The Gong Blog

Our Roster: Meg Irvin, APR

Megan – best known by just about everyone as Meg – is all about making connections, both for clients and in the community. She spends her days doing community relations and media relations for her clients, both on a local and national level. Clients like Mercy Chefs, Kroger Mid-Atlantic and Virginia Distillery Company look to her for her instincts and guidance on newsworthy and compelling stories. Her work has been featured in outlets including TODAY, Esquire, USA Today, Bon Appetit and The New York Times. A Pennsylvania native, Meg now lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Taylor, and Cavalier King …

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Good Writing Goes Beyond the Words – Format and Details Matter

Content creation isn’t just about formulating the right words and cadence to capture your audience’s attention. It’s about formatting your content and setting expectations for what your audience is about to read. We at Hodges consume media for a living, and we’ve seen some stellar examples (and not-so stellar examples) of how organizations can create an enjoyable experience for its readers. Now that we’re living in the days of 140 characters (and sometimes 280), it’s up to content creators to not only write content based on our audience’s preferences, but to also organize it so all readers can enjoy it. …

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Our Intern Interview Pet Peeves

Interviews are hard, no matter what level you find yourself in your career. And I swear, phone interviews are the worst. You have a million and two things swirling around in your brain, you’re trying not to sweat through your jacket and you’re grasping at straws to remember every single fact you can about the person and company you’re interviewing with. When Kelsey and I hang up the phone, or regroup after an interview, the candidates that make a good impression always leave a smile on our faces. But sometimes, an interview can fall flat – or worse – a …

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Marketing’s Age-Old Question: Advertising or Public Relations?

Of all the venerable questions – paper vs. plastic? the chicken or the egg? Ginger or Mary Ann? – the one that marketers struggle with most is whether to invest marketing dollars in advertising or public relations. Driving awareness through traditional advertising There was a time, not all that long ago, when the answer was more clear-cut. If you needed a campaign to drive awareness by hitting target audiences with a sustained frequency, then advertising was the way to go. Your only limit to reaching your prospective buyers was the depth of your pockets, and if they were deep enough, …

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Five Questions with: Dana Hoeck, DCH Design

We know the ins and outs of public relations, content marketing and social media. But when our Creative Services team needs additional arms and legs, or if we’re assigned a major branding project, we call on one of our partners. To help us with our creative needs, we call on DCH Design’s Dana Hoeck. Dana is no stranger to branding and design. Before starting her own creative business last summer, she worked for a small design firm in Washington D.C. for three years and then joined an advertising agency here in Richmond for 14 years. She has helped us on …

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Internship Application Mistakes That Make Us Cringe

Every semester, the internship committee reviews a couple dozen applications, cover letters and resumes. When we look at a pool of candidates, the stellar applicants very quickly rise to the top, mostly by virtue of their attention to detail. For too many others,  the smallest mistakes can look like major blemishes, especially in comparison. Here are five frequent mistakes we see on application materials that come across our desks, and truth be told, they that make us feel sad inside. Mistake #1: Misspelled (or improperly used) words During a practice networking event at my time in PRSSA at East Carolina …

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Our Roster: Meet Sean Ryan

If you have been following The Hodges Partnership, then you’ve probably seen Sean Ryan’s name many times. The recovering journalist serves as the agency’s vice president of media relations, where he has pitched and helped place our clients in news outlets large and small over the last several years. Ryan, born and raised on the northside of Atlanta, studied journalism at the University of South Carolina prior to transferring to the University of Richmond, where he continued studying journalism and played for UR’s baseball team. That love for baseball made him a perfect fit for Hodges – as well as …

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What is TikTok? Here’s what marketers need to know

I’m hailing it the most cringeworthy social platform yet. But then again, my mom never let me have MySpace. Plus, it’s the first platform where I am older than the primary target audience, so maybe I’m just getting old and crotchety? TikTok. The what Remember Vine? RIP. And how about Musical.ly? Similar to both those ghosts of app pasts, TikTok is an app for making and sharing short videos. In fact, TikTok used to be Musical.ly until it was purchased by the Chinese company, ByteDance and merged into what it is now. In the app, video creators, normal people like …

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Questioning Facebook’s News Desert Designations in Virginia

Virginia is home to 133 daily and weekly newspapers. I know because I work with many of these hyper local outlets on behalf of clients. (I also counted and double-checked with the Virginia Press Association late last year.) I’m questioning Facebook’s latest research into Virginia’s news deserts. To support its new Today In section on the Facebook app, the company is working “to better understand the local news vacuum” and looked at news deserts across the U.S. According to Facebook: To build Today In, we needed to know, for any given community in the US, what local news was available …

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Communication Counsel: Getting Real with Real-Time Marketing

Ask any content creator how they approach building out editorial calendars, and I guarantee that a majority of them will say they start by checking for holidays and other events to write content around. And can you blame them? We know timeliness is one of the key ingredients to building valuable content.   Real-time marketing is when an organization engages with consumers as newsworthy or when global events are actually happening, in real time. Timeliness is essential for a successful real-time marketing campaign, and while launching real-time content around holidays may pose little risk, what happens when you get into …

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The Hodges Partnership
1805 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-1414
804-788-0085 fax