The Gong Blog

Planning your content marketing budget, line by line

You may know that you have a certain number of dollars in your content marketing budget, but do you know the best way to split that spend? When you clicked on this blog post, you were probably thinking, “Woah, thanks Hodges, this is going to be the answer to all my internal struggles!” Well, not exactly. This is more of a, “WHAT’S IN THE BOX?” or a Pulp Fiction gold-illuminated briefcase kind of deal. We’ve laid out three content marketing budget break downs based on what your goals may be. The main line items we include are paid advertising (including …

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Three things you can do to get your organization ready to hire a PR firm

As the CEO of a thriving public relations/content marketing agency, I wear a lot of hats — and one of them is business development. Over the years, I’ve seen many trends in our quest to acquire “new business,” the latest being the lengthening of the new business cycle, or the amount of time from the first meeting with a potential client to the “close.” The amount of time is getting longer. In the past when we’ve experienced that, it’s mainly been because the potential client just wasn’t sure what they were looking for. As a result, we revamped the questions …

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Why aren’t PR professionals talking about (not to mention, practicing) empathy more?

Being a PR professional married to a (music) therapist can be a humbling experience. I’m the professional persuasive communicator, but routinely she’s the one teaching me how to communicate effectively. This is more a testament to my personality rather than my profession, but I routinely approach a difficult situation wanting to be right, whereas she is seeking reconciliation. First in that process is empathy, something that is woefully undereducated in PR programs and underappreciated by young and old professionals alike. It’s by no means an entirely foreign concept to public relations, but it is one that isn’t recognized and elevated …

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Communication Counsel: Paying the price of big data with data privacy protections

Remember when people loved throwing around “big data” in every business meeting and presentation? Well, marketers and communicators are now dealing with the repercussions of all this big data integration, thanks to an influx of data privacy rules and regulations that have started trickling down from lawmakers. If you’ve noticed a deluge of “Accept,” “Opt-In,” “Opt-Out” and “Learn more about cookies” pop-up windows, these are just a few of the disclosures companies are now required to share with their readers and users. When did all of this start? Some of the first sweeping data privacy protections began in Europe. Does …

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The third degree: How to use third-party content to boost your content strategy

An effective content marketing strategy is largely built on creating original content that projects your organization’s expertise and experience in ways that resonate with your target audiences. The foundation for such a program is typically laid brick by brick through regular blog posts. And as the contractor, you can build your blogging strategy as you see fit, showcasing the various parts of your business that highlight your knowledge and skill in your line of business. As long as you refrain from being too salesy, you can go a long way toward building your reputation and market position on the back …

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Perception versus reality: Why you should routinely assess and survey your stakeholders

A key lesson I’ve learned over the years – painfully at times – is to be wary of assuming how someone feels about something without asking them. Such assumptions easily can be interpreted as indifference. While this holds true for anyone, it can be especially destructive when the victims are those you know well. This might seem like advice for how to manage personal relationships, but it’s also quite applicable for organizations. A key function of PR and marketing is developing messaging campaigns that resonate with key stakeholders and address their main interests and concerns. The more adeptly your organization …

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Communication Counsel: What you need to know about #influencer campaigns

Thanks to the Kardashians and a seemingly unlimited “influencer” workforce, we bet that within a finger swipe of your social feeds, you’ll find an influencer marketing a product to their followers. The influencer space has quickly snowballed over the last couple of years, and the Federal Trade Commission has been working hard to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak. In a space that is so saturated with influencers, it’s been difficult to regulate and monitor this space. That said, when the FTC comes knocking, you want to make sure you’re all buttoned up. In our latest Creative Counsel …

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The things I wish I’d learned earlier — job search edition

Relationships, reading and rejection – these were all important components in my public relations job search. No two people have the same path when it comes to their career – some land their dream job right out of college, while others end up working in a field that has little to do with their major. I’m one of the lucky ones who works a job that aligns with the field I studied in college. But getting there took patience, persistence and dealing with a bit of rejection. Luckily, these experiences translated into some valuable lessons, all of which were instrumental …

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Five tips to improve productivity and stay focused on big picture marketing goals

We’re halfway through the year, making July a fitting time to revisit your goals for 2019. Here are a few tips to ensure you don’t get lost in the weeds executing your strategy, and instead, are able to home in on your big picture marketing goals. What could you eliminate? Answering this question will force you to prioritize your to do list. Are there reports you’re drafting weekly that would serve the same purpose if you delivered them monthly? Be honest with yourself, and your organization – are there things you’re doing on a regular basis that you could eliminate …

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Our Roster: Meg Irvin, APR

Meg Irvin 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, Forbes, Southern Living and The New York Times. A Pennsylvania native, Meg now lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Taylor, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Max. Her love for community involvement extends past …

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