Articles Written By:

Greg Surber

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Don’t let fear and doubt ruin your thought leadership efforts

Media relations can an extremely effective way to boost an organization or individual’s visibility among key stakeholders. This is particularly true in the area of thought leadership – when the goal is to be seen as the definitive expert on a topic or issue. Like any media relations assignment though, getting the attention of a reporter is not an easy task. The average journalist gets hundreds of pitches a day from PR pros. Yours could be one of dozens that...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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....

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Perception versus reality: Why you should routinely assess and survey your stakeholders

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...

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pr-strategy

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...

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

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...

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

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...

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Why you should always give your social media videos subtitles

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...

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