Articles Written By:

Hannah Robinson

3 emerging trends in media relations for 2024

In the past five—scratch that, two—years, media relations practices have changed drastically. Once-reliable tactics, now outdated, are in dire need of reevaluation to ensure they remain relevant in today’s evolving landscape. For media relations practitioners, staying ahead of the curve is not just an advantage, but a requirement when it comes to keeping your clients happy and future clients interested. As newsrooms continue to shrink and technology evolves faster than you can say “dystopian”, the strategies for engaging with reporters are adapting just as quickly….

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Mindful Engagement During Difficult Times

Is it just me, or does it feel like the world is burning down around us? In an age where staying informed and up-to-date on global affairs is crucial—especially for those of us in professions that require a strong social media presence (hello, fellow PR practitioners!)—the relentless influx of information can quickly lead to feelings of hopelessness. Our world feels really dark right now, and while a blog post won’t change the harsh reality of the current global landscape, I’d like to share some strategies…

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Keep calm (drop everything) and start pitching during a media relations crisis response 

When Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, springs into action at a moment’s notice, our account team follows suit with an all-hands media relations approach. Most recently, the team — known for its quick response and dedication to serving hot, chef-prepared meals during natural disasters and national emergencies – provided aid to Maui after wildfires ravaged the community of Lahaina. Mercy Chefs is currently serving thousands of meals a day, and it’s our job to make sure that the world knows…

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Five things to keep in mind before launching a DEIB campaign 

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging mean different things to different people. However, when it comes to taking those values and translating them into an inclusive campaign that highlights the experiences of BIPOC individuals, it’s important to take a moment and think to yourself: How might the people and voices you are representing feel about the message your brand is attempting to convey?  Well, you might just want to ask them first.  Your BIPOC consumers are more than just metrics that need to be met. We…

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Why adding “belonging” to the DEI equation is crucial to your company’s success

As a young, Black female professional, I’m no stranger to exclusion in the workplace. And after years of working twice as hard to be heard and becoming a codeswitching extraordinaire, I was thrilled to hear that one of the country’s most popular acronyms was getting one letter longer.  Now, before your executive team gets too excited, it’s not enough to give quarterly trainings or plaster your DEIB statement all over social. Cultivating belonging in your workplace takes time and a lot of hard work. Belonging…

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Two women talking with podcast microphones

Interviewing a guest for your next podcast episode? Here are 4 interview best practices to remember.

Let’s be honest. Most people would rather go to the DMV on a Saturday morning than sit in front of a camera and answer questions. Perform a quick Google search and you’ll find countless articles about interview best practices, dodging tricky questions and how to remain cool, calm and collected in the face of crippling social anxiety.  We are told what to say and what to not, under any circumstances, say. And despite the number of resources available to interviewees, there seems to be less…

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Teaming Up, Episode 8: Amanda & Evans on Newsworthiness

“Newsrooms are continuing to get smaller, so our opportunities are fewer and farther between.” In order to compete in today’s media landscape and land placements at your client’s preferred outlets, their stories must be newsworthy. Amanda Colocho and Evans Mandes offer their perspectives in Episode 8 of Teaming Up as to what makes something newsworthy, and their best practices for getting earned media placements. Here’s what you can expect from their conversation: There are no bad stories, only bad storytellers. You just need to consider…

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Anna Freisen headshot

Meet A Hodger: Anna Friesen

Creative whiz. Francophone. Bibliophile. Foodie. These are just a few words that describe one of our newest Hodgers, and as you’ve probably already guessed, she fits right in. When she isn’t switching careers and moving cities, you can find this Hokie alumna exploring her new neighborhood (looks like Cam isn’t the only Hodger representing Carytown these days), reading a good book or chowing down on all things buffalo chicken. Yep, you heard that right. Whether it’s in the form of wings, pizza or the ever-iconic…

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Media relations: Then and now

Despite my interests and general habits reflecting that of a centenarian, I happen to be the youngest person at Hodges, which not only makes me well versed on the latest TikTok trends but also gives me an edge when it comes to knowing the way media relations works in a predominately virtual world. However, with technology changing every day, I can only begin to imagine how different the media relations landscape was 10 years ago—let alone 40. Since time machines still don’t exist, I did…

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Connie Harshaw, president of the Let Freedom Ring Foundation, being interviewed for the TODAY Show

Four tips to successfully coordinating a national morning show interview

At some point, any good public relations professional has forced themselves to become a padawan, dare I say, a Jedi in the art of patience.  It’s a virtue my parents would happily tell you was never my strong suit. But just like anything in life, practice makes perfect. Media relations is more of an art than a science, and now, a few years and a ton of press releases later, I’m finally starting to get the hang of it.   First, some back patting: check out…

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Overhead view of hands on a laptop keyboard

What is owned content? Here’s a 101 lesson.

I think I speak for most of the world when I say that COVID-19 kicked us into a realm of massive uncertainty, leaving control-freaks like me longing for the pre-pandemic halcyon days when things were, how do you say, normal.  These days, owned content is one of the few places where you can still achieve complete and utter control. When it comes to developing original content, you’re in the driver’s seat.  Chances are, if you have a content marketing strategy in place, you are already…

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Switching careers in the middle of COVID-19: This is what I have learned.

Switching careers in the middle of a global pandemic wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I glued the words “change” on my vision board last year. Looking back, I had a romanticized idea of how the next chapter of my life would begin. I imagined moving into the perfect Richmond apartment, decking out my cubicle in unnecessary decor, and, most importantly, engaging in human interaction. Instead, I began working for Hodges remotely, turned my living room into my workspace, and hung out with…

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