The Gong Blog

Building communities through content

At the most recent American Marketing Association Speaker Series luncheon, we had the privilege of learning a thing or two about content marketing the open source way from Jason Hibbets, senior community evangelist in corporate marketing at Red Hat. Creating content this open source way is a strategy that focuses on collaboration and community building: a concept that helped surpass 1 million views in March 2016 alone. Readers find the site primarily though organic search and although it’s sponsored by Red Hat, there are no ads – not even Red Hat ads – on the site. How do they …

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Trump’s new world order of media relations

By Joe Hyde, APR* (*not his real name, and he doesn’t have his APR either)

Donald Trump may be disrupting the way presidential campaigns are run, but is he now rewriting the rules when it comes to media relations? The Washington Post reported recently on a taped interview between a reporter for People magazine and the real estate developer on the subject of his recent divorce and hiatus with then flame Marla Maples. Even a quarter century later, the interview resonates as quintessential Trump: unrestrained bravado about his wealth, full-throated braggadocio on his romantic allure – all delivered with the verbal swagger of a man clearly enjoying the attention. But Trump acting like Trump was …

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Monitoring your mentions on social media

Customers drive every business – in fact, the more, the better. And chances are, many of those customers will have something to share online about your brand. Do you have a strategy in place for monitoring what’s being said? Do you know when to respond, and what to say? Here are some simple tools that will keep you from missing out on what could be valuable feedback and opportunities. Monitoring Media Mentions There are plenty of tools available for monitoring your brand’s social media mentions. Here are a few of the best: Old-school Google Alerts should be your first line of attack. It’s free, …

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How Your CEO Can Build Brand Loyalty with Twitter

While tweets may be a mere 140 characters long, the majority of corporate leaders say they’re far too busy running their organizations to spend their time posting to Twitter. What’s more, many see it as a fruitless exercise that doesn’t increase revenue, they don’t like the idea of ceding control, and they’re leery of sharing too much – or not enough. The result is that fewer than 6% of Fortune 500® CEOs use Twitter and of those, only 60% tweet on a regular basis. But the benefits of CEOs tweeting are abundant, with studies showing that over 80% of people believe that CEOs on …

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Media previews: How a small event can lead to a successful opening

We recently had the opportunity to assist Cabela’s with public relations efforts surrounding the opening of its Short Pump location – its second location in Virginia. One area where we were tasked to lend a hand was the media preview: which was an opportunity for local media to come out and get a sneak peek of the space, do interviews and get photos and videos prior to the official store opening. Here at Hodges, we assist a number of clients with media previews, especially as they relate to retail, restaurant and other openings. They are a great way to create …

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How to determine a social media advertising budget

Is your organization on social media? Great! Now let me share some unfortunate news with you: Just being on social media isn’t enough anymore. Your strategy needs to contain a social media advertising budget if you want to reach new (and even existing) audiences. But the good news is, you can reach the right audience at the right time, with the right message if you set aside money in your marketing budget for social media advertising. Here’s how we advise clients to determine a social media advertising budget Step one: Identify your campaign objectives If you have a social media …

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Inbound: Moving Buyers from Awareness to Consideration

The buyer’s journey – the research process potential buyers go through before making a purchase – is critical to understanding how to develop effective inbound marketing campaigns. Inbound content should be written to potential buyers at each phase of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration and decision. The consideration stage Consideration stage content provides in-depth, solution-oriented information. This is the phase where a prospect has clearly defined their problem or opportunity and is committed to researching and understanding all available approaches to solving it. That’s where you come in. What does the consideration stage look like? (Here’s an example I borrowed …

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We signed up for all of the presidential candidate email lists

Here’s what we learned

First things first, this is an apolitical blog. If you’ve ever signed up a for political candidate’s email list, your inbox has likely filled up with updates, donation requests and rallying cries. That’s what got us thinking: are there any trends in political campaign email marketing? What can communication professionals learn from the deluge of emails? We created a fake Gmail account and signed up for every political candidates’ email list and analyzed emails from February 19 – March 18. We pulled data using code from Austin Walter’s blog. At the time, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, …

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So, you want to be on TV…

When I started in PR more than a dozen years ago, three of the most dreaded words when talking with potential clients were: The Today Show. Nothing against Katie and Matt back then, or Matt and Savannah now, but it’s really hard to break through their producers to actually see your client sitting down next to them for an interview. It can be just as hard for Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning or any of the shows on Fox, CNN or MSNBC. Hard, but not impossible. Here are a few things to remember when pitching TV producers. Research – …

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The full disclosure on Full Disclosure

For those of you who know me well, at some point you may have heard me talk about my childhood dream — to become the next Katie Couric. It seemed very realistic when I was in middle school. After all, she did have Virginia connections. I sincerely pursued the idea through college. I interned at Henrico County School’s TV station (and if you can find the tape, I seriously abused the term “excellent” during my interviews), attended the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and interned for a PBS show, the Baltimore Fox affiliate and Richmond’s own CBS 6. Alas, …

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1805 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-0085 fax