The Gong Blog

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Pandemic can be optimal time for self-analysis and planning

I don’t know about you, but it seems like 2020 would have been a much more appropriate year to launch the “ice bucket challenge.” Could there have been a more fitting metaphor for the cold splash of reality that descended on our collective heads earlier this year? And again several times since. We had anticipated being back in the office by Memorial Day, although we never did say in what year. Like many companies, we empaneled what we called our...

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Generate more leads by updating your marketing personas

In these virtual times, do you ever feel like you’re producing dozens of pieces of content, throwing them out there but getting nothing in return? If you’re not seeing a return on the time you’re investing, it’s possible you need to refine your digital marketing strategy. Consider hitting the pause button on your inbound content marketing strategy and starting back at Step 1: revisiting your marketing personas. What are personas? Marketing or buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal...

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Monday is the deadline for this easy-to-apply scholarship for PR students

Monday is the deadline for this easy-to-apply scholarship for PR students

I proudly serve as the president of the Richmond Public Relations Foundation. Every year, we give out three $1,500 scholarships to public relations students in Virginia. The deadline to apply is this Monday, Oct. 12 at 11:59 EST. If you’re a junior or senior, I hope you’ll consider submitting materials. Get all the details here. Applying is easy. You’ll need to submit a one-page essay focused on “why you want to work in PR and how you have prepared yourself...

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Meet A Hodger: Amanda Colocho

With a natural flair for connecting with people and making lasting relationships, Amanda Colocho has a knack for helping clients and local Richmond organizations accomplish their communications goals. A San Francisco native who partly grew up in Fredericksburg, Amanda moved to Richmond in 2010 to go to VCU where she earned a B.S. in Mass Communications with a concentration in public relations. She also brings to Hodges diverse public relations experience, having interned with music venues like The Broadberry and...

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No slow news days: Working with media to place stories when breaking news does not stop

No slow news days: Working with media to place stories when breaking news does not stop

2020 has been filled with… a lot.  It seems like just about every day is filled with breaking news – important stories of natural disasters, COVID-19 updates, racial injustice and protests and the upcoming presidential election. The one thing we’re missing: a slow news day, often a PR person’s best friend. Don’t get me wrong, these major stories are critical, and we all should appreciate the reporters  who are working long hours and often putting themselves at personal risk in...

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The Catch-22 of social media management during challenging times

The other day, my colleague Amanda and I were leading an AMA Richmond small group conversation on social media. There were only six of us on the call, but half of the group actively said they were limiting social media use because it’s just too much. Some Hodgers have even quit, or greatly reduced, their social media use for the same reason. But what do you do when you’re a social media manager who operates in the social media world...

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Here’s one way you can support PR students during the pandemic

Here’s one way you can support PR students during the pandemic

When I was a PR student, I always valued conversations with PR professionals. Their insights and advice helped me navigate the beginnings of my communications career. During my first internship at CarMax, I remember Trina Lee, APR telling me about her career switch from TV news to public relations as we drove back from a store grand opening in Fredericksburg. When I attended VCU PRSSA meetings, Taya Jarman, APR visited often as PRSA Richmond’s student relations chair and offered important...

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Five tips to set your company podcast up for success

Five tips to set your company podcast up for success

Podcasting is on our minds lately, with a few clients starting or asking about podcasts to meet their remote marketing goals. If you’ve decided it’s time for your company to publish a podcast, here are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. Know your goals Have a clear and realistic idea going in of what success looks like for your podcast. Chances are your company podcast is not going to make it into the top...

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Don’t let fear and doubt ruin your thought leadership efforts

Media relations can an extremely effective way to boost an organization or individual’s visibility among key stakeholders. This is particularly true in the area of thought leadership – when the goal is to be seen as the definitive expert on a topic or issue. Like any media relations assignment though, getting the attention of a reporter is not an easy task. The average journalist gets hundreds of pitches a day from PR pros. Yours could be one of dozens that...

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The things you can’t (or are really hard to) advertise on social media

The things you can’t (or are really hard to) advertise on social media

Launching a social media advertising campaign is no small feat, even for those of us who do this for a living. Despite our experience, there is a good bit that is unpredictable in this space.  For instance, we’ve had Hodges’ ads denied because we wrote about Black Lives Matter. Ads have been denied because the copy about career training was flagged for inappropriately promoting job opportunities. Then there were the occasions when identical ad copy was flagged one time but...

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