Articles Written By:

Megan Irvin

Crisis Communications – and why it’s NOT one size fits all

In the face of unexpected challenges, organizations must be prepared to weather the storm with a robust crisis communications plan. At The Hodges Partnership, crisis communication is not a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, it is a tailored strategy designed to address the unique needs of each crisis and organization. A tailored approach At Hodges, we recognize that every organization is different, requiring a customized crisis communications plan. By immersing ourselves within the team that is dealing with the crisis, we quickly learn any nuances or unique…

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The Best Pitches of The Year and Media Relations Trends to Watch in 2023

I’ve talked before on our blog about how thankful I am to have ongoing professional development opportunities here at Hodges. Joining media relations and writing coach Michael Smart’s Inner Circle in 2021 has been incredibly valuable to me, particularly the monthly master classes and Inner Circle Facebook group where members can ask questions and share advice. One of my favorite sessions each year is the December session on lessons learned from the best pitches of the last year. Members submit their best pitches, and Michael reviews them, identifies…

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How To land your first PR job – and knock it out of the park when you start

It’s graduation season, which means a number of students are stepping out into the world with PR degrees either hunting for a job or looking to make the most of a first opportunity. I remember how much I benefited from the advice of others when I was just getting started, so I asked my colleagues what advice they would share with this year’s graduating class of PR students. On finding a PR job: Don’t be afraid to fail. The hiring landscape is a competitive one…

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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 and training that are provided…

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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 blog post on this very…

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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 pitches in a single day…

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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 reporters were dodged or ignored…

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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 the coverage, it’s been a…

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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 order to share news and…

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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 most people, and right now…

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#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 we want them to feel…

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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 – all while working remotely….

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