The Gong Blog

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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Persona Interviews: Don’t Be Scared to Talk to Your Audience

As we’ve preached here, here, here and likely a dozen other times, understanding your audience, their goals and the obstacles that stand in their way is essential intelligence that organizations need in order to create relevant content. Not only will this exercise help you create better content, which most marketers believe is the key element to a successful content marketing program, it also has the potential to drive revenue and conversions. But how do you ensure that your audience intelligence — the prospect and customer insights on which your organization is basing its marketing decisions — is actually correct? It’s likely that …

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Behind the scenes: Hilldrup helps make GameDay happen

Our work for Hilldrup has transformed over the years, and recently we’ve been able to fully implement an Earned, Owned, Paid strategy which includes pitching local and trade media, writing web content, managing social media profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) and promoting content using social advertising. Gathering content for clients with operations in multiple cities often can be a challenge, and today, users on social media expect to see engaging content (video/photos) all the time. So when the opportunity to visit Charlottesville and Chapel Hill fell into our laps for Hilldrup, which has locations in seven cities, we were just …

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3 Tips for Pitching Journalists [VIDEO]

In our latest video, I give a brief overview and tips for pitching your story to the media. You can watch the video above and find a transcript below. At the end, you’ll see a link to download our eBook on Earned, Owned and Paid PR where we delve a little deeper into the practice of media relations and how it fits into a full PR program. Transcript of 3 Tips for Pitching Journalists Video Hi, my name is Sean Ryan. I’m the vice president of media relations here at the Hodges Partnership and today we’re going to talk about …

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How much should you be blogging?

The great blogging debate

Call it the great blogging debate. Should you post short, topical posts at a high frequency like multiple times a day? Or is it better to post in-depth posts with only the most highly-targeted information less frequently? The answer lies somewhere in between. What you want are quality blog posts in a quantity that drives traffic to your website, converts that traffic into leads, establishes your brand as an authority and drives long-term results. Blog frequently. Frequent blogging really does drive traffic. It also improves SEO and fosters a connection with your target audiences. Earlier this year, HubSpot and Moz ran concurrent experiments to …

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Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-0085 fax