The Gong Blog

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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hand holding iphone with all the social icons on the screen

The future of social content and paid media in the wake of Trump

As someone whose public relations business has survived and thrived in recent years by using social media platforms and their advertising capabilities, I’m more than an interested bystander on their futures in the aftermath of the Trump era. The platforms allow us to promote our clients’ content to their target audiences and drive awareness of and engagement with their thought leadership efforts. But as we’ve seen, those same advertising tools and algorithms are used to amplify political rhetoric and hate,...

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White House from the front lawn view

The first White House press conference was ‘delightfully boring’

All in all, press conferences should be pretty straightforward. Share the facts. Answer questions. Provide context and insights. Even to the casual observer, White House press conferences have been lacking that normalcy over the last four years, that is, even when they took place at all. Not only was there no regular frequency to them – in 2019, the press office went more than 40 days without one – perhaps worse, it was hard to tell fact from fiction. Very often, questions from...

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Hand holding smartphone on a news website

Three benefits of earned media

Over the last few years, we’ve seen some local media and newsrooms dwindle while social media platforms grow, but that doesn’t mean your media relations efforts should lose priority. While print media might be inching closer towards becoming our past, publications are adapting to meet audiences where they are: online. From downloadable, PDF versions of the daily paper to daily email newsletters curating breaking and trending news, the media landscape is continuously evolving. Publications also rely on social media platforms...

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People facing the Capitol building with Pamela Northam and Anne Holton

Media relations tips during Virginia’s General Assembly session

This time last year, our office was buzzing with Virginia General Assembly chatter. History was happening with elected officials in both chambers. It was a long session, and several important bills, including Governor Northam’s budget, were on the table. I was knee deep in media relations as part of a campaign to support VAratifyERA (now VoteEqualityUS), an organization that advocated for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia. Meanwhile, my colleague Cameron was heads down doing media relations...

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Aidan and Casey presenting a social media advertising presentation

Take your social media advertising strategy to the next level

Over the last couple of years, Aidan and I have given a presentation on social media advertising – the ins, the outs– it’s truly a 101 primer on the subject. The meat of our presentation is the same, but our color and delivery changes based on what’s currently happening in the social world. Looking into our crystal ball, social media advertising isn’t going away any time soon, but a lot is going to change in the coming months – from...

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Anderson wearing a suit smiling slightly off camera

Meet a Hodger: Anderson Hayes

When we first met Anderson Hayes during his interview to be a Hodges intern, we knew he was going to be a rockstar from day one. Come on, if he can lead a classroom of high school physics students for over three years, he can handle anything, right? And that wasn’t a typo. Anderson has his degree in physics, and he taught the subject in Chesterfield County Schools before he realized some of his greatest passions were met through his...

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