Posts by Josh Dare

Five Questions to Unlock Your Story

I want to tell you a story…about storytelling. Over the past 16 years, I can’t recall a client who has walked through our door that did not have an interesting story. How they were founded. How they have conceived unique solutions to confounding problems. How they turned imminent failure into great success. How they have devised a better mousetrap. And the ever popular, how they were the best kept secret around. What’s curious is that, more often than not, those stories were not always readily apparent. Only by the dint of our questions and exploration, of prodding them here and …

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Stifling Communication Is Not a Public Relations Tool

Sydney Pollack’s masterful 1981 movie “Absence of Malice” holds for me a memorable scene. Without giving away the plot (cause if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and download it on Netflix), a character confides some deeply personal and scandalous information to a reporter, who begins scribbling notes for the next day’s front page. Anxious as to how the story will turn out, the woman spends the night on her front steps, nervously awaiting the dawn’s paper boy. When she retrieves the paper from her dewy lawn and opens it, she is crestfallen. And then she does something …

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10 Reasons Why Your Media Pitch Is Failing

You don’t get it.  You pick up the paper, and there’s an article on a business that you might have a passing interest in, and you think, “Why them?  Why not me? My company is so much more interesting than this firm specializing in inventory management software.” You could be right, but even so, your outreach to the paper over the years has consistently had the same result as those amorous emails to Elle Macpherson so many years ago.  Zippo response. Chances are, you could be making one (or more) of the following pitching mistakes. 1. Wrong publication Make sure …

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What I Know and Don’t Know about 2018

“To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous.” Chinese Proverb Seems like every time we see Mariah Carey trying to stay warm, it’s time to not just take stock in the year behind us, but to look toward the horizon to see what may lie ahead. As I contemplate what 2018 holds for Hodges, I see a predictable mix of certainty and uncertainty – from the uncomfortable to the ridiculous. Here’s what I’m sure we can anticipate…or not. Certain. Our clients’ stories are what will propel us through the year. No matter how …

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For 50 million Americans, Facebook is their only source of news. Really?

You might say that I’m an old news guy. I get my news from traditional sources. There’s a Richmond Times-Dispatch in my driveway every morning, and my bathroom and car radios are both set to 88.9, the local NPR station. At work, a copy of The Washington Post waits for me when I get in. And so, by the time I start my day, I’m fairly up-to-speed on what is happening in my hometown and the world in general. That’s pretty much been the history of my news consumption throughout my adult life. But that doesn’t mean that things haven’t …

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Six-Second PR?

A recent piece in Adweek, Why Brands and Agencies Are Preparing for the Era of 6-Second Ads, is predicting that these “snackable” ads – even shorter than the time food takes to get from your mouth to your stomach – will begin to come into their own, if not by the end of this year, then by 2018. And the future may already be here. The NFL started using 6-second spots during this season’s games on Fox. The reason: the bite-sized videos are ideal for attracting Millennials and Gen Z, who, at least stereotypically, have little patience for longer-form formats. …

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Finding a Seat at the (Head) Table for PR

Back in 1998, I was the director of communications for a Circuit City-backed startup that was poised to introduce a new product to the marketplace that we hoped would reinvent the video rental business.  Company management had made the strategic decision to pilot the product rollout in two cities where retail distribution would be strong – Richmond and San Francisco.  And so I went about putting together a media relations strategy designed to engender consumer excitement about the imminent availability of a product that had been years in development. This was going to be fun. But then I was handed …

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B2B Marketers: LinkedIn is not always your best platform

When it comes to B2B marketing on social platforms, there is something almost Pavlovian about the way many marketers default to LinkedIn. Intuitively, it may make sense. LinkedIn is the platform where you wear your work clothes. It’s where your posts showcase your business acumen, where you interact with like-minded professionals. Think of it as a giant online Rotary Club. Meet the right people, and there are deals to be had, jobs to be won. But LinkedIn may not always be the right choice, even for companies whose marketing is exclusively B2B. There are good reasons not to overlook a …

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When the Best Strategy is to Say Nothing

I’ve been in public relations for close to four decades, and based on that experience, I believe that most journalists are fair, conscientious and accurate. Sure, there have been exceptions to the rule, but by and large, my respect for the Fourth Estate runs deep. And so when a reporter calls asking for an interview or quote, I do my best to try to accommodate those requests, even when the issue that has prompted the call is an uncomfortable one. I believe that media relations is a two-way street, and if we are to ask reporters to consider our pitches, …

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On Branding: the Power of Trump’s, the Impotence of United’s

Branding Always Trumps Messaging

We spend a lot of time working with our clients on their core messaging. What are the two to three essential points that your organization wants to convey to your key audiences? In an ideal world, that positioning is a direct reflection of your brand, the essential distinguishing characteristic that defines who you are. But it’s important to note that brands are not built simply by way of messaging. Rather, they are sum total of the actions that an organization takes. The decisions you make that dictate the quality of your products or services, your internal culture and values, how …

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Richmond, Virginia 23223
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