The Gong Blog

Our web traffic is up almost 50%. Here’s why.

One of the sometimes painful manifestations of the digital age is that it has forced we public relations types to do math. For decades we bemoaned the fact that there was no real empirical way to measure the impact of our work (except for circulation numbers which always seemed contrived and now quaintly anachronistic). Mostly, we operated under the assumption that the more people who were reading or seeing your story, the better it was…at least generally speaking. In short, we made do. But now, we have numbers. We can measure all manner of interaction with the fruits of our …

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This is changing how we work ‘for good’

It is the end of May and I’ve changed my Zoom virtual background at least ten times. Every day is one meeting right after another because frankly it’s easy to stack meetings when you don’t have to drive to them. I’ve also achieved “video bingo” having done meetings on Zoom, Teams, Google, Skype, WebEx and RingCentral. I’m not sure if any of those “new normal” accomplishments are good or bad, but they are what life is for most of us in public relations and marketing today. However, there are things that we’re doing and learning that I think we will …

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Pandemic already changing how we communicate

I connected recently with a professional acquaintance with whom I hadn’t spoken for at least a year. In my email, I suggested that we catch up by phone, and he countered by saying that he’d send me a Zoom link so that we could converse like the Jetsons used to – face to face but from a distance. The exchange struck me as one manifestation from the coronavirus that is already changing how we interact with one another. The cameras in our cellphones and laptops have quickly replaced conference calls. And I suspect that change is likely here to stay. …

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10 tips for mastering your television Skype or Zoom interview

One of the neatest things about technology advances is how it lets news organizations connect with sources and experts more quickly. With Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and other video calling tools, news networks like CNN and MSNBC can get an expert on the air in a matter of minutes. And, right now, TV stations may have no other choice when trying to air interviews with experts. While we’ve all gotten much more comfortable with video-conferencing tools recently, a video interview via Skype or Zoom is more like a traditional studio interview. There are some extra things to keep in mind though. When we’re coordinating Skype interviews …

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Plays of the month: April 2020

Is it possible for a month to go by fast and slow all at the same time? April had that vibe for sure, but we were still able to collect some stellar Plays of the Month across the agency. We’re still hard at work on COVID-19 and other crisis-related work, but a few other initiatives help round out this month’s list. Content Marketing We’re long-time partners of Virginia’s Community Colleges, and as higher education has pivoted towards serving students in a safer way, Casey helped strategize and launch CollegeAnywhereVA.org to help students explore over 10,000 courses offered online across the …

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How will COVID-19 impact PR and marketing? Help us figure that out.

Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned virtually every aspect of our professional and personal lives upside down. Many PR and marketing professionals have been tirelessly working for weeks now helping guide their organizations and clients through challenges usually reserved for the most severe section of a crisis communications manual.  Like many of you, we at The Hodges Partnership have been wondering more and more, “How will COVID-19 impact PR and marketing in the months and years ahead?” To help get some broad sense of this question, we’ve developed this short, 15 question survey, which we hope you’ll take. We …

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Media relationships: Regret and responsibility during a pandemic

It’s been painful to sit ringside to so much hurt around us. Not just the coronavirus patients and their families. Not only the government leaders struggling with no-win decisions and confronting unprecedented and agonizing budgetary choices in the months ahead. But all those experiencing the brute-force whammy on the economic front. Layoffs. Furloughs. Businesses shuttering, perhaps for good. What makes so much of it especially heartbreaking is our sense of guilt that, so far (knock on wood), our agency has felt little impact from the pandemic. Of course, we are all working remotely, and our morning staff meetings are now …

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Why you need to stay calm – and how our office is chilling out

Everyone, in some shape or form, is feeling the effects of COVID-19 in a way we could have never anticipated when we flipped the calendars from 2019 to 2020 just a few months ago. People living alone. Parents with kids trying to teach at the same time as work. Those who have received a positive diagnosis or are close to someone who has. The list goes on. Working at a public relations agency, I consume the news regularly more than most people, and right now it’s a particularly hard time to have a job that’s intrinsically tied to the news. …

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Considerations for your next webcam media interview

During the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been helping several clients secure interviews through Zoom or Skype. More and more TV journalists are connecting with subjects utilizing videoconferencing software, and we wanted to share tips to make your next interview a success. Zoom or Skype? Journalists are using a lot of different platforms for interviews (for example, a reporter suggested using Facebook Messenger video last week). If you’re coordinating an interview for an expert and have the choice, I prefer Zoom. Ask the journalist for a meeting link that your expert can access when it’s time for the interview. In my experience, …

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Meet a Hodger: Julia Surber

Remember when we said that I (Hannah) had the most interesting “first week at Hodges” story to date? Scratch that. Julia has arrived, and thanks to COVID-19, her onboarding experience has been entirely virtual. She may not have stepped foot in the office yet, but Julia’s can-do spirit and foodie sensibilities make her the perfect Hodger. With only a week under her belt, she has proven herself to be an invaluable member of the team, pitching media and taking on new clients like a Hodges veteran. Born and raised in Richmond and a VCU graduate, Julia received a B.S. in …

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The Hodges Partnership
1805 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-1414
804-788-0085 fax