Articles Written By:

Megan Irvin

Looking behind someone sitting at a computer working with a cup of coffee on the side

Media relations lessons learned from over five million pitches

One of the things I love about working at Hodges is the opportunity we have for ongoing professional development. In pre-COVID times, this meant attending conferences and various in-person trainings, but like many other things, a lot of our professional development has taken a virtual turn in the last year and a half. Earlier this year with the support of Hodges, I joined media relations and writing coach Michael Smart’s Inner Circle, and I’ve found great value in the sessions...

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Five ways media relations has changed since 2020

Five ways media relations has changed since 2020

It’s no secret that the last year and a half has brought about a tremendous amount of change, both in our daily lives and in the way we do business. In the public relations world, we’re seeing some common themes as we engage with media contacts. We’re sharing five ways media relations has changed in the last year or so, and we talk about ways you can adjust accordingly.  There are more busy news days.  In October, I wrote a...

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Man at laptop with hands over face, hands from off screen giving him things

11 media relations tips and tricks to help your next pitch break through

We‘ve been doing some crowdsourcing with our internal agency team on media relations best practices beyond press releases - tips and tricks that we use to engage and build relationships with both new and existing contacts, and ultimately, place important stories for our clients. Finding ways to break through is crucial – according to Muck Racks’ survey The State of Journalism 2021, the average journalist gets between 5-25 pitches per week and 4% of journalists reported getting more than 51...

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White House from the front lawn view

The first White House press conference was ‘delightfully boring’

All in all, press conferences should be pretty straightforward. Share the facts. Answer questions. Provide context and insights. Even to the casual observer, White House press conferences have been lacking that normalcy over the last four years, that is, even when they took place at all. Not only was there no regular frequency to them – in 2019, the press office went more than 40 days without one – perhaps worse, it was hard to tell fact from fiction. Very often, questions from...

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A media relations success story

A media relations success story

I’m going to start this blog post off with a big claim – this is The Gong blog after all, named after the giant, gold shiny Gong we have in our office used to celebrate agency accomplishments. Our national media relations work in the past three months has been as successful as it’s ever has been since Hodges was founded in 2002. When we look at the number of outlets our clients have been featured in and the diversity of...

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No slow news days: Working with media to place stories when breaking news does not stop

No slow news days: Working with media to place stories when breaking news does not stop

2020 has been filled with… a lot.  It seems like just about every day is filled with breaking news – important stories of natural disasters, COVID-19 updates, racial injustice and protests and the upcoming presidential election. The one thing we’re missing: a slow news day, often a PR person’s best friend. Don’t get me wrong, these major stories are critical, and we all should appreciate the reporters  who are working long hours and often putting themselves at personal risk in...

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Why you need to stay calm – and how our office is chilling out

Why you need to stay calm – and how our office is chilling out

Everyone, in some shape or form, is feeling the effects of COVID-19 in a way we could have never anticipated when we flipped the calendars from 2019 to 2020 just a few months ago. People living alone. Parents with kids trying to teach at the same time as work. Those who have received a positive diagnosis or are close to someone who has. The list goes on. Working at a public relations agency, I consume the news regularly more than...

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#RVAThrive: How we’re giving back during COVID-19 – and how your business can pass it on

#RVAThrive: How we’re giving back during COVID-19 – and how your business can pass it on

We know these are trying times for local businesses, and we want to do our part to keep business flowing. We put our heads together and thought about a few of the local businesses we frequent as a team, from our go-to coffee shop to the places we’re calling in lunch orders for meetings.  Since our team is working from home to do our part to #flattenthecurve, we might not be patronizing these businesses like we regularly would – but...

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Tips for working from home (from someone that does it all the time)

Tips for working from home (from someone that does it all the time)

Some of our readers may not know this, but for over a year, I’ve been mostly teleworking from my apartment in Charlottesville, thanks to flexibility of Hodges when my husband took a new job. I pop into the office once or twice a week, but for the most part, I’m putting my communication skills to test by dialing into meetings, utilizing our Slack channels and continuing to forge relationships with my coworkers in Richmond and media contacts around the world...

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Do you think only your company spokesperson can benefit from media training? Think again

Do you think only your company spokesperson can benefit from media training? Think again

You know the phrase singing from the same song sheet? If I could sum up in one sentence why the leadership team at most organizations could benefit from media training, that’s the essence of it. It gets everyone on the same page and using the same language in a way that few other exercises can. Let me take a step back. A few members of our team conducted a media training earlier this week for a company that was preparing...

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Five things to consider before sending your next media sample

Five things to consider before sending your next media sample

When our clients announce new products, one of the best ways we can help spread the word is to get samples in the hands of influencers and media. It’s a fun part of media relations. Why sampling is good: Samples are a natural, cost-effective touchpoint and a great way to keep a brand top of mind with important contacts within the industry. When you see products in magazines or on broadcast segments, sampling is often where it all started. The...

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Help us help you: five things we need from clients to thrive

Help us help you: five things we need from clients to thrive

There have been a few recent client meetings where I’ve had a client stop and ask, “What can we be doing to make our relationship more productive?” That kind of question is music to any PR person’s ears. After all, it takes two to tango, as they say, and any relationship is better when all parties are working to make sure that it’s as effective as possible. If you work with a PR firm or you’re considering working with a...

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