The Gong Blog

I switched careers in the middle of COVID-19: This is what I have learned.

Completely uprooting my career path in the middle of a global pandemic wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I glued the words “change” on my vision board last year. Looking back, I had a romanticized idea of how the next chapter of my life would begin. I imagined moving into the perfect Richmond apartment, decking out my cubicle in unnecessary decor, and, most importantly, engaging in human interaction. Instead, I began working for Hodges remotely, turned my living room into my workspace, and hung out with the same two people for three months straight. Long story short, life …

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Working from home permanently? Not so fast.

There’s been a lot of chatter over the past few months speculating about what the “new normal” will look like in our post-pandemic work life. One idea that has been percolating with extra big bubbles is the prospect of making more permanent the ability to work from home. Twitter was one of the first big companies to float the possibility. The tech giant’s CEO sent an email to staff letting them know that, if they wanted to keep working from home after all was said and done, that would be cool with him. Just how many of Twitter’s HQ staff …

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What We Heard: COVID-19 PR & Marketing Survey Results

A few weeks ago, we asked the Virginia PR and marketing community to participate in our survey to assess how COVID-19 has impacted our profession. We were fortunate to have 139 professionals respond – and if that includes you, thank you!  At this point, it’s more than a little trite to simply say COVID-19 has impacted our profession. Not to mention the additional unrest. Months into the pandemic, that’s a well-established reality. Some of the most pressing questions we’re now looking to answer include, to what degree and how do we best help our organizations clients move forward?  There’s still …

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Podcasts continue to gain traction, Spotify bets big on them

Newspaper readership around the country continues to decline, but even so, people still have a voracious appetite for news and current events. The New York Times, which since 1851 has produced a regular newspaper, pivoted a bit in 2017 when it launched The Daily. The podcast, true to its name, is released daily and draws upon interviews with Times’ reporters to delve into what are deemed to be the most important and pressing stories of the day. Podcast downloads ramp up In just two and a half years, the podcast achieved 1 billion downloads, and as of September 2019, saw …

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Support #BLM with intention, action and commitment

As millions of people around the globe have united to support the Black Lives Matter movement, demand justice and fight for equality, against racism and much more, organizations, brands and businesses also have been weighing in to show support. Nike was one of the first with this message on Twitter encouraging all to take part in a positive change. Netflix elevated an important message to its following of more than eight million that stated, “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and …

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From content to operations, the show must go on

Three months ago, I would have just assumed everyone would have thrown their hands up and gone on total hiatus when it came to their normal operations, communications and broader public relations efforts. Maybe that was naivety, or maybe a reflection of what I wanted to do in the beginning – but, as the adage goes, “the show must go on.” None of the companies below are essential, but they have found ways to keep running and relevant at the same, perhaps even a higher, caliber than before the world shut down. Here are just a few examples of organizations …

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Our web traffic is up almost 50%. Here’s why.

One of the sometimes painful manifestations of the digital age is that it has forced we public relations types to do math. For decades we bemoaned the fact that there was no real empirical way to measure the impact of our work (except for circulation numbers which always seemed contrived and now quaintly anachronistic). Mostly, we operated under the assumption that the more people who were reading or seeing your story, the better it was…at least generally speaking. In short, we made do. But now, we have numbers. We can measure all manner of interaction with the fruits of our …

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This is changing how we work ‘for good’

It is the end of May and I’ve changed my Zoom virtual background at least ten times. Every day is one meeting right after another because frankly it’s easy to stack meetings when you don’t have to drive to them. I’ve also achieved “video bingo” having done meetings on Zoom, Teams, Google, Skype, WebEx and RingCentral. I’m not sure if any of those “new normal” accomplishments are good or bad, but they are what life is for most of us in public relations and marketing today. However, there are things that we’re doing and learning that I think we will …

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Pandemic already changing how we communicate

I connected recently with a professional acquaintance with whom I hadn’t spoken for at least a year. In my email, I suggested that we catch up by phone, and he countered by saying that he’d send me a Zoom link so that we could converse like the Jetsons used to – face to face but from a distance. The exchange struck me as one manifestation from the coronavirus that is already changing how we interact with one another. The cameras in our cellphones and laptops have quickly replaced conference calls. And I suspect that change is likely here to stay. …

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10 tips for mastering your television Skype or Zoom interview

One of the neatest things about technology advances is how it lets news organizations connect with sources and experts more quickly. With Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and other video calling tools, news networks like CNN and MSNBC can get an expert on the air in a matter of minutes. And, right now, TV stations may have no other choice when trying to air interviews with experts. While we’ve all gotten much more comfortable with video-conferencing tools recently, a video interview via Skype or Zoom is more like a traditional studio interview. There are some extra things to keep in mind though. When we’re coordinating Skype interviews …

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Richmond, Virginia 23223
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