We’re rolling out a new series on the Gong Blog, and we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the series than with an introduction to our newest Hodger, Evans Mandes. He joined the team at the end of 2018 and has hit the ground running.
Chances are you haven’t met Evans yet, so to give you a head start, here’s a chance to get to know a little more about him.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Northern Virginia, and I grew up playing baseball and golf. Still to this day, I’m a big golfer. I came to Richmond to attend VCU, which is when I fell in love with the city and fell in love with PR, too. I got really lucky and was able to intern at CarMax in their PR shop and that solidified my interest in this field.
What is your specialty or area of expertise?
So much of public relations is connections, and one of my strengths is strategizing and thinking of strategic partnerships. On top of that, I consider myself a strong writer – which will really be put to the test because everyone here is such a strong writer. It’s going to force me to be better.
Why did you choose to work at Hodges?
A little background: I met Lindsay at VCU; she taught my Professionalism class. She spoke highly of the agency, and I was able to visit the agency one afternoon. It was really just about waiting for the right moment, which is when the job was posted last fall. It feels like a family here – everyone is so collaborative. And it’s very close to my house, so the commute is great.
Where do you see the PR industry going?
Influencers have been big for years, but I think micro-influencers are going to be massive, even bigger than they already are. If you look at it, the engagement rate is so impressive, brands are going to have to really target that group. Also, Jon and I share a passion for podcasts. A lot of stats are coming out that marketers and communicators are going to be able to leverage when targeting audiences in the future.
Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?
I love Richmond because there is always something going on. I like going to Flying Squirrels games in the summer, spending time with my family and friends, and I like to read and keep up on current events.