The Gong Blog

Looking behind someone sitting at a computer working with a cup of coffee on the side

Lessons learned from over five million pitches

One of the things I love about working at Hodges is the opportunity we have for ongoing professional development. In pre-COVID times, this meant attending conferences and various in-person trainings, but like many other things, a lot of our professional development has taken a virtual turn in the last year and a half. Earlier this year with the support of Hodges, I joined media relations and writing coach Michael Smart’s Inner Circle, and I’ve found great value in the sessions...

Read More
Overhead shot of hands typing on a laptop, the hand wearing rings with a purple crystal beside the computer

Using local influencers in your content marketing strategies

Brands are multifaceted. Communicating their stories requires attention to detail and often an intrepid willingness to implement nifty marketing techniques in the hope of attracting consumers. More and more, PR professionals are using social media campaigns as an essential element of a marketing strategy. Also trending is integrating an influencer into your campaigns, a tactic that can reap big time dividends. Influencer marketing is a $6 billion industry. A trend in online marketing is to partner with local influencers rather...

Read More
Five ways the way we engage with media has changed since 2020

Five ways the way we engage with media has changed since 2020

It’s no secret that the last year and a half has brought about a tremendous amount of change, both in our daily lives and in the way we do business. In the public relations world, we’re seeing some common themes as we engage with media contacts. We’re sharing five examples on how those practicing PR can keep up with changing best practices.  There are more busy news days.  In October, I wrote a blog post on this very topic – no...

Read More
Bright colored paper with pronouns like your, my, her, him, their.

Pronouns and PR: Make your media relations more inclusive

Hello, my name is Cameron and I use he/him pronouns. Our roles as media relations professionals are important as we make connections between journalists and spokespersons. Here are a few ways you can make your media relations more affirming by sharing pronouns. List pronouns of media contacts List the media contacts’ pronouns in your press releases. Easy. For example, I list: MEDIA CONTACTCameron McPherson (he/him)Email AddressPhone number Include pronouns in quotes In general, you don’t need to specifically point out...

Read More
Screen grab of Umgas Article about Skarsgards being Swedish Kardashians

The ROI of a great content marketing strategy

Two years ago when I spent 30 minutes writing an article about the Skarsgård family being the Swedish Kardashians, I would have never dreamed it would still be getting website traffic. And not just single views, I’m talking multiple thousands of views with ZERO promotion. But that’s the long game – and payoff – of a solid content marketing strategy. Back in 2015, we helped our client at Swedish Match North America launch a storytelling platform to help share Swedish-American...

Read More
Close-up of a hand scrolling through Instagram with a latte in the background

What makes for good Instagram content? Cracking the Instagram code.

Did you know Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app? That’s what its CEO declared in a move to push Instagram into a land that more resembles TikTok. Today, the social media platform has a whopping 1 billion active monthly users, a base that is second only to Facebook and about twice as large as LinkedIn and more than three times bigger than Twitter. And like TikTok, it tends to be a platform generally fueled by young people. Three in five...

Read More
Computer montior with charts and graphics

Survey says! Tips for developing a good online stakeholder survey

Every successful PR and marketing program has a variety of ways to routinely get insightful feedback from the stakeholders that matter most to their organizations. Online surveys are one of the most common and effective great ways to do this. We often incorporate them into our Research and Insights projects for this very reason. But there’s a lot more to them than simply typing up a list of questions and sending out a survey. Here are seven helpful tips for...

Read More
Blind person using computer with braille computer display and a computer keyboard.

Ten tips for creating accessible digital content

There’s a lot that goes into content creation: writing, sourcing visuals, assembling graphics and videos and so much more. And all while keeping in mind best practices to ensure your blog posts make it to the top of a Google search and your social media posts are seen in users’ feeds. But even with best practices and an ever-flowing stream of content in play, if your content lacks accessibility, you could be excluding key audiences. The fact is, at least...

Read More
Looking over the shoulder of a female reading the New York Times

Placing an op-ed: do’s and don’ts

When The New York Times announced earlier this spring that it was changing the name of op-eds to guest essays – reflecting the fact that opinion pieces no longer necessarily occupied a physical space “opposite” the editorial page – it also offered guidance on the kind of pieces that it was looking to publish. It puts a premium, for example, on high standards of “cogent argument, logical thought and compelling rhetoric.” It desires essays “have intention” and confessed to being partial...

Read More
Two influencers dance in front of a cell phone on a tripod

Two brands that went viral on TikTok and spent nothing

It’s hard to plan for virality. Yet, it is the thing that every content creator – and brand – chase. The viral moment that skyrockets them to consumer relevance, sales and success. When I was little, I staged a video for America’s Funniest Home videos, where on a snow day, my best friend, her little brother, and I stood on the same sled at the top of a hill in her backyard. Video camera rolling, we shoved ourselves down the...

Read More
woman sharing her presentation with her colleagues

The power of effective internal communications

As someone who has a background in internal communications and continues to work in the space from time to time at Hodges, I can bear firsthand witness to its importance.  And just as clear – how much time and effort goes into creating, implementing and maintaining an effective internal communications program. I may be wrong, but I’ve gotten the sense over the years that those of us working on the internal side of the PR coin often do not get the...

Read More
Media relations: Then and now

Media relations: Then and now

Despite my interests and general habits reflecting that of a centenarian, I happen to be the youngest person at Hodges, which not only makes me well versed on the latest TikTok trends but also gives me an edge when it comes to knowing the way media relations works in a predominately virtual world. However, with technology changing every day, I can only begin to imagine how different the media relations landscape was 10 years ago—let alone 40. Since time machines...

Read More

Sign up to receive our blog posts by email