The Gong Blog

When is it time for a news release?

Many times, when companies have news to share, the instinctive thinking is ”we need a news release.” But nowadays in particular, defaulting automatically to a release is not always the right approach. (See my post here with alternatives to a traditional press release.) To start, let’s acknowledge that news releases can be an effective communications tool, just as you know when and how to use one. The first two questions that you should always be asking: what about this is relevant and interesting to the media, and what are our goals with this particular communication? If you and your team …

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Content marketing isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses

There are a lot of great reasons for companies to pursue content marking. For one, according to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads, per dollar. Meanwhile, Hubspot says that 61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. Another reason that might prompt you to ramp up your content marketing efforts is seeing a competitor make a splash with theirs. But when you look at what another company is doing, it’s important to challenge your team to not just duplicate the end product of another company’s …

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Why You Should Be All in with Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing, even if you’re not the one executing the work, is a major investment of your time, energy and resources. A company can’t just hire an agency and say, “Hey, go ahead and launch this thing and report back on it in a month.” It doesn’t work that way. There are so many things to consider when it comes down to planning and executing a content marketing strategy, but here are three considerations to whet your whistle. Money Let’s go ahead and start with the topic no one likes to talk about. Money. The Content Marketing Institute found that …

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PR at Its Core: Actions over Words

Anyone who has received an email from me may have noticed a rather abstruse quote as part of my email signature. It’s an observation by T.S. Eliot in which he asserts that “Being is intelligible only in terms of becoming.” I like it for two reasons. First, it’s derivative enough to demand that you ponder it a bit, like good poets are wont to do. But perhaps more importantly, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, which if you were to reduce it to a bumper sticker basically means “you are what you do.” That’s really the essence of public relations. …

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Happy National Newspaper Week: RTD Subscription Giveaway!

We use Slack as a messaging tool in our office. It’s where we keep projects moving, send files and share information. Not a workday goes by when someone doesn’t share a news article in our main channel about something happening locally. Local journalism – especially news about transportation, restaurants and our clients – drives a lot of our conversations at Hodges. We have our local paper of record the Richmond Times-Dispatch to thank for that. When Hodges launched more than 15 years ago, we were primarily a media relations shop. We helped clients get in the news to build brand …

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In-House or Outsource: Considerations for Your Next Hire

If you’re like many marketing and communications departments, there comes a time when you get tasked with a new project or hit a saturation point in your current workload where you can struggle to efficiently manage your workload. Then comes the inevitable conversation, part financial, part philosophical, mostly to answer this question: is it time to bring on more staff or outsource to a freelancer or agency. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you mull this over: Budget + Timing – According to a study conducted by SHRM (the Society of Human Resources Management), the average …

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Perfecting Your Spokesperson’s Sound Bite [DATA]

It’s the dirty little secret in PR. It’s the secret that felt so wrong to me when I first started, that I’m only now coming to grips with it. Here’s the reality: CEOs aren’t always the ones uttering profound statements about their companies or apologizing when something goes wrong. Chances are, those well-chosen words originate from communications professionals, crafted so eloquently and precisely that they not only reflect just the right tone but convey all the information and emotion that audiences have come to expect. Over the summer, Hodges (and its ragtag team of interns) read the front page of …

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Ensuring your content reaches the right people

Reaching the right people at the right time, with the right message is the pillar of a successful content marketing program. And with more organizations developing content these days, the competition to reach potential customers with tailored content is fierce. For many organizations, the challenge usually isn’t the creation of valuable content. The challenge is ensuring your content is breaking through the millions of pieces of content shared every minute. It used to be enough, for example, to share posts to your Facebook newsfeed or Twitter timeline. Organic reach would get your content to your desired audiences. Facebook posts used …

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How much should you be blogging?

Call it the great blogging debate. Should you post short, topical posts at a high frequency like multiple times a day? Or is it better to post in-depth posts with only the most highly-targeted information less frequently? The answer lies somewhere in between. What you want are quality blog posts in a quantity that drives traffic to your website, converts that traffic into leads, establishes your brand as an authority and drives long-term results. Blog frequently. Frequent blogging really does drive traffic. It also improves SEO and fosters a connection with your target audiences. HubSpot and Moz ran concurrent experiments to determine the …

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4 Ways to Find Phenomenal Photography (For Free!)

The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” rings true in the digital age. Tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets, and Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than posts without them. And when it comes to blogging, articles with an image once every 75-100 words historically get double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images. With everyone and their mother adding “professional iPhone photographer” to their resumes these days, finding great photography for your external communications is even more crucial. Your readers are digitally savvy, busy and know what an …

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