The Gong Blog

Screengrab of an Instagram post from The Hodges Partnership featuring five woman in masks from an in-person tour of the agency.

The difference between social media and social media marketing

On the surface, the difference between social media and social media marketing can be simplified with the qualifier of, “Is there paid dollars to support this?” You’re not wrong, but that synthesis is just scratching the surface. I recently attended a webinar with our social management platform partner that brought in the Toyota UK social media content team to talk about its strategy for social. Granted, they have the luxury of having a global brand with a massive number...

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11 media relations tips and tricks to help your next pitch break through

We‘ve been doing some crowdsourcing with our internal agency team on media relations best practices beyond press releases - tips and tricks that we use to engage and build relationships with both new and existing contacts, and ultimately, place important stories for our clients. Finding ways to break through is crucial – according to Muck Racks’ survey The State of Journalism 2021, the average journalist gets between 5-25 pitches per week and 4% of journalists reported getting more than 51...

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Desk with podcasting equipment (microphone, headphones)

Creating social connections: Podcasts or webinars?

As an agency, Hodges tries to stay ahead of the most effective communications tactics, especially those that align with content strategies driving engagement. It's important to focus on communications strategies that are not only effective but also efficient, that offer the best return on time and money. Along those lines, we’ve heard from some organizations who are debating whether webinars or podcasts are appropriate tools to enhance communications outreach. Not surprisingly, we have some thoughts. Podcasts and webinars are great...

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Media interviews: The care and feeding of the CEO

Count me among those who ascribe to the adage that it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes than your own. Which puts me in the perfect position for blog readers to take advantage of the wisdom I’ve acquired during the times when things didn’t go just right. I’m thinking about the moment during a live interview on Fox Business News when the host of the program (who will remain nameless since he’s still holding forth) thought it would be a...

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Two people carrying large cardbox boxes, their faces obscured behind the boxes

Four tips to lighten the content creation load

Social media managers wear many hats. They serve as community managers, customer service support, marketers, data scientists and content creators, among many other roles. But it is perhaps that last role—content creator--that can be the toughest of all. Anyone who has put together an editorial content calendar for social media knows just how time-consuming and daunting it can be. “Is this post funny? Is it relevant? On brand? Is this image compelling enough to get someone to pause mid-scroll?” These...

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Two vintage VW buses colliding

VW’s high voltage PR dud

Before I saddle up my high horse, let me say for the record that I’ve got a pretty good sense of humor. In fact, when I was interviewed a few years ago for podcast on PR, I was asked which company’s public relations work I admired. I immediately cited WestJet, a Canadian airline on which I have never actually flown. But what I liked about the company was its irreverence and ability to have a bit of fun in an...

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Data changes that affect digital marketers

Chances are, if you’ve been reading any industry news in the last couple of months, you are aware that data privacy is getting tighter – here in Virginia and around the world. On the heels of a recent AMA Richmond conversation, we wanted to share a couple of data privacy and marketing-related items that have us shaking in our cleats. Virginia adds data privacy law Surely GDPR is something you’ve heard about, and you’re probably popping aspirin daily for the...

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Hand holding phone with TikTok profile and thumbnails of videos

Two years in, and I still have TikTok: Some thoughts

I used to be Hodges’ only resident TikTok expert – that is, until they hired someone younger than me. *sighs sadly* In January of 2019, I downloaded TikTok – for research purposes, of course. My work at Hodges demanded it, and it had really started to take off in the U.S. Early TikTok adapters will know that the platform has changed quite a bit. Writing this, I am floored that I’ve surpassed my two-year anniversary with the addictive app. The...

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What should PR pros expect from journalists?

In our industry, we don’t have to go far to hear how bad we are at our jobs. We have our own hashtag (#prfail), and journalists routinely skewer our pitches or methods on Twitter or Instagram. And many times, we deserve it.   A couple of weeks ago, Chris Stokel-Walker, a journalist who writes for the BBC and New York Times, screen-grabbed a request from a PR professional requesting a response back to his pitch as a “professional courtesy.” He...

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close-up of a sparkler

Keeping the cultural spark alive, one year after the pandemic

The culture at The Hodges Partnership is our secret sauce that keeps retention – and spirits – high. For many of us, our roles at Hodges take up the largest chunk of our resumes. And if you were to ask those of us who have a splattering of other positions elsewhere, I bet we would tell you that cultural issues were a big reason for us not being there anymore. March 16, 2020 was Hannah’s first day at Hodges. We...

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