The Gong Blog

Spray and Pray Dismay

Two of my colleagues recently interviewed journalist and author Roben Farzad on what’s becoming one of my favorite podcasts, appropriately enough called It’s a PR Podcast. Roben hosts Full Disclosure on NPR One, is a special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and used to write for Bloomberg Businessweek. He’s smart and curious, engaging and fun, and he’s also pretty generous with his time. The episode is worth a listen. First, for the sake of full disclosure (speaking of which), I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed on the podcast myself, weighing in mostly on the changes I’ve seen in our …

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How to Get Started with Owned Content

Do you know what the beauty of owned content is? You have total control, and for a control-freak like me, developing original, owned content puts me in a happy place. Chances are, if you have a content marketing strategy in place, you are already producing some level of owned content. But if you’re looking to beef up your practice, or get started from the ground up, you may need a little bit of guidance. The world is your content oyster, and it can get overwhelming if you let it. Elsewhere in The Gong Blog archives, you’ll find five helpful questions …

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How it feels to be this year’s PRSA Richmond Rising Star

Last night was a whirlwind to say the least. Whoever decided that the announcement of the Rising Star award should be the final one of the night is a sadist. The introvert inside of me was dying up on stage, looking at hundreds of people I respect and admire. But I am overjoyed – and extremely overwhelmed – by what an honor it is to be named this year’s Rising Star by PRSA Richmond. Some very impressive people have been recognized with this award, and it’s exciting to think about everyone who will stand up here in the years ahead. …

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Want top performers? Prioritize the employee experience

When is the last time you took an assessment of your team’s engagement? Are you the type of manager that constantly thinks about this? Or have you not revisited this topic since the last employee engagement survey? There’s no wrong answer but there may be an opportunity for you to transform how you approach employee engagement. For starters, employee engagement is not about employees’ happiness levels as it’s possible to have a highly satisfied team that produces mediocre results. Think about it: what employee wouldn’t report high levels of satisfaction if they’ve got a “good gig” with a nice manager …

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Write Great Blog Headlines and Get More Clickthroughs

Reading online isn’t much different than in print. Some of us read every word on every line, but for the rest of us – we’re skimmers. If a headline captures our attention and piques our interest, we’ll make the decision to invest time and read the full article. As it turns out, writing blog headlines is just as much a science as it is an art. Sure, you need to eloquently string a cohesive series of words together to tee up your article, but you also need to appease the search engine gods. Here are four best practices for you …

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Why you should diversify your social media strategy

You know the old saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” right? This idiom perfectly applies to a lot of things in our industry, especially when it comes to social media advertising strategies. It’s easy to think your money should be spent on Facebook, one of the largest social media platforms and one of the earliest adopters to advertising, but if your audience is on multiple platforms, you should be, too. Here are four good reasons you should diversify your social media strategy. Social media advertising targeting varies from platform to platform. Some targeting metrics are universal, but …

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A Marketer’s Secret Weapon: Trade Publications

Getting media coverage in trade publications, especially for B2B companies, is a great way to promote your product, service or business to a specific, targeted audience. These publications are professional resources with relevant information on trends, recent developments in the field, new products, techniques and other news that is specific to an industry. If your content marketing game is strong, you’re already sharing these insights on your company’s blog, newsletter, social media pages and other platforms used to communicate with audiences. But sharing and showcasing expertise in an industry publication not only enhances brand credibility but also creates greater awareness. …

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5 Tips for Creating Buyer Personas

Yes, understanding your business (think: value proposition, mission statement) is important. But I’d argue that truly understanding your customers is even more crucial. If you don’t know your target customers, how can you successfully market and sell your products and services? Creating buyer personas, a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, is one of the best ways to generate leads and ultimately close sales. There are dozens of questions you could ask yourself, your team and your customers to help develop buyer personas. To keep from getting bogged down in too many details, here are five of my favorite strategies …

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What Brands Should Know about the Facebook, Cambridge Analytica Crisis

What happened? Cambridge Analytica (CA) obtained personal data of about 87 million Facebook users without their consent with the hopes that they could use this data to develop psychographic profiles of those users. The data was collected a few years ago through a third-party app that had to be downloaded by a user, and the app was approved by Facebook (it was created by a university researcher who claimed it was for academic purposes). Those who downloaded the app unknowingly gave CA access to their data and their friends’ data. Facebook has stated that it suspended CA in 2015 after …

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A Tale of Two Crises

A little more than a week after blogging about Facebook’s conspicuously tardy response to the Cambridge Analytica dustup, here I am again making much the same point: Nothing exposes a company’s core values more than a crisis. Facebook’s young CEO may like to think that the company puts a premium on speed, but that priority was exposed as a lie when it took 100 hours to utter his first words about what could fairly be called the social platform’s most consequential crisis. (If you missed that blog, you can find it here.) On the heels of that, now comes the …

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