The Gong Blog

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Our nonprofit storytelling platform, The Phil, turns one

When I was a new dad, a popular book among neophyte parents was Heidi Murkoff’s What to Expect Your First Year, a monthly guidepost that alternatively provided bouts of pride and anxiety, depending on how our babies fared against what was generally anticipated to be the norm. The truth was, there was really no preparing us for that scary, exhausting and magical year. As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Phil, the same can be said of those of...

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The often overlooked beauty of trade media

In the early days of our firm, we used to joke about how often clients wanted the “big three” – i.e. that trio of high-profile media placements that they thought would be their sure-fire path to fame and all that came with it. The actual three changed from year to year but typically involved a combination of the TODAY Show, The New York Times, the Associated Press, Parade, Time, Oprah, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal.  Yeah, they set a high...

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Meet A Hodger: Anna Friesen

Creative whiz. Francophone. Bibliophile. Foodie. These are just a few words that describe one of our newest Hodgers, and as you’ve probably already guessed, she fits right in. When she isn’t switching careers and moving cities, you can find this Hokie alumna exploring her new neighborhood (looks like Cam isn’t the only Hodger representing Carytown these days), reading a good book or chowing down on all things buffalo chicken. Yep, you heard that right. Whether it’s in the form of...

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Meet a Hodger: Michaela Mishoe

Today we welcome one of THP’s newest account coordinators, Michaela Mishoe. Michaela hails from NoVa – Alexandria, to be specific – and is adding to our contingent of VCU Rams. After earning her degree in public relations, she went to the Big Apple to start her career. Lucky for us, she decided to come back to take her next career step. We sat down with Michaela Mishoe to learn a little bit more about one of our newest teammates. Why...

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Overhead drone shot of a packed parking lot

How to use drones in PR storytelling

Drones. They’re everywhere. They can be found filming footage over city skylines, monitoring farmland and delivering packages to doorsteps. You can also find drones in PR strategies. You might remember Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI halftime show when she was flanked by LED drones for the performance. Or perhaps you remember the incident at Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres) in 2017 when a drone crashed into the stands during the seventh inning, just missing some nearby fans....

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Meet a Hodger: Morgan Edwards

Although he was born and raised in Goochland County to the west of the city, Morgan Edwards  considers himself a Richmonder at heart. Growing up on a farm brings some serenity, but around the time he turned 10, he and his family relocated and left farm life behind. He came to the city to become a Ram, and now he’s bringing that same spitfire VCU spirit to our agency. If you haven’t already, meet Morgan Edwards. Why did you decide...

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A gong for The Gong Blog: Reflections on our 1,000th blog post

It was the week before Christmas 2008, and to give you a sense of just how long ago that was… The Dow opened that day at 8,606. (If you haven’t checked lately, it’s above 34,000.)Facebook had a measly 100 million active users (vs. 2.9 billion today).Instagram, Uber, Groupon, Pinterest, Slack and Venmo (to name a few) had yet to be created.The Hodges Partnership launched its agency blog. While that last event may not measure up in historic significance to the...

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Virginia news updates you should know about

The Hodges team regularly engages journalists across Virginia. Here are some recent Virginia news developments you should know about in your earned media relations outreach. New online outlets Last month, several former Roanoke Times staffers launched The Cardinal News, an online investigative outlet covering Southwest and Southside Virginia. Longtime Roanoke Times opinions editor Dwayne Yancey is serving as the site’s editor, which will provide in-depth coverage of politics, the economy and culture. Sign up for the website’s newsletter to stay...

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Endless stacks of folded newspapers bound in twine

How to build good media lists

Receiving unwanted emails can be both irritating and a waste of valuable time. Most of us, at some point or another, have signed up for online mailing lists that we don’t want to be on, and end up hitting the unsubscribe button, or at least I know I do. Journalists experience the same annoyance from receiving unsolicited pitches that have nothing to do with their beat or the subjects they usually cover. When pitching journalists and reporters, your goal is...

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Zoom screen with four tiles, part of Jon's podcasting best practices blog post

The four P’s of podcasting best practices

In one of my other lives, I’ve been co-hosting a podcast on Rutgers Athletics for almost four years. It’s been a blast, and we’re about to hit our 100,000th download mark. We’ve also learned a great deal, and I’ve tried to apply those lessons to conversations with clients who are interested in starting their own podcast efforts. I’ve boiled podcasting best practices down to the four P’s: planning, preparation, production and promotion. Planning One of the most fundamental podcasting best...

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Black business professional on the phone while working at a laptop

An almost true story about blogging

Let’s start with a conversation I have more often than not with folks calling us about helping them raise their profile and enhance their expertise position in their industry. Caller: I want to raise my profile and enhance my expertise position in the industry [or something like that].Josh: Well, that's what we do, so let's see if we can help. Let me ask you some questions. What kind of content marketing are you doing?Caller: Content marketing? You mean like using...

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Social media user's hands with a phone loaded up to the TikTok screen

Should my brand be on TikTok?

Whenever a new social platform is launched, every marketer is inevitably asked the question, “Have you heard of [insert buzzy new social media tool]? Should we be on that?” With new tools and platforms launching and sputtering all the time (hello Fleets, Vine, Google+, Meerkat, etc., etc.), it can be hard for marketers to answer that question before it’s even clear if the platform is going to stick around. TikTok seems to be here to stay. With more and more...

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