Posts by Megan Irvin

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 it’s a particularly hard time to have a job that’s intrinsically tied to the news. …

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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 the love. We came up with #RVAThrive. We’re going to buy a $100 gift card …

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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. Transitioning to a work from home environment can be done – and if you do …

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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 for a big upcoming trade show.  We spent a full day with the team, focused on finessing key messages, sharing …

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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 goal is two-fold: first, to get key contacts to try or experience whatever the product is, leading them to cover …

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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 partner on PR efforts in the future, here are five ways you can help your collective PR efforts thrive: Help …

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When is it time for a news release?

Many times, when companies have news to share, the instinctive thinking is ”we need a news release.” But nowadays in particular, defaulting automatically to a release is not always the right approach. (See my post here with alternatives to a traditional press release.) To start, let’s acknowledge that news releases can be an effective communications tool, just as you know when and how to use one. The first two questions that you should always be asking: what about this is relevant and interesting to the media, and what are our goals with this particular communication? If you and your team …

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Getting Your News Out: Alternatives to a Traditional Press Release

So you’re sitting in a conference room talking about an announcement your company needs to make, you say, “We need a press release!” Wheels are set in motion, someone on the team takes on the assignment, and now your team is crafting something to send to media before you’ve even decided if it’s the right approach. News releases were once the go-to tool for PR professionals needing to share news about their client or organization. In today’s media landscape though, things have changed. News releases still have a role, but they aren’t always the best method for getting the word …

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Five Ways to Take Your Proofreading to the Next Level

An ongoing request you’ll hear almost daily at The Hodges Partnership is, “Does anyone have time to proof this?” And with good reason. When you’ve spent a lot of one-on-one time with a news release, blog post or op-ed, it’s easy to overlook mistakes, and we all know how that goes – as soon as you hit send or press publish, then you notice there’s an extra word or typo. The good news? There’s hope, because there are a number of resources available (some that are right in front of you) to make your life easier the next time you’re …

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A Value(s) Proposition

In the communications world, we often talk about knowing your story down pat. When the opportunity comes for an interview, you want to be ready to share who you are and communicate your core values and messages. But even more important than knowing it all cold is living those values and making good on them. We’ve had one great example of just that in the Richmond community this week. If you follow Richmond dining news (or even if you don’t as this made the front page), you no doubt have seen that Comfort co-owners Jason Alley and Michele Jones have …

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Richmond, Virginia 23223
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