The Gong Blog

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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Good writing goes beyond the words – format and details matter

Content creation isn’t just about formulating the right words and cadence to capture your audience’s attention. It’s about formatting your content and setting expectations for what your audience is about to read. We at Hodges consume media for a living, and we’ve seen some stellar examples (and not-so stellar examples) of how organizations can create an enjoyable experience for its readers. Now that we’re living in the days of 140 characters (and sometimes 280), it’s up to content creators to not only write content based on our audience’s preferences, but to also organize it so all readers can enjoy it. …

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Our Intern Interview Pet Peeves

Interviews are hard, no matter what level you find yourself in your career. And I swear, phone interviews are the worst. You have a million and two things swirling around in your brain, you’re trying not to sweat through your jacket and you’re grasping at straws to remember every single fact you can about the person and company you’re interviewing with. When Kelsey and I hang up the phone, or regroup after an intern interview, the candidates that make a good impression always leave a smile on our faces. But sometimes, an interview can fall flat – or worse – …

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Marketing’s Age-Old Question: Advertising or Public Relations?

Of all the venerable questions – paper vs. plastic? the chicken or the egg? Ginger or Mary Ann? – the one that marketers struggle with most is whether to invest marketing dollars in advertising or public relations. Driving awareness through traditional advertising There was a time, not all that long ago, when the answer was more clear-cut. If you needed a campaign to drive awareness by hitting target audiences with a sustained frequency, then advertising was the way to go. Your only limit to reaching your prospective buyers was the depth of your pockets, and if they were deep enough, …

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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 and its founder, 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 …

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