The Gong Blog

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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Need a Communications Audit? Answer These 10 Questions to Find Out

I get excited about preliminary meetings with prospective clients. It’s not so much the possibility of helping solve their communications challenges – though I love that – but I like hearing folks tell us their story – how they were founded, what they do better than their competitors, how they came up with their latest big idea? Inevitably, layered within that story are varying degrees of uncertainty. How can we do a better job at communicating who we are to our important constituencies, including sales prospects? How do we make the best use of our limited budget? What should our …

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Making the case for knocking down marketing pyramids

If your newsfeed is anything like mine, you don’t have to do more than a thumb swipe to find a friend posting about some product or service that is CHANGING MY LIFE, Y’ALL. In the 50s, you had Tupperware. The 60s, Mary Kay. But what was once contained to our living rooms has now inundated our social media worlds. Multi-level marketing (MLM), or network marketing, is the practice of recruiting an army of associates to sell products – nowadays, primarily on Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere, adding to already saturated social environments. MLMers who take part in these network sales gigs …

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Two Instagram updates you need to know right now

Ever feel like as soon as you finally get a handle on the latest and greatest in the social media world, one (or more) of the platforms just straight up laughs in your face? Same. Instagram just rolled out two new stickers for its Stories feature, and I’m not going to lie, for once I’m actually very excited about these new offerings. Instagram donation sticker for nonprofits If you work in the marketing department of a nonprofit that uses Instagram, your world is about to change. Yesterday, Instagram launched a feature it has teased out for months — the ability …

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The College Admissions Scandal: A Lesson in Reputation Management

I was on a long car trip a couple weeks back with an old college friend, and as the miles rolled by, we got a chance to share our perspectives on the issues of the day. He’s among my smartest friends (I tell him he’s easily in the “Top 50”) and works as an international consultant advising technology companies about go-to-market strategies. Like me, he stays up on the news, and despite the fact that we live 3,000 miles from one another, we seem to share common wisdom on many issues. When the topic came to the recent college admissions …

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