Articles Written By:

Greg Surber

PR may be becoming more like marketing, but that shouldn’t change our strategy

PR may be becoming more like marketing, but that shouldn’t change our strategy

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the merging of public relations and marketing.* Even here at Hodges, some of our most successful work over the past few years has been for those clients who’ve charged us with identifying leads and supporting sales (ya know, kind of like marketing). Which shouldn’t be a surprise. Consumers are more jaded than ever with traditional marketing strategies, instead drawn to compelling stories and content designed to entertain and inform, rather than explicitly...

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The (Mobile) Medium IS the Message

The (Mobile) Medium IS the Message

It’s been over 50 years since Marshall McLuhan famously stated, “The medium is the message,” kicking off countless arguments about whether that’s true. It’s my impression that as PR people, we have a bias toward the message. But technology’s rapid evolution, especially the past few years, has dramatically impacted how we communicate, tipping the scales toward the medium. Arguably the biggest example of this – the proliferation of mobile devices. Increase of mobile devices At first, smartphones were a secondary...

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Sharing is Caring: Why you should add internal comms into your social media strategy

Sharing is Caring: Why you should add internal comms into your social media strategy

Are you one of the 91% of businesses on social media? Probably so. Here’s an important question you may not have asked yourself: Should you make your employees part of your social comms strategy? There’s a good chance you’re thinking a definitive “no.” But there are two trends that may make you reconsider your answer. Employees don’t know what’s going on in the company In the early days of social media, most businesses took a strong anti-employee participation stance with...

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You’ve got (owned and digital content) questions, we’ve got answers (or at least witty banter)

You’ve got (owned and digital content) questions, we’ve got answers (or at least witty banter)

Measurement and public relations haven’t always been the best bedfellows. Advertising value equivalency was long heralded as the go-to metric for media relations, only to be debunked later by PR scholars. Even when the impact of a positive news story could be measured, in terms of reputation building, for example, it always was difficult not to be outshone by marketing, who could more clearly make the connection between their efforts and sales – the ultimate objective for many executives and...

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5 tips for creating inbound content

The EOP Era of Public Relations

Public relations is, to some degree, always changing. There’s always some new tool or technique to stay ahead of the curve. But every so often, these changes are so severe, or culminate in a way, that they force us to alter the strategy and counsel we provide to clients, bosses and even each other. The rise of social and digital media, and concurrently, the changing nature of the traditional media landscape, is one such example. As Josh discussed in his...

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How to write a blog post

Attention public sector communicators, are you archiving your social media content?

Does FOIA mean anything to you? If not, you probably work for a private organization and this post isn’t for you. For everyone else, read along. FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and other state-level public records laws are a big deal for government agencies and organizations. Essentially, the public is entitled access to virtually any unclassified document, including emails, text messages and social media content. The digital age and FOIA haven’t exactly gotten along swimmingly, so to speak, for a...

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So you want to be an award-winning PR pro?

So you want to be an award-winning PR pro?

There’s an irony to many public relations professionals’ work. While this is a generalized definition of our industry, so much of what we do is promoting an organization’s message and expertise to its audiences. But just as the cobbler’s children have no shoes, often we don’t take the time to do the same for our own work. One way to demonstrate your PR know-how is by winning PR awards! If you’ve never gone after awards before, or haven’t had success...

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Gotcha! HodgePodge for April 1

Gotcha! HodgePodge for April 1

For every great April Fools' prank, there are a dozen bad ones. This April Fools’ edition of HodgePodge is a look at the good, bad and ugly of the contentious April 1 holiday. April Fools: A (Unknown) History As maligned a holiday as it is, no one really knows where April Fools’ comes from. (Don’t) drop the mic Pro tip: Don’t email a .gif of the Minions to potential employers. Nothing to see here One solution to annoying April Fools’ pranks?...

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AP Stylebook updates

Yes, AP Style matters – a lot

I’m in my fourth semester teaching PR Writing and Media Relations at VCU, and the other day a student commented she had hoped she was done with the AP Stylebook after her journalism course. I laughed at her naivety, and told her that AP Style is like herpes, it never goes away. Well, so as long as you work in PR at least. Yes, the AP Stylebook is the source of countless pedantic arguments about comma use and abbreviations, but...

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SEO and media relations have more in common than you think

SEO and media relations have more in common than you think

Not that long ago, PR pros made their name on their ability to get a client in the newspaper or on TV – The Hodges Partnership especially. Heck, most people thought media relations and public relations were synonymous. But then newsroom attrition started making pitching significantly more difficult, all the while social and digital media rose in favor, giving PR practitioners a new sandbox to play in. As a result, many have decried media relations to be dead (it’s not),...

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Four content marketing trends that will shape your strategy in 2016

Creating a marketing plan for next year can be difficult due to the fact that trends change so much from year to year. Once heralded strategies such as link building are now generally frowned upon. As 2015 comes to a close, what should you focus on in the year ahead? Here are four content marketing trends we expect to take off in 2016 that you should keep in mind when developing your online marketing strategies: Valuable content will become more...

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Do you have a rogue sales staff? How to keep sales on message

Does this sound familiar? Your department spends thousands of dollars and months of work developing a sophisticated marketing plan that leverages your company’s strengths for the year ahead. But when you check in with your sales staff six months in, you find out your plan was quickly abandoned for their “tried and true” methods, usually including one-off marketing pieces that in no way reflect your brand standards.  We don’t mean to disparage sales professionals. They are a valued and necessary...

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