Posts about Public Relations

Three things you can do to get your organization ready to hire a PR firm

As the CEO of a thriving public relations/content marketing agency, I wear a lot of hats — and one of them is business development. Over the years, I’ve seen many trends in our quest to acquire “new business,” the latest being the lengthening of the new business cycle, or the amount of time from the first meeting with a potential client to the “close.” The amount of time is getting longer. In the past when we’ve experienced that, it’s mainly been because the potential client just wasn’t sure what they were looking for. As a result, we revamped the questions …

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Marketing’s Age-Old Question: Advertising or Public Relations?

Of all the venerable questions – paper vs. plastic? the chicken or the egg? Ginger or Mary Ann? – the one that marketers struggle with most is whether to invest marketing dollars in advertising or public relations. Driving awareness through traditional advertising There was a time, not all that long ago, when the answer was more clear-cut. If you needed a campaign to drive awareness by hitting target audiences with a sustained frequency, then advertising was the way to go. Your only limit to reaching your prospective buyers was the depth of your pockets, and if they were deep enough, …

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Need a Communications Audit? Answer These 10 Questions to Find Out

I get excited about preliminary meetings with prospective clients. It’s not so much the possibility of helping solve their communications challenges – though I love that – but I like hearing folks tell us their story – how they were founded, what they do better than their competitors, how they came up with their latest big idea? Inevitably, layered within that story are varying degrees of uncertainty. How can we do a better job at communicating who we are to our important constituencies, including sales prospects? How do we make the best use of our limited budget? What should our …

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The College Admissions Scandal: A Lesson in Reputation Management

I was on a long car trip a couple weeks back with an old college friend, and as the miles rolled by, we got a chance to share our perspectives on the issues of the day. He’s among my smartest friends (I tell him he’s easily in the “Top 50”) and works as an international consultant advising technology companies about go-to-market strategies. Like me, he stays up on the news, and despite the fact that we live 3,000 miles from one another, we seem to share common wisdom on many issues. When the topic came to the recent college admissions …

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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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Why NPR’s New Podcast Measurement Tool is Really RAD

In the 15 years since their inception, podcasts haven’t just become a household name, they’ve become a go-to industry for advertisers. In fact, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2018 report, podcast advertising revenue grew from $68.6 million in 2015 to $257.4 million in 2017. And the industry is only expected to continue to grow. While it’s clear that podcasts and podcast advertising aren’t going anywhere, we’re seeing a renaissance in how listenership and engagement are measured. For many years, the gold standard for podcast measurement was downloads. And while downloads are great at showing audience size, they don’t …

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Four reasons to media train your employees

We all know the benefits of a well-placed story in the media. Part of the earned-owned-paid trilogy of public relations, earned media can be wildly successful at raising your awareness and enhancing your credibility. And by effectively merchandising media hits on digital platforms, you can amplify that success even more. Timely placements also can help boost SEO, complement your content marketing plan and serve as an important leg of your overall marketing program. It also gives employees (and your employer) a sense of pride in your organization – after all, who wouldn’t want to see their company featured in local …

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Four Considerations When Revisiting Your Public Relations Strategy

A public relations strategy is like the stretch of I-95 between Richmond and Washington, D.C. No, really, stay with me on this one. It’s never really finished. It’s a work in progress. You’ll always work from Point A to Point B, but occasionally, you’ll take some detours, try new things, evaluate what works and what doesn’t and apply your learnings the next time you travel. A public relations strategy is similar in that you often know your starting point and ending point. And while you have in your mind what you need to do to get there, sometimes you have …

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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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PR at Its Core: Actions over Words

Anyone who has received an email from me may have noticed a rather abstruse quote as part of my email signature. It’s an observation by T.S. Eliot in which he asserts that “Being is intelligible only in terms of becoming.” I like it for two reasons. First, it’s derivative enough to demand that you ponder it a bit, like good poets are wont to do. But perhaps more importantly, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, which if you were to reduce it to a bumper sticker basically means “you are what you do.” That’s really the essence of public relations. …

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The Hodges Partnership
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Richmond, Virginia 23223
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