often determines if it’s good or bad, and helpful or harmful.

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Being tied down to your desk all day, rather than on your feet and active is obviously a problem for your health. In fact, siting all day long is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Dr. James Levine, an Endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic who has researched the impacts of sitting, describes sitting as the “new smoking.” Spending more than 6 hours a day sitting increases blood pressure and puts you in danger for diabetes, obesity and depression. On average, Americans sit anywhere from 7-9 hours per day. Unfortunately, even if you exercise regularly, that doesn’t outweigh the dangers associated with sitting.

After working all day, it’s hard to find time, or even want to find time, to exercise. When you get home from work, you are tired and might not be in the mood to go burn calories at the gym. Not to mention, many people have other priorities to attend to before and after work, therefore exercise often isn’t even an option for them. So, what should you do? Simple, adopt new practices and habits while sitting at your desk to maintain your health. Here are 10 options to get you started on a healthy and active work routine:

  1. Take an hourly walk

Whether that be to the drinking fountain, a co-worker’s office, the restroom or even just a lap around the building, try to make it a habit to get up and move every hour.

  1. Stretch

If you can’t take a walk, there is always the option to stretch. Stand up, move your legs and stretch.

  1. Count your steps

Consider investing in a wearable step device to track your steps and remind you to get up and move.

  1. Forget your phone and email

Try to walk over to a co-worker’s office and talk instead of emailing or calling them. This will get you up and moving and likely get your question answered faster too.

  1. Set alarms

When you get busy working, you tend to forget to move. Use your phone, your computer, or your smart watch to set alarms that remind you to get up and move.

  1. Choose healthy snacks

Instead of eating candy bars, chips and whatever else comes in the nearest vending machine, try healthy alternatives instead.

  1. Drink a lot of water

Bring a reusable water bottle with you to work and try to drink one full bottle before lunch and one full bottle before you leave.

  1. Say no to sweet treats

No matter how many tempting sweet treats are being offered at the office, always say no. If you really want a snack, try eating fruit or nuts instead.

  1. Skip eating out

Try making larger healthy meals at home so you can take leftovers to work with you. That way you won’t be tempted to eat out if you already have a meal planned.

  1. Swap out your chair for an exercise ball chair

This might sound crazy, but it can really help. Exercise ball chairs improve your posture, strengthen your core and even burn calories.

Adding simple exercises to your daily routine at work doesn’t have to be hard. Once you are used to the change in your routine, it will become the new normal. You will feel better throughout the day and even burn additional calories you wouldn’t normally burn. So don’t wait, get moving!

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Cash Erica Marley at Penna Powers, how bow dah? Erica is a recent graduate from BYU Idaho, and joined the team as a Social Change Coordinator in December. When she isn’t hard at work on the Utah Cancer Control Program, she spends most of her time outdoors: mountain biking, rock climbing, and playing water sports. Although she has yet to sing for us, one of her favorite memories was making the finals for a regional NATS singing competition. She is inspired by the quote: “If you can’t teach me to fly, teach me to sing.” -J.M. Barrie

We like that Kelsey. That is a nice Kelsey. As a recent graduate from the University of Utah (go Utes!), Kelsey Hess brought her journalism background to her role as Social Media Content Coordinator. When she isn’t planning her dream trip to Bora Bora or jamming out at country concerts, you can find her in the ‘Girl’s Corner’ of Penna Powers, speed-writing for a number of clients. Once, when she was losing in Wendover, a fortune cookie told her: “The bad times are behind you.” And we agree! Welcome to the team, Kelsey.

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Whether you were cheering for the Falcons or the Patriots in the Super Bowl, no doubt you also paid attention to the ads. They often end up being more entertaining than the game. And if you watched in Utah and were paying attention to the ads, right before the start of the 4th quarter, you may have seen the winner of the Zero Fatalities video contest proudly introducing his safety message to Utah audiences.

When it comes to creating a Super Bowl ad, handing over the reigns isn’t usually a good tactic – well unless you’re Doritos and can offer over $1M as a cash prize and the National Super Bowl airtime.

But unlike Doritos, Zero Fatalities wasn’t focused on receiving a professional quality ad with their “Zero Bowl Teen Video Contest.” Instead, the focus was on the process the contest provided. By providing the Super Bowl ad as the trophy, Zero Fatalities motivated teens to talk to teens, in advocacy for safe driving behaviors. And if you’re in the business of behavior change, what better advocacy could you have for safe teen driving than peer to peer?

The “Zero Bowl Teen Video Contest” began in November, and the submission deadline was January 6. Zero Fatalities received over 70 video submissions. A panel of judges selected our 5 finalists, including the winning video. All finalists were aired on the day of the Super Bowl, with the winning video being aired during the Super Bowl in the Utah market.

As you’ll see in the finalist ads, like many of the video submissions, a lot of thought and planning went into these safe driving messages. So enjoy watching from #5 to the winning spot:

5th Place – Fayth Melton, Herriman High School

Fayth’s entry probably had the highest production value. Working with Unified Police, SWAT and her local school enforcement officer, her video shows the traumatic consequences of distracted driving. She includes a dramatic arc that starts with an innocent text from her mother to a visit no law enforcement officer wants to make.

4th Place – Isaac Bowen, Corner Canyon High School

Isaac’s spot was the most cinematic, including beautiful views of the western shore of Utah Lake. His creativity is on full display as he transitions from a teen driver out on a drive to his younger brother knocking a toy car off the table as he answers the vibrating phone.

3rd Place – Kyle Ransom, Logan High School

Kyle’s spot is easily the funniest of the finalists. Wouldn’t everyone drive differently if Grandma was riding shotgun? Interestingly, Kyle’s real grandmother is not in the spot. He asked his neighbor to play the role. She nailed it.

2nd Place – Amy Miller, Lone Peak High School

Amy’s video is an outstanding achievement. Well-crafted, well-written and hauntingly shot, Amy educates her viewers on the dangers that not buckling up can pose to not only the unbuckled passenger, but also to others in the car who may be hit by a human projectile. Be sure to stay for the darkly humorous and sober ending as the body bag delivers one last plea to the viewer.

1st Place – Sterling Jones, St. George

Sterling’s message shows the power of peers to influence driving habits, especially when it comes to teens. Despite Mom and Dad’s best efforts, they might get tuned out. But if your best friend is telling you to buckle up, how can you say no? Sterling made great use of music, a GoPro camera, rooftop locations and had the best closing tagline. You’re ready for the advertising business, Sterling!

Utah teens are very talented and creative. It was extremely difficult to narrow down the entries, so visit the Zero Fatalities YouTube channel to see some noteworthy honorable mentions. And leave your comments below, we’d love your thoughts on this campaign.

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Penna Powers has a brand new soccer team, and we pulled from whoever we had in-house to make it happen: techies, creatives, has-beens, bikers, bums and account managers. Don’t let the player pool fool you, however, because as of right now, we are 3:1. Somehow, this hodgepodge of players has turned into a tactically savvy soccer team, feared by every other team in the Coed, League 10.

The Dungeons and Dragons discussions have been nixed by talks of soccer tactics and sub rotations. The afternoon Birthday Celebration sweets have been forgone in the stomach’s preparation for the evening’s match. The P2 staff is hyped every Game Day with anticipation. Needless to say, the creation of a P2 soccer team has had an energizing effect on the P2 workday.

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1/5 Post-Game Recap:

Last week was a nail-biter! After overcoming a 3:0 deficit, Nate sealed the deal with a striking hit to far post for the 4:3 advantage with only minutes to go. Thor, Marsha and Becka worked some skilled offensive magic in the final third, sometimes surprising themselves, tallying upwards of 10 shots on goal. Audrey fit her defensive role like a glove and with Jordan’s coaching and stamina our team was organized and tactful. Tyson never swore, never let Jordan down and made a few seriously key stops in the final minutes of the match to seal the victory.

Players to watch 1/19: Definitely Collin Brian. A player that demonstrated some silky skills for 3 minutes — fans everywhere are anxious to see what he will do with a few more.

1/19 Post-Game Recap:

The wrath of P2 officially unleashed versus Pandas IFC. After 12 utterly nasty goals, the Pandas were left bereft of their cute looks and pride.

Speaking of cute, the girls brought the heat. Marsha continues as the consistent offensive threat while really sticking it to the offsides rule. Audrey’s savvy is missed every minute she is off the pitch. Becka receives “most improved player” and is typically found doing drills after the game. Carly got her sports confused and deliberately produced a screen, which resulted in a foul that would make any basketball coach proud. It made Kim really proud, too. Melinda had a harsh welcome to the sport with the whiff of the game. No matter, literally seconds later she was up and assisted the sweetest goal of the night. Whiff’s on you, Pandas.

The boys also did work. Player-to-watch, Collin Brian, exceeded expectations with a hat-trick performance – it’s amazing what a little more than three minutes can do for you. Jordan ran our defense…and offense…and midfield…he basically runs the entire game, literally and figuratively speaking. Nate is consistently on the leader board for goals and rumor has it scouts are watching him closely. Tyson had a sick shot on goal and if you don’t believe me, it was caught on film. Thor doesn’t say much vocally and let’s his moves do the talking: to this day he has the best shake-n-bake skills we have seen.

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1/26 Post-Game Recap:

If you’ve ever wondered if Narwhals exist, they don’t. P2 defeated second-in-the-league foe Narwhal Nation 9-3 last Thursday wrapping up a 3-game winning streak. The Narwhals were feisty but P2 fought back, collecting the most fouls they’ve had all season. Kim made-good with her 3-goal promise to Chuck and scored her first hat-trick of the season. She also made-bad with an opposing player, failing to chip over his 6’5″ self resulting in a nice ball-to-face moment for him. He had some colorful words for Kim immediately following (something about “going around…”).

Meanwhile, Tyson was caught counting out loud the number of times he was falling to the ground – going down with a loud “There’s three!” midway through the game. He and Thor almost had to shave and let their locks flow due to a shortage of female players. Collin remained calm and collective helping us to keep our cool all game long. Marsha has added to her soccer position repertoire by developing as a fantastic midfielder, constantly checking back to add support. Becka and Nate are beginning to make a great “soccer couple.” Fans can really see the chemistry between the P2 players develop. It is not uncommon to see give-and-go’s, wall passes, and spectacular assists at every game.

Players to watch 2/2: Alex Antonino. Let’s call this what it is: an all-out call-out. Her sassy spunk in soccer form is the most anticipated venture of the New Year. Fans and P2 players cannot contain their high-hopes for Miss. Antonino’s participation.

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Technology is always changing, with yesterday’s impossible evolving into today’s ‘must have.’ While there’s no way to predict everything that will surprise us in 2017, here are five upcoming tech products to keep your eye on in the New Year.

2017 tech

The Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is an upcoming console/tablet hybrid that aims to revolutionize the way we play video games. Utilizing detachable game controllers and a special docking station, the Nintendo Switch can transform from a handheld gaming tablet to a complete gaming console within seconds. While there is plenty of skepticism on how well the Switch will work, Nintendo has surprised us before. And the device, set to launch in March of 2017, is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Amazon Echo with a Touch Screen

Digital assistants like Siri, Google Now and Alexa have already proven that they can be a compelling tool to make everyday life easier. And while we don’t know the specific sales numbers for Amazon’s Echo devices, it’s obvious that Amazon is heavily invested in developing the product. We can expect 2017 will yield several breakthroughs in the digital assistant category. Specifically, the current rumor is that the next Alexa-enabled device will launch with a 7-inch touchscreen. Does this mean Amazon will be merging their Echo and Fire device lines? Probably not. But it could mean a new device category is set to hit the market.

Surface Phone

It’s been a long time since Microsoft bought Nokia, and we have yet to see much innovation come from the acquisition. But next year, Microsoft announced that they want to start creating Windows 10 ARM-based PCs. This might not sound like much, but it means that Microsoft wants to start using phone processors to run a specially compiled version of Windows 10. This could be a sign that a fully-functioning Windows 10 Smartphone (maybe even the long-rumored “Surface Phone”) is being prepped to launch in 2017.

Android Wear 2.0

Google planned to release an update to its Android Wear platform (the software that runs on Android Smartwatches) earlier this year. For several different reasons, this update has been pushed to 2017. While smartwatch sales have been dwindling in recent months, this update could provide a much-needed boost of usage and popularity to bring smartwatches back into the limelight.

The Next iPhone

People always clamor over the latest iPhone releases every year, but 2017 might prove to be extra special, as it marks the 10-year anniversary of the original launch of the iPhone. While it could be an incremental “7S” upgrade like we’ve seen in years past, many rumors point to a major overhaul, including a curved screen, removing the home button and more. Either way, the next iPhone will definitely turn a few heads in the tech world in 2017.

Again, there’s no way to predict what crazy and innovative products will surprise and amaze us this next year, but we can rest assured that there are many sleeper hits and major flops yet to come.

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Called “More than just a badge of distinction” by the Salt Lake Tribune, “Top Workplaces are not only better places to work but are more likely to be successful than peer organizations.”

Only 65 companies were named a 2016 Top Workplace, we think it’s pretty cool that we’ve now made this list two years in a row.

The Salt Lake Tribune Top Workplaces Award is awarded based solely on employee surveys and comments about the environment in which they work. Not just compensation and benefits keep us here, but we have tons of fun. From annual Lagoon Day, Halloween and Bowl-ffet (bowling and pizza) parties, to cooking classes and employee anniversary celebrations, P2 is truly a Top Workplace.

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If you’ve given us a ring at Penna Powers in the last year, you may have noticed that we’ve abandoned the tired jingles and elevator music of yesteryear. Instead, we utilize your waiting time to inspire and share a little bit about who we are. Here are a few examples of our latest on-hold recordings…

For more fun entries, call us anytime at: 801.487.4800

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From Utah Business, “Best Companies to Work For Honored at Event:”

Success can be measured in many ways: growth, revenue, community impact, to name a few. Having an objective means of saying a company has the happiest employees, though, is a special kind of accomplishment.

Utah’s 50 happiest companies—as tabulated from anonymous surveys by the bulk or entirety of each company’s in-state workforce—were recognized by Utah Business for their efforts to go above and beyond to make their offices comfortable and engaging places for their employees. Donnie Welch, publisher of Utah Business magazine, said while the perks like free food or employee gatherings were nice, the most important benefits workers mentioned were centered around respect and recognizing effort and ability.

“They tell us what’s most important to them is the respect and autonomy they are given, the support from their leadership, the camaraderie that makes coming to work fun,” Welch said. “In their surveys, your employees explained that what they most appreciate are the opportunities to learn and advance their careers, especially when they have a leadership team that is willing to mentor them and support their aspirations.”

Kim Fisher, an evening anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 4 Utah, who emceed the event, said the efforts to make the workplace more welcoming for employees often brings economic benefits—employees who are happy, after all, tend to work harder. And in turn, she said, that helps make Utah a better place to be.

“You’re creating a wonderful place to work,” she said. “When you have a good place to work, it helps make it a good place to live.”

The 2016 Best Small Companies to Work For are:

Animal Care Center

Apex Dental

Beehive Broadband

Disruptive Advertising

FJ Management

GPS Capital Markets

Grant Victor

MassMutual Intermountain

NaviTrust

Penna Powers

PrincePerelson & Associates

Xima Software

TestOut Corporation

Your Employment Solutions

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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 epidemic.org

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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