When you do business with the companies you’re passionate about, everybody wins

At The Hodges Partnership, we have a great group of community-minded individuals who quietly (sure, call us modest) serve the Richmond community through a variety of board positions and other community-related activities. It’s something that drew me to Hodges because community involvement is something I’m passionate about. I take pride in the fact that I’m able to work with a group who shares that enthusiasm.

Fortunately, it’s not just outside of the office that we’re able to make an impact on the Richmond community and beyond. At Hodges, there’s a top down, concerted effort to work with organizations doing good and impactful work, which allows us to feed those passions on a day-to-day basis. And this isn’t just good for living and working in a fulfilling environment, it’s good for business.

I think if you look at my blog content from over the years, you can tell that at times, my blinders are up for media relations. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the parallels between media relations and sales. In college, and early in my career, I hadn’t really considered the commonalities that exist between sales and media relations. But as I have gotten more embedded in the PR field though, I see more and more how closely the two skillsets are aligned. The fact is, as public relations professionals, we are in the business of selling our clients and their stories to newsrooms and ultimately, the general public. You can say we’re in sales, and to be a good PR pro, you need your share of stick-to-it-tiveness and a bit of fearlessness to boot.

As in sales, media relations is a lot easier when you believe in the organizations you’re pitching. And at Hodges, we’re especially fortunate to be working with many clients whose work is ethical, who are providing services and solutions that improve people’s lives and who are making an impact in the community and beyond. By pitching their stories, we’re able to share some of the same pride they feel in delivering their important work.

A case in point: just in the past month, our friends at Mercy Chefs served meals in Dallas following the winter storms that left so many in Texas without power and water. At the same time, an archeological team at Colonial Williamsburg has been busy shedding light on what is believed to be the first Black church congregation in American history. In both cases, we were able to attract national media attention followed, success that we can take some credit for, bur recognizing that it would not have been possible without such compelling and important storylines.

Hodges also took its commitment to connecting with and telling the stories of organizations doing important work to another level. The Phil was launched late last year with the intention of providing a space for nonprofits to have their voices heard through features, stories and spotlights. In just the first few months, we’ve pulled the curtain back on dozens of local nonprofits, helping them raising their visibility and make important community connections.

I take a special amount of pride in the role that we play in helping tell our clients’ stories, in helping them get exposure that can lead to greater donations and more volunteers, or in many cases, to enhance revenues. If you know of an organization doing work that is impacting others, please reach out to us. We’d welcome the chance to help tell their story as well.

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Evans Mandes

A graduate of VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture, Evans joined Hodges in 2018, having previously worked in communications at Capital One and interning for CarMax’s public relations team. Evans works on a diverse mix of accounts including Kroger Mid-Atlantic, Monmouth University, UnitedHealthcare, Owens & Minor, Hilldrup and First Tee.

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