The Gong Blog

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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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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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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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The five reasons you’ll read this blog

The five reasons you’ll read this blog

1.  It gets right to the point.  None of the tangential bombast or sentimentality that too often characterizes my blog openings.  2. The headline is intriguing.  I mean, you couldn’t resist, and now it’s too late.  3.  You like lists.  They’re easy to read, digest and remember. 4.  It’s topical.  And we love tips. 5.  It’s short.  You don’t have time, and well, there are only five.  While there’s a meta aspect to this post, it also conforms from what...

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Stock market chart on a computer screen

The GameStop situation exposed these crisis communications truths

It’s looking like 2021 might be just as unpredictable as 2020. So far this year’s got political unrest, new COVID strains, oh, and a Reddit thread about GameStop that exposed one of Wall Street’s darkest secrets – which triggered one crisis communications event after the next. To recap, users on the r/wallstreetbets Reddit thread set the foundation for a short squeeze on GameStop, pushing the stock price up significantly. Over the course of just two weeks, GameStop’s stock value increased...

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Josh Dare in D.C. with a I love PBS button

Meet A Hodger: Josh Dare

After graduating from Gettysburg College, Hodges co-founder Josh Dare used a one-way ticket to Europe, happily backpacking through a dozen countries, until one day, he realized it was time to go home:  the Orioles were going to the World Series. Everyone knows you can’t miss the World Series. Starting his career in the FBI, Josh got his first communications hits in the Bureau’s public affairs office.  But that was only the first inning. He’d go on to work as a...

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Black man with legs crossed reads the busines section of a newspaper

Returning credibility to the media that it should never have lost in the first place

All this talk about the “new normal” has many of us longing for the “old normal,” the way things used to be when we didn’t realize how good we had it. Now along comes Jen Psaki’s White House news briefings, and suddenly the waves of nostalgia are pouring over us. The thrust and parry emanating from the briefing room have returned to a familiar cadence. Communications professionals are back at the podium armed with truth and facts and a distinct...

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