The Gong Blog

Desk with podcasting equipment (microphone, headphones)

Creating social connections: Podcasts or webinars?

As an agency, Hodges tries to stay ahead of the most effective communications tactics, especially those that align with content strategies driving engagement. It's important to focus on communications strategies that are not only effective but also efficient, that offer the best return on time and money. Along those lines, we’ve heard from some organizations who are debating whether webinars or podcasts are appropriate tools to enhance communications outreach. Not surprisingly, we have some thoughts. Podcasts and webinars are great...

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Hand holding a lime green water can, watering a small indoor plant

Media interviews: The care and feeding of the CEO

Count me among those who ascribe to the adage that it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes than your own. Which puts me in the perfect position for blog readers to take advantage of the wisdom I’ve acquired during the times when things didn’t go just right. I’m thinking about the moment during a live interview on Fox Business News when the host of the program (who will remain nameless since he’s still holding forth) thought it would be a...

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Two people carrying large cardbox boxes, their faces obscured behind the boxes

Four tips to lighten the content creation load

Social media managers wear many hats. They serve as community managers, customer service support, marketers, data scientists and content creators, among many other roles. But it is perhaps that last role—content creator--that can be the toughest of all. Anyone who has put together an editorial content calendar for social media knows just how time-consuming and daunting it can be. “Is this post funny? Is it relevant? On brand? Is this image compelling enough to get someone to pause mid-scroll?” These...

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Two vintage VW buses colliding

VW’s high voltage PR dud

Before I saddle up my high horse, let me say for the record that I’ve got a pretty good sense of humor. In fact, when I was interviewed a few years ago for podcast on PR, I was asked which company’s public relations work I admired. I immediately cited WestJet, a Canadian airline on which I have never actually flown. But what I liked about the company was its irreverence and ability to have a bit of fun in an...

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Abstract data representation with lights over a cityscape

Data changes that affect digital marketers

Chances are, if you’ve been reading any industry news in the last couple of months, you are aware that data privacy is getting tighter – here in Virginia and around the world. On the heels of a recent AMA Richmond conversation, we wanted to share a couple of data privacy and marketing-related items that have us shaking in our cleats. Virginia adds data privacy law Surely GDPR is something you’ve heard about, and you’re probably popping aspirin daily for the...

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Hand holding phone with TikTok profile and thumbnails of videos

Two years in, and I still have TikTok: Some thoughts

I used to be Hodges’ only resident TikTok expert – that is, until they hired someone younger than me. *sighs sadly* In January of 2019, I downloaded TikTok – for research purposes, of course. My work at Hodges demanded it, and it had really started to take off in the U.S. Early TikTok adapters will know that the platform has changed quite a bit. Writing this, I am floored that I’ve surpassed my two-year anniversary with the addictive app. The...

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Phone screen, email notificiation at 20 unread

What should PR pros expect from journalists?

In our industry, we don’t have to go far to hear how bad we are at our jobs. We have our own hashtag (#prfail), and journalists routinely skewer our pitches or methods on Twitter or Instagram. And many times, we deserve it.   A couple of weeks ago, Chris Stokel-Walker, a journalist who writes for the BBC and New York Times, screen-grabbed a request from a PR professional requesting a response back to his pitch as a “professional courtesy.” He...

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close-up of a sparkler

Keeping the cultural spark alive, one year after the pandemic

The culture at The Hodges Partnership is our secret sauce that keeps retention – and spirits – high. For many of us, our roles at Hodges take up the largest chunk of our resumes. And if you were to ask those of us who have a splattering of other positions elsewhere, I bet we would tell you that cultural issues were a big reason for us not being there anymore. March 16, 2020 was Hannah’s first day at Hodges. We...

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

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...

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Clubhouse, privacy and other social media trends to watch in 2021

As fully public social networks have become more hostile to everyday users, from a surfeit of ads to political and conspiracy posts crowding our timelines, more people are moving activity and interactions that used to happen on Facebook or Twitter to semi-public networks on Slack or Discord, private group chats on WhatsApp, signal or Facebook’s Messenger, and transient communication like Clubhouse and Snapchat or Instagram Stories. According to this 2019 study from eMarketer, use of mobile messaging apps is expected...

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Hands shaking

The test of time: How we build long-term client relationships

Back in 2002, when Jon Newman and Josh Dare struck out to start their own communications firm, they were guided by the notion of doing good work for good people. They also wanted to lose some of the pretenses that can come with the client/agency partnership. From the beginning, Hodges focused on the human side of its clients, each with their own challenges, expectations, ambitions and personal lives. The approach evolved into what we now call the “Hodges Way,” a...

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Connie Harshaw, president of the Let Freedom Ring Foundation, being interviewed for the TODAY Show

Four tips to successfully coordinating a national morning show interview

At some point, any good public relations professional has forced themselves to become a padawan, dare I say, a Jedi in the art of patience.  It’s a virtue my parents would happily tell you was never my strong suit. But just like anything in life, practice makes perfect. Media relations is more of an art than a science, and now, a few years and a ton of press releases later, I'm finally starting to get the hang of it.   The...

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