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Based in Sussex, Hook PR takes global view

Katie Tabeling
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Hook PR Founder Patricia Rivera talks about taking marketing as a journey of a story , instead of focusing on the day-to-day tasks. | DBT PHOTO BY MARIA DEFORREST

MILTON — After 15 years of crafting messages for companies and nonprofits, Hook PR has a new office in Milton and a different mission: Think more about the big picture goal for its clients, and work toward it, one step at a time.

“We’re pushing tried and true methods, but it’s also about our client’s journey. How is this content going to shift people from knowing you to trusting you?” said Patricia Rivera, founder of Hook PR. “If something doesn’t move the needle, why are we doing it? To do that, we’ve had more long-term conversations with clients, and we’re looking to understand new clients’ goals.”

Rivera, a former journalist with The New York Times, The News Journal and The Dallas Morning News, started Hook PR after she decided to change her lifestyle for her family. The firm started as a translation agency, as she noticed while working in Dallas, that there was a language barrier that prevented a good portion of the population from reading the content.

From there, Hook PR has blossomed into 12 team members in four different countries, of which seven are based in Sussex County. It has blossomed into developing websites and maintained them, creating content and sometimes translating it, graphic design and social media management.

Notable clients include Perdue Farms, Beebe Healthcare, National Alliance on Mental Illness Delaware, Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Zip Code Wilmington, the Amputee Coalition of America, the Arsht-Cannon Fund, La Conectiva, Delaware state agencies and more.

But among the most notable campaigns Hook PR supported in the last two years was the Delaware Division of Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign for the Latino community. The state first brought the firm on to translate content, but that soon changed to creating custom content and outreach for organizations to spread the message.

“We can develop great material, but if we don’t have partners on the ground who will share it, the campaign is ineffective,” Rivera said. “It’s about getting it in the right hands.”

In the 1980s and the 1990s, Delaware slowly saw its immigrant population grow in Sussex County, particularly with Latinos and Haitian immigrants. The first Latino immigrants here hailed from Mexico and Guatemala, according to a 2019 study from the Delaware Community Foundation. Today, the census estimates there are 23,000 Latinos in Sussex County and approximately 15,000 Haitians in the state.

It’s not just Sussex County or even Delaware that is seeing this growth in these communities. In 2021, the rate of new entrepreneurs was 44% among Latinos in the last decade, according to the Latino Business Action Network. In other words, the start-up community is becoming more diverse, and will continue to be a large economic engine. 

“We live in a multicultural world. Studies show that by 2040 it will be the most diverse population we’ve seen,” Rivera said. “We need to understand each other. We need to think about perspectives.”

Hook PR has always had a foothold in more than one world, as it started out of its translation service, but Rivera is hoping to lead her clients to start thinking in a broader sense. The goal is to look at the core mission of each organization and the message they want to say.

She was inspired by a global networking group run by John Jantsch, an author and founder of Duct Tape Marketing. With his connections, Rivera and the group were able to get in front of national marketing influencers and ask what trends they see now and in the future.

“The more time I spent there, the more I understood the market continuum and the more I wanted to share that with our clients to see their response,” she said. “We’re looking less at the tasks we can do and looking more at what we can plan for our clients. We’re really trying to push that foundational viewpoint,” she said.

Looking to the future of marketing, Rivera believes that creating trusted content — valued by its audience and sincere from the company — is going to be the next challenge. 

“So much content is available. If you don’t give it a purpose to help the buyer’s journey, it won’t set it apart,” she said. “It’s easy to focus on the sale, but you won’t get that unless you build trust. That’s where it’s going to make a difference.”

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1 Comment

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    marykdupont@gmail.com June 23, 2022

    I’ve worked with HookPR for 15 years, first as the marketing arm behind $tandByMe and now La Plaza Delaware. Patricia is an insightful and creative strategist. She helped us to get our message out there and get the attention of the community we want to serve. And does everything in diverse languages and points of view as needed. She’s one of a kind!

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