Posts by Cameron McPherson

Behind the NPR Story: ChildFund in Liberia

We at Hodges, especially the team that has worked with ChildFund International over the past five years, already knew what the editors at Time magazine recently declared — that the folks working in Africa on the frontlines against Ebola are heroes. The medical staff and aid workers who are putting their own health at risk to care for those who have contracted the virus deserve every bit of the recognition and accolades they are receiving. ChildFund’s focus has been on the children who have lost one or more parents to the outbreak. They’ve set up centers in Liberia and Sierra Leone …

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Richmond Comes Out: 3 Ways Your Brand Can Too

Have you heard the news? Richmond is out. As a member of Richmond Region Tourism’s LGBT advisory committee, I’m so excited to see the OutRVA campaign launch – and thrive. For the past four years, we’ve promoted Virginia’s capital city to LGBT travelers through a campaign called Rainbow Over Richmond. We ran advertisements in nearby states, organized press trips and created online content to educate prospective travelers. I loved visiting journalists’ reactions a few hours into the press tours. “Whoa, I never expected this. Richmond is COOL,” was a common response. Yeah, we know! But for year five, we wanted …

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3 reasons I’m taking my headphones out at work

If you’re a Millennial, chances are you’re reading this article with headphones on. Can you do me a favor? Take them out (or turn them down). According to a 2012 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, almost half (48 percent) of adults aged 25-29 listen to music on an iPod, MP3 player or similar device at work. Since then, services like Spotify and Rdio have taken the Internet by storm, so I’m confident that percentage is even larger. I get it, music makes us happier! Some studies say it even makes us more productive. But could it actually be hurting our …

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A preview of WCVE’s new Virginia Currents radio program with producer Catherine Komp

​We’re big news buffs at The Hodges Partnership and we’re particularly fond of public radio. Our curiosity was officially piqued when the Community Idea Stations started promoting its new Virginia Currents radio program on WCVE-FM a few weeks ago. For years, the television version of Virginia Currents has been broadcasting intelligent, compelling stories about Virginia and its citizens, so we were thrilled to hear a radio version was in the works. We caught up with Catherine Komp, the producer of the new radio series to learn about what we can expect from the program. As you can see, Richmond is …

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Pass the pasta, hold the prejudice: how companies can stop upsetting minorities

Earlier this fall, Barilla made headlines for all the wrong reasons: its president said they’d never use a gay family in advertisements. News outlets reported on planned boycotts, people flocked to social media expressing outrage and clever Photoshoppers edited the company’s trademark blue Barilla box to say, “Bigotoni,” a play on rigatoni. Two months later the company is doing damage control by creating a diversity and inclusion board, hiring a chief diversity officer and participating in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. Too little, too late? I don’t think so. Consumers are forgiving and the company is making positive …

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The 6 best iPhone apps for PR professionals

Last week, Hodges made history as Sean Ryan, the last iPhone hold-out purchased the iPhone 5s. Everyone at the agency now has an iPhone, even Steve, who was once known for his sleek, sexy and T9-capable LG flip phone. What took you so long people? I recently wrote a blog on how the iPhone changed public relations. In it, I promised a post on the top iPhone apps for PR professionals. Check out some of my favorites below: Tastemade Don’t waste hours or days putting together a one-minute online video. Watch this video I made in less than 30 minutes …

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4 ways the iPhone changed PR

It's June 29, 2007: Game show fans are still heartbroken after Bob Barker completes his last episode of The Price is Right nearly two weeks earlier; former astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak is disputing accusations she wore diapers while driving 950-miles to confront her romantic rival in the bizarre love triangle case that made worldwide headlines; and, standing in line at AT&T and Apple stores nationwide, thousands of eager consumers are waiting to get their hands on the first ever iPhone. It’s hard to believe the iPhone is only six years old, but has managed to change the world so much. …

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9 Internet trends and what they mean for the PR industry

Once again, Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends report has tons of interesting nuggets on worldwide Internet usage. Overall, there are now 2.4 billion Internet users across the world. And that number is growing, fast. The report includes 117 pages of data and insights, but what does it mean for the PR industry? Here are nine takeaways and their implications for PR professionals: TV and Internet top media consumption: 42 percent of America’s media diet is dedicated to television; another 26 percent goes to the Internet. Only 6 percent of that time is spent with print, most likely indicative of the …

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Why your press release headline should be fewer than 70 characters

Last week, Gawker Media owner Nick Denton told employees to keep headlines under 70 characters. Why? Google search. Denton explained, “Why this drastic measure? Google and others truncate headlines at 70 characters. On the Manti Teo story, Deadspin’s scoop fell down the Google search results, overtaken by copycat stories with simpler headlines.” This announcement has implications for communications professionals writing and distributing releases over the wire. The lesson? Keep those headlines short and to the point. Historically, headlines have been way too long. According to Schwartz MSL Research Group, 76 percent of news releases in 2011 were longer than 70 …

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Facebook gives a new “face” to marriage equality

Last week, Facebook profiles were a sea of red. After a call to action from the Human Rights Campaign, millions of users changed their profiles to show solidarity for marriage equality as the Supreme Court debated DOMA and Proposition 8. According to Facebook, profile photo uploads jumped 120 percent. In all, 2.7 million more users changed their photos than compared with the previous week. Even brands jumped on the meme and created their own red and pink logos, from men’s online retailer Bonobos to Bud Light. No matter your thoughts on the topic, if the user-generated Paula Deen and her …

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