The Gong Blog

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Clubhouse, privacy and other social media trends to watch in 2021

As fully public social networks have become more hostile to everyday users, from a surfeit of ads to political and conspiracy posts crowding our timelines, more people are moving activity and interactions that used to happen on Facebook or Twitter to semi-public networks on Slack or Discord, private group chats on WhatsApp, signal or Facebook’s Messenger, and transient communication like Clubhouse and Snapchat or Instagram Stories. According to this 2019 study from eMarketer, use of mobile messaging apps is expected...

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The test of time: How we build long-term client relationships

Back in 2002, when Jon Newman and Josh Dare struck out to start their own communications firm, they were guided by the notion of doing good work for good people. They also wanted to lose some of the pretenses that can come with the client/agency partnership. From the beginning, Hodges focused on the human side of its clients, each with their own challenges, expectations, ambitions and personal lives. The approach evolved into what we now call the “Hodges Way,” a...

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Connie Harshaw, president of the Let Freedom Ring Foundation, being interviewed for the TODAY Show

Four tips to successfully coordinating a national morning show interview

At some point, any good public relations professional has forced themselves to become a padawan, dare I say, a Jedi in the art of patience.  It’s a virtue my parents would happily tell you was never my strong suit. But just like anything in life, practice makes perfect. Media relations is more of an art than a science, and now, a few years and a ton of press releases later, I'm finally starting to get the hang of it.   The...

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The five reasons you’ll read this blog

The five reasons you’ll read this blog

1.  It gets right to the point.  None of the tangential bombast or sentimentality that too often characterizes my blog openings.  2. The headline is intriguing.  I mean, you couldn’t resist, and now it’s too late.  3.  You like lists.  They’re easy to read, digest and remember. 4.  It’s topical.  And we love tips. 5.  It’s short.  You don’t have time, and well, there are only five.  While there’s a meta aspect to this post, it also conforms from what...

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The GameStop situation exposed these crisis communications truths

It’s looking like 2021 might be just as unpredictable as 2020. So far this year’s got political unrest, new COVID strains, oh, and a Reddit thread about GameStop that exposed one of Wall Street’s darkest secrets – which triggered one crisis communications event after the next. To recap, users on the r/wallstreetbets Reddit thread set the foundation for a short squeeze on GameStop, pushing the stock price up significantly. Over the course of just two weeks, GameStop’s stock value increased...

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Meet A Hodger: Josh Dare

After graduating from Gettysburg College, Hodges co-founder Josh Dare used a one-way ticket to Europe, happily backpacking through a dozen countries, until one day, he realized it was time to go home:  the Orioles were going to the World Series. Everyone knows you can’t miss the World Series. Starting his career in the FBI, Josh got his first communications hits in the Bureau’s public affairs office.  But that was only the first inning. He’d go on to work as a...

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Returning credibility to the media that it should never have lost in the first place

All this talk about the “new normal” has many of us longing for the “old normal,” the way things used to be when we didn’t realize how good we had it. Now along comes Jen Psaki’s White House news briefings, and suddenly the waves of nostalgia are pouring over us. The thrust and parry emanating from the briefing room have returned to a familiar cadence. Communications professionals are back at the podium armed with truth and facts and a distinct...

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The future of social content and paid media in the wake of Trump

As someone whose public relations business has survived and thrived in recent years by using social media platforms and their advertising capabilities, I’m more than an interested bystander on their futures in the aftermath of the Trump era. The platforms allow us to promote our clients’ content to their target audiences and drive awareness of and engagement with their thought leadership efforts. But as we’ve seen, those same advertising tools and algorithms are used to amplify political rhetoric and hate,...

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White House from the front lawn view

The first White House press conference was ‘delightfully boring’

All in all, press conferences should be pretty straightforward. Share the facts. Answer questions. Provide context and insights. Even to the casual observer, White House press conferences have been lacking that normalcy over the last four years, that is, even when they took place at all. Not only was there no regular frequency to them – in 2019, the press office went more than 40 days without one – perhaps worse, it was hard to tell fact from fiction. Very often, questions from...

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Three benefits of earned media

Over the last few years, we’ve seen some local media and newsrooms dwindle while social media platforms grow, but that doesn’t mean your media relations efforts should lose priority. While print media might be inching closer towards becoming our past, publications are adapting to meet audiences where they are: online. From downloadable, PDF versions of the daily paper to daily email newsletters curating breaking and trending news, the media landscape is continuously evolving. Publications also rely on social media platforms...

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