The Gong Blog

Owning Your Story

While there is, and likely will always be, a place for media relations and traditional news delivery, the audience for this type of information is shrinking.  According to Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media Report, 2015 circulation numbers in the newspaper industry alone were down 7 percent from the prior year.  Compounding that, advertising – in both print and digital – was down 8 percent. The implications for individual publications is staggering with staff being slashed, the elimination of entire sections, and in dire cases, the long tradition of print is being replaced by digital-only dailies.  It’s an …

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Online to IRL: Bringing your online community to life at an event

Building community online is one thing–most organizations have spent years amassing followers and fans on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with communities amounting into the tens or hundreds of thousands. And those communities can spur hundreds of likes, comments and shares a day on these platforms.  But translating all that online activity into real-life excitement and engagement is a different story…and an important one. For many marketers, hosting tradeshows, conferences and events are ubiquitous elements of their annual marketing strategies, and yet while planning those events, many are missing out on the opportunity to extend their brand during those events, particularly …

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The EOP Era of Public Relations

Public relations is, to some degree, always changing. There’s always some new tool or technique to stay ahead of the curve. But every so often, these changes are so severe, or culminate in a way, that they force us to alter the strategy and counsel we provide to clients, bosses and even each other. The rise of social and digital media, and concurrently, the changing nature of the traditional media landscape, is one such example. As Josh discussed in his previous post, public relations used to involve a lot of grunt work, all directed to encourage reporters to cover your …

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Public Relations: The Early Days (aka The 1980s)

When I set out to find my first job in public relations in late 1979, I did what many newly minted English majors did — pored through the classified section of The Washington Post, running my finger down the column past pharmacists and physical therapists, psychologists and public health workers, to that largely ambiguous category: public relations. I’m not sure I had a clear idea what public relations really was, but I knew it had something to do with writing, so I thought it would be a pretty good fit and likely an easier position to secure than writing for …

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A Marketer’s Secret Weapon: Trade Publications

Getting media coverage in trade publications is a great way to promote your product or business to a specific, targeted audience. These publications are professional magazines that contain articles and information on industry trends, new products and techniques and other news that is specific to a particular industry. Trade pubs are typically not sold to the general public, but are subscribed to or distributed to a specific class of subscribers. They serve as reliable resources to those subscribers and can generate credibility for and create greater awareness about your business. Getting Published in the “Trades” There are a couple of …

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When is the Right Time to Host a Media Tour?

A media tour is a great way to deliver a message to a key group of targeted media outlets in a consistent and time-efficient fashion. Media tours often make the most sense when there is something new to talk about – whether it’s a new product, event or even a new employee within a company whom the media might be interested in learning more about. We recently assisted our client Virginia Distillery Company with the coordination of a media tour that was held on site at the distillery in Lovingston, Virginia. The tour was designed to promote the launch of …

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3 Digital Marketing Metrics You Need to Use

With apologies to librarians, travel agents and Blockbuster, there are few industries over the past few decades that have changed as dramatically as public relations.  Communications, in general, has been transformed, of course—digitized in a way that has meant greater speed, enhanced creativity and improved efficiency—so much so that for old timers like me, it can be a challenge just to keep up. Digital Marketing is More Credible Marketing (to Clients) No one could have predicted what this transformation would have brought us over the past 30 years.  Technology has affected not only the manner in which we carry out …

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Attention public sector communicators, are you archiving your social media content?

Does FOIA mean anything to you? If not, you probably work for a private organization and this post isn’t for you. For everyone else, read along. FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and other state-level public records laws are a big deal for government agencies and organizations. Essentially, the public is entitled access to virtually any unclassified document, including emails, text messages and social media content. The digital age and FOIA haven’t exactly gotten along swimmingly, so to speak, for a variety of reasons. First, many people aren’t overly familiar with the extent of FOIA, and as a result, don’t realize …

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3 Takeaways from the 2016 College Media Conference

The Hodges Partnership’s higher education team recently spent three days at the 2016 College Media Conference in Washington, D.C. Organized by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the event included participation from about 100 colleges and universities, media panel discussions and great networking. How often do you get to spend a few days, talking PR with some of the best and brightest in the higher ed community? Kudos to the organizers – it was a great event. A lot of the panels included takeaways we regularly use when pitching faculty experts. Here …

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Setting your marketing program up for success

Looking at the most successful projects I’ve worked on to date, two common threads emerge: a focused goal and a clear definition for what success looks like. Whether it’s driving web traffic among a target demographic or increasing a client’s Facebook community, a clearly defined objective makes all the difference. But that’s often easier said than done. Figuring out where to start and understanding how to get there typically require some upfront strategizing that can make or break your ultimate success. Know Your End Goal The best strategies start with a clear understanding of the problem (e.g. your sales team …

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