The Gong Blog

A media relations success story

A media relations success story

I’m going to start this blog post off with a big claim – this is The Gong blog after all, named after the giant, gold shiny Gong we have in our office used to celebrate agency accomplishments. Our national media relations work in the past three months has been as successful as it’s ever has been since Hodges was founded in 2002. When we look at the number of outlets our clients have been featured in and the diversity of...

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Meet a Hodger: Jon Newman

Meet a Hodger: Jon Newman

An ardent Bruce Springsteen fan and dedicated foodie, Jon Newman hails from New Jersey and is a Rutgers University alum. He ended up in Richmond by way of Charlottesville, then Lynchburg, then Nashville, working in news for both radio and TV. While in Richmond, Jon worked as assistant news director at WTVR Channel 6, but after many nights being awoken by news of the latest fire or homicide, he made the switch to public relations. After 10 years working at...

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Filing cabinet system with books color organized on top

Process, templates and lists make your life easier

One meeting with me and you know I’m a process person who looks for efficiencies to keep myself organized. I have a notebook for my daily to-do checklist. I have a notepad for time tracking, with a hand drawn time sheet that I fill in to make my real time submission easier. I have my Outlook calendar color coded by client so I can quickly see what my week looks like. Joanna and Clea (for The Home Edit fans out...

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Introducing “The Phil” — a new nonprofit publication

Introducing “The Phil” — a new nonprofit publication

Josh Dare is always about five years ahead of the times. He is also the “kinder, gentler” of the two founders of this agency. Ok, some background. As an agency The Hodges Partnership has always had nonprofit clients on its roster. Working with nonprofits is part of our DNA not only as an agency but as volunteers and board members. Josh has always led that charge. It was about six years ago that THP expanded it capabilities into content marketing. One...

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Overhead view of hands on a laptop keyboard

What is owned content? Here’s a 101 lesson.

I think I speak for most of the world when I say that COVID-19 kicked us into a realm of massive uncertainty, leaving control-freaks like me longing for the pre-pandemic halcyon days when things were, how do you say, normal.  These days, owned content is one of the few places where you can still achieve complete and utter control. When it comes to developing original content, you’re in the driver’s seat.  Chances are, if you have a content marketing strategy...

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Empty Tesla Charging Station

Tesla unplugs from PR: Why that’s a bad move

When I first read the headlines that Tesla had disbanded its internal PR department, my mind returned to a story in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call back in the 1980s when I was a congressional press secretary. The gist of the piece was about the perceived growth of the communications function on the Hill – the trending surfeit of press secretaries, communications directors, press aides, speech writers and the like (obviously well before the arrival of bloggers and tweeters...

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Closeup of shovel in dirt

Not enough fertilizer could help that campaign news conference

Frankly, I didn’t think I had to write this blog. I didn’t think I needed to remind public relations professionals of the basic fundamentals of event planning. But of course, this is 2020, so… Implausibly, inexplicably, inconceivably, there it was. In broad daylight. A press conference of such colossal consequence that it held the potential to upend the unyielding march toward determining the next president of the United States. With so much on the line, and with a campaign’s credibility...

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group at work at table with a bullentin board with post-it notes

Creating content that gets you new business

There’s no doubt that the global pandemic has caused a lot of our fellow marketing and public relations comrades to pivot from their planned strategies and tactics. In fact, what we’ve been seeing is an increased interest in remote marketing, even if it’s as simple as amping up digital efforts that may already be in place. As Jon points out in his post linked above, a lot of this involves refining and refreshing your digital marketing building blocks, including revisiting...

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Hands working on a laptop

Reboot & Reconnect: Redefining business as usual

Here’s an idea: Instead of obsessing over all the challenges we’ve been facing this year, we choose to focus on the many new opportunities available to us during this time. Think of it, this whole experience could be a timely opportunity for a reboot, a moment for you and your organization to seize something bigger, to come out stronger just by going through a bit of strategic stretching. Amid the new normal swirling around us, companies are creating new policies....

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Hand writing with pencil in notebook

Pandemic can be optimal time for self-analysis and planning

I don’t know about you, but it seems like 2020 would have been a much more appropriate year to launch the “ice bucket challenge.” Could there have been a more fitting metaphor for the cold splash of reality that descended on our collective heads earlier this year? And again several times since. We had anticipated being back in the office by Memorial Day, although we never did say in what year. Like many companies, we empaneled what we called our...

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