The Gong Blog

Media Relations ≠ Public Relations

Each year, the Oxford English Dictionary — kind of the Miss Manners of all things etymological — adds to its hefty entries by including newly approved words. Last year, for example, the OED saw fit to officially sanction close to 100 new words — or new definitions of words — not to mention at least that many of what it calls “sub-entries.” The words range from the “what took them so long” (e.g. cheerlead, T-bone, as a verb, and Oompa Loompa) to the profane to the obscure (e.g. aggrupation, foefie slide and yobbism). The point is that words and their evolving meanings is not …

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Ensuring your content reaches the right people

By now, you’ve gotten the message: The public relations landscape has changed significantly over the past few years. We’ve witnessed an important shift toward owning your own content, which has created new ways for PR professionals to disseminate their organization’s message. But how should that message be shared with interested audiences? To start, social media platforms. Social media is just one of the many ways you can communicate directly with consumers and potential clients without having to rely on traditional news media. Social content can help you fill the valleys that come between media placements, but the truth is, it …

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Marketing checklist: 3 quick tips to kick off 2017

The holidays are quickly approaching, bringing a fresh start in the New Year. But before you check out of the office, why not take this opportunity to take stock of your marketing efforts in 2016. These three exercises will help you come back in January with a fresh perspective and poised for success in 2017. Look way back. Take a look at what you set out to do last January. What were your goals and did you achieve them? If you set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely), the answer to whether or not you achieved them should be …

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My experience hosting a Facebook Live Q&A

We’re a couple weeks out from Hodges’ first-ever Facebook live event and still I find it hard to watch the archived video. Don’t get me wrong, the event exceeded our expectations and the feedback from viewers was amazing. In fact, someone even recognized Jon at a downtown restaurant and asked him if he was the guy from the Facebook live event…in our minds, we’re stars! The reality, however, is that it’s hard to watch and listen to recorded versions of ourselves – we’re our own worst critics. Plus, we know this information so well that sometimes it’s hard to convey it …

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Content Done Right: Successes of Philanthropy Uses Brand Journalism to Promote Foundation Work

Earlier this year, an innovative new project launched within the Washington Monthly’s website to highlight the good work of foundations across the U.S.  Successes of Philanthropy isn’t just a new column from the D.C.-based magazine that traditionally covers politics and government. It’s a stellar example of brand journalism, one that is funded entirely by nine foundations. The project’s founder and curator Jeff Hamond explained the reason for the effort in a Successes of Philanthropy post: In America, more so than in other countries, philanthropies play a unique and important role of supporting innovative policy experiments that, when successful, often become …

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Measuring PR in an Earned, Owned, Paid World

Measurement has been somewhat of a white whale for the public relations industry for quite some time, if not forever. Not that it’s impossible, by any means, but the nature of our work makes quantifying its impact an Ahab-level challenge. While marketers and advertisers can point to clear metrics demonstrating success, PR pros often have struggled to draw a straight line between their victories and bottom-line impact, especially to clients who have a hard time understanding the value of intangibles like good will, reputation and even general awareness. As we’ve touched on previously though, the rise of digital media finally …

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How to Vet, Choose, and Hire the Perfect PR Firm

Today’s truth: I’ve never hired a public relations firm. So who am I to be giving advice to someone who is looking to hire one? I’ve always been the guy on the other side of the table trying to convince the prospect to hire my agency or even me. So what expertise can I bring to the table on this subject? Well, a lot actually. In those conversations (and there have been hundreds of them over the years), I’ve seen the struggle, hesitancy, and confusion on the “buyer’s” side. More often than not, there are occasions when they don’t even …

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You’ve got (owned and digital content) questions, we’ve got answers (or at least witty banter)

Measurement and public relations haven’t always been the best bedfellows. Advertising value equivalency was long heralded as the go-to metric for media relations, only to be debunked later by PR scholars. Even when the impact of a positive news story could be measured, in terms of reputation building, for example, it always was difficult not to be outshone by marketing, who could more clearly make the connection between their efforts and sales – the ultimate objective for many executives and managers. We knew our work mattered and was making a difference, but it wasn’t necessarily easy to demonstrate that to …

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Thanks on Thanksgiving

As we take stock of our blessings during Thanksgiving week 2016, Jon and I have much to be grateful for. Our health is mostly good, notwithstanding a few aches and pains. Our wives continue to put up with us. Both the Mets and Orioles made the playoffs. Our kids are nice people. Bruce’s tour stopped not far away and my golf index dipped (ever so briefly) into single digits. We still have most of our hair and teeth, and Richmond has a new mayor who is going to get us a new ballpark. (He is, right?) On a professional front, …

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Preparing for Interviews

Content creation goes beyond sharing your own personal insights and expertise. When blogging for your business, it’s not all about you. Sharing industry-wide news, tips and trends and taking advantage of your company’s subject-matter experts (read: Owning Your Story) are essential elements to build your blog’s credibility and brand. After all, whatever your expertise, there is always more to learn beyond your own insights and experiences. And so, aggregating relevant content can go a long way toward building your blog’s readership. Another vital resource, of course, is tapping into available subject matter experts, especially when it comes to offering information …

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The Hodges Partnership
1805 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-1414
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