The Gong Blog

Media relations in the time of COVID

We’re in unchartered territory. Or so they say. For those of us who toil in the trenches of media relations – and who are old enough to painfully remember that there was a short-lived “Friends” spinoff called “Joey” – this moment in our nation’s history has an eerie déjà vu quality to it. I’m referring to the weeks if not months following 9-11 when pitching your client’s story to the media was not only seen as tone deaf but enough of a transgression to get your media relations hall pass confiscated for good. News outlets, including their business desks, were …

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What we’re cooking and eating during social isolation

We’re a pretty tight-knit group here at Hodges. So, this whole full-time, work-from-home concept is far from what we’re accustomed to. No brainstorm happy hours. No Saturday Night Live debriefs at our Monday morning staff meeting. No group trips to Ironclad for a change of scenery and cup of quality java. What was once a perk of the job – getting to work from home when you needed to – is now the reality we are living in, day in and day out. So, to inject some of the culture we’re missing by being apart, Hodger Cameron McPherson started a …

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How media consumption has changed in the COVID-19 era

Do you remember the good ole days when you’d sit in your car during your morning commute, listening to the podcast or two that downloaded to your queue overnight? Maybe you were more of a terrestrial radio listener, clamoring to hear Second Date on 103.7 PLAY as you navigated through downtown Richmond. Times have changed and so have our media consumption habits. Media research groups are all over how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our listening and viewing habits. We’ve tried to synthesize the ever-changing data into a few themes. We’re consuming more media According to NuVoodoo, 85% of Americans …

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Plays of the month: March 2020

We do something every week here at The Hodges Partnership called Plays of the Week (POTW), which is a fun way for us to celebrate successes internally. Every Friday afternoon, an email goes out to our office highlighting some wins from the week. Sometimes it’s a big media hit, other times it’s recognizing someone who is working hard to bring a strategy to life. In the spirit of all things positive, we’re going to start sharing some of our top plays each month with you. Here’s a look back at some fun wins from March! The VCCS team has been …

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Baseball’s botched communications crisis

A sure sign of spring is (usually) the start of the Major League Baseball season. However, before the current pandemic erupted, a dark, dark, dark cloud lingered and threatened the integrity of the game as much or more then the steroids era of the late 1990s and early 2000s. And to think, a sound crisis communications reaction could have pacified the situation. Even most non-baseball fans are aware that the Houston Astros were caught cheating during their world championship season in 2017. To catch you up, the team used technology to steal signs from opposing teams’ catchers and then relayed …

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Lessons I’m learning as we adapt to our new reality

One of the best things I’ve done in the last few years is join the Virginia Council of CEOs. VACEOS is a group that connects leaders of companies throughout the state and places them in small peer groups, called Roundtables, which meet regularly. One of the backbone rules of the Roundtable is that we agree not to give people advice but to “share experiences.” I’ve found that experience sharing approach invaluable in helping me grow both professionally and personally. So, I’m writing this post in that spirit, since much of what I have seen online is folks giving advice on how to …

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Meet a Hodger: Hannah Robinson

The Hodges ranks have expanded once again, and we think out of our entire roster, Hannah Robinson has the most interesting “first week at Hodges” stories to date. Hannah’s first day in the office also happened to be her last. You see, she started the day before our office went to full-time teleworking thanks to COVID-19. But even in just a few short weeks, Hannah has become an all star on the team – diving into her account work and engaging with her colleagues like she’s sitting less than six feet away from them. From being the voice of James …

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PR considerations for “essential services” organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic

As millions of organizations across the country adapt to working remotely, others – those deemed essential services – have to continue operations as normal given the critical function they provide. For these organizations, this not only presents a litany of operational considerations, but PR ones as well for how to communicate to both their internal and external stakeholders throughout this crisis. Adopt a “when, not if” mentality that your organization will have an employee test positive As some organizations have already seen, even following all CDC and WHO guidelines isn’t enough to completely safeguard against COVID-19. Yes, make it abundantly …

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Marketing during a pandemic: Are you crossing the line?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that my health and wellbeing is the most important thing to the companies I do business with. (And by that I mean, Josh, the consumer, not Josh, part of The Hodges Partnership.) Like you, I’ve received dozens of emails from retailers and travel companies, from my bank and dry cleaner, and even my barber shop, all of whom want me to know what a high priority they place on my safety.  At a time of such limited personal interaction, it’s comforting to know that somebody out there cares.  I don’t …

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#RVAThrive: How we’re giving back during COVID-19 – and how your business can pass it on

We know these are trying times for local businesses, and we want to do our part to keep business flowing. We put our heads together and thought about a few of the local businesses we frequent as a team, from our go-to coffee shop to the places we’re calling in lunch orders for meetings.  Since our team is working from home to do our part to #flattenthecurve, we might not be patronizing these businesses like we regularly would – but we want them to feel the love. We came up with #RVAThrive. We’re going to buy a $100 gift card …

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