Posts by Cameron McPherson

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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How to make your media advisories (and events) more social media-friendly

Does your team regularly distribute media advisories? If so, make sure they’re incorporating social media when pulling together info. I love a good media advisory. Done well, it should communicate to journalists what to expect at an event, the types of video and audio that will be available, the on-site spokespersons and other relevant logistics. This is done through the five basic journalistic elements: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Because social media is such an integral part of the communication strategy for newsrooms, don’t forget to communicate about relevant hashtags or handles. If a journalist covers your event, whether …

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The Consumer PR Survey is (Almost) Dead

The Associated Press recently added a new section on polls and surveys. The guidance is focused on political polling and explains in a blog post, “The new chapter, available immediately to AP Stylebook Online subscribers, leads with longstanding guidance that the mere existence of a poll is not enough to make news.” While the new chapter is focused on political polling – PR practitioners should keep this guidance in mind when considering consumer surveys for media relations outreach. You know the one. Seeking media attention, a company commissions research through a telephone or Internet firm to poll 1,000+ Americans and …

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6 Secrets to Rural Media Relations Success

We’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of media relations in rural areas throughout Hodges’ history. Here’s one of my favorite examples: For five years, we convinced journalists along the 340-miles of the James River to join students on canoes, kayaks and bateaux’s as part of the James River Expedition, a program that introduced students to Virginia’s history and ecology via week-long trips down America’s Founding River. Luckily, no one fell into the river (on-air). As you can imagine, the James River stretches through several small towns and counties and gave us the opportunity to interact with journalists across …

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The PR Watercooler – Trust, Local News and Impressive Person Edition

Welcome to the “PR Watercooler” a semi-regular series where I scour the web for interesting PR trends, news and people. It was a schizophrenic January full of snow and 60-degree weather in Richmond. Much like me at the end of a House Hunters episode, the first 31 days of the year couldn’t make up its mind. Here are a few PR-related stories I’ve enjoyed recently – just as easily read in a sweater or a short sleeve shirt. 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals Record-Breaking Drop in Trust in the U.S.: Trust me, this isn’t good. Edelman released its annual Trust …

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With the X, Apple refreshes the iPhone and its media strategy

If you haven’t heard, iPhone releases its iPhone X today. I’ve been so interested in the device that MacRumors.com is now the second most visited site on my current iPhone, right under my favorite tech website TheVerge.com. In addition to new features like Face ID and an OLED screen, the updated iPhone X comes with a new public relations strategy to promote the release. Here is what’s new. The 24-hour embargo Since the iPhone 6’s release in 2014, iPhone reviews on the major tech sites have come out the Tuesday before the phone’s Friday release. Apple sends out test units …

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Higher Ed Communicators: It may be time for an audit

Whether you’re new to your role or have managed university communications for a number of years, it’s always a smart move to take a step back and take stock of all external communications from your institution. It’s an opportunity to reflect, improve and uncover new opportunities to tell the university’s brand story. We call this process a “Communications Audit” at Hodges, and here are some of the areas we look at: Are all communicators … communicating? Depending on the size of an institution, we find that a lot of universities have separate communicators for each school. What’s the process to …

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A step in the right direction: AP Stylebook greenlights singular ‘they’

A majority, if not all, of the communications we produce on behalf of clients is dictated by the Associated Press Stylebook. Especially any media relations outreach. Here’s some background from the AP that helps explains why: “The AP Stylebook is the definitive resource for journalists and a must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals. It provides fundamental guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style.” In other words, journalists use it, and it’s important for PR pros to as well. The AP announced earlier this year a new update that would include guidance on utilizing “they” as a …

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4 apps and websites that will make work easier in the college communications office

I always use the start of a new year to examine different methods to do better, more efficient work. From meetings across campus to monthly reports (and pitching subject matter experts in between), staying on top of it all can be daunting. But have no fear, here are four apps that will make your life easier as a college communicator: Texture ($9.99 per month): Keeping up with magazine journalists’ stories and columns takes time and big budgets as subscriptions add up. With a monthly subscription to Texture, you have access to the digital versions of 200-plus magazines on your iPad, …

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Content Done Right: Successes of Philanthropy Uses Brand Journalism to Promote Foundation Work

Earlier this year, an innovative new project launched within the Washington Monthly’s website to highlight the good work of foundations across the U.S.  Successes of Philanthropy isn’t just a new column from the D.C.-based magazine that traditionally covers politics and government. It’s a stellar example of brand journalism, one that is funded entirely by nine foundations. The project’s founder and curator Jeff Hamond explained the reason for the effort in a Successes of Philanthropy post: In America, more so than in other countries, philanthropies play a unique and important role of supporting innovative policy experiments that, when successful, often become …

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The Hodges Partnership
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Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-1414
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