Posts by Greg Surber

What We Heard: COVID-19 PR & Marketing Survey Results

A few weeks ago, we asked the Virginia PR and marketing community to participate in our survey to assess how COVID-19 has impacted our profession. We were fortunate to have 139 professionals respond – and if that includes you, thank you!  At this point, it’s more than a little trite to simply say COVID-19 has impacted our profession. Not to mention the additional unrest. Months into the pandemic, that’s a well-established reality. Some of the most pressing questions we’re now looking to answer include, to what degree and how do we best help our organizations clients move forward?  There’s still …

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How will COVID-19 impact PR and marketing? Help us figure that out.

Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned virtually every aspect of our professional and personal lives upside down. Many PR and marketing professionals have been tirelessly working for weeks now helping guide their organizations and clients through challenges usually reserved for the most severe section of a crisis communications manual.  Like many of you, we at The Hodges Partnership have been wondering more and more, “How will COVID-19 impact PR and marketing in the months and years ahead?” To help get some broad sense of this question, we’ve developed this short, 15 question survey, which we hope you’ll take. We …

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PR considerations for “essential services” organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic

As millions of organizations across the country adapt to working remotely, others – those deemed essential services – have to continue operations as normal given the critical function they provide. For these organizations, this not only presents a litany of operational considerations, but PR ones as well for how to communicate to both their internal and external stakeholders throughout this crisis. Adopt a “when, not if” mentality that your organization will have an employee test positive As some organizations have already seen, even following all CDC and WHO guidelines isn’t enough to completely safeguard against COVID-19. Yes, make it abundantly …

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Why aren’t PR professionals talking about (not to mention, practicing) empathy more?

Being a PR professional married to a (music) therapist can be a humbling experience. I’m the professional persuasive communicator, but routinely she’s the one teaching me how to communicate effectively. This is more a testament to my personality rather than my profession, but I routinely approach a difficult situation wanting to be right, whereas she is seeking reconciliation. First in that process is empathy, something that is woefully undereducated in PR programs and underappreciated by young and old professionals alike. It’s by no means an entirely foreign concept to public relations, but it is one that isn’t recognized and elevated …

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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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The Business Case for Strategy Before Tactics

“We talkin’ about tactics. Not a strategy. Not a strategy. Not a strategy. We talkin’ about tactics.” – Allen Iverson (OK, maybe not an exactly transcription of what he said.) One of my favorite YouTube clips is Allen Iverson’s infamous press conference where he bemoans the criticism directed at him over missing practice. His point, the games are what really matter, but people are obsessing over the wrong thing. While this metaphor certainly isn’t entirely transferable, many companies fall victim to a similar trap – jumping to tactics before identifying a clear strategy. It’s understandable. Tactics are easier to understand. …

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The two things to drive success for your marketing and PR efforts

Like so much other advice, one of the best tips for an organization launching any sort of marketing or PR campaign is quite simple, yet at times, deceivingly difficult – define and differentiate. Let’s quickly explain both. Define involves clearly articulating who you are, what you do and whom you serve. Differentiate explains how your organization is different (and better) from your competitors. It might seem like basic advice, but it’s a step that often is rushed, fumbled or overlooked altogether. It isn’t necessarily because of negligence. Virtually every CEO, CMO, VP (you get the point) has an intimate understanding …

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FOIA in the Age of Ephemeral Communication (Snapchat and Instagram Stories)

“’Cause we are living in an ephemeral world, and I am an ephemeral…” OK, maybe we stop there. But in all seriousness, ephemeral communication – meaning communication lasting for a short time (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram Stories) – is becoming more and more common. People, particularly younger demographics, love the idea of sending messages and content that disappears after a day or less. In fact, teenagers prefer Snapchat over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined. If you’re a brand targeting teenagers, such as a university perhaps, you might be rushing to sign up for a Snapchat profile if you don’t already have …

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Why you should always give your social media videos subtitles

One of the biggest challenges facing anyone in PR or marketing is figuring out how to break through the noise to reach your customers. That’s why we’re all constantly keeping an eye out for the next big thing that people still find inherently interesting and different, which for the last year on social media has been video. Why the sudden increase? Two main reasons: 1.) it’s getting easier and cheaper to produce high-quality video content, and 2.) social networks like Facebook have made it easier to post and share videos on their platforms. It’s working too. Video content has a …

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Why (and how) you should be converting your video subtitles to blog posts

Arguably the most common challenge facing any organization implementing a content marketing strategy is developing enough content to “feed the engine.” Blog posts – like this one – are great content tools to drive traffic to your website. But they aren’t always the easiest to write – whether because of writer’s block or simply not enough hours in the day. Slice the turkey! We’re big believers in getting the most mileage out of your content and finding ways to divide and repurpose larger pieces like an e-book and white paper into a series of accompanying blogs posts, social updates, etc. …

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The Hodges Partnership
1805 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-1414
804-788-0085 fax