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Media And Marketing News Sussex County

With an eye to growth, Hook PR adds two partners

Katie Tabeling
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Hook PR & Marketing partners, from left to right, Jessica Bell. Patricia Rivera, Dora Jane Barwick. | PHOTO COURTESY OF HOOK PR & MARKETING

Hook PR & Marketing partners, from left to right, Jessica Bell. Patricia Rivera, Dora Jane Barwick. | PHOTO COURTESY OF HOOK PR & MARKETING

LEWES — Hook PR & Marketing has welcomed two new partners to the firm, elevating two integral employees at a time when the company is looking to grow internally and its reach outside the First State.

Hook PR Founder Patricia Rivera announced that chief operating officer Dora Jane Barwick and chief marketing officer Jessica Bell have bought into the firm at the end of January, after a four-month process.

Rivera, who launched the Sussex-based marketing firm that focuses primarily on nonprofits, told the Delaware Business Times she originally did not plan to have partners. But watching Barwick and Bell work together, something clicked.

“The more we worked together, it made perfect sense. It started as a casual conversation, and then it was like, ‘why not?’” Rivera said. “I truly believe this is right for the entire team — there’s real power and cooperation behind this.”

Barwick has worked in marketing for 20 years, but describes herself as someone interested in nonprofits and changemakers. She joined Hook PR in 2018 and held the position of content and operations director in the company before becoming partner.

“I fell in love with Hook because in general, we get this amazing privilege of working with various organizations that are making a difference in Delaware and beyond. That really lined up with my personal mission. Having the opportunity to become a partner just fit where I am in life right now,” Barwick said. “I’m very excited about what we will do moving forward to help our clients.” 

Bell has held several marketing roles in the legal, broadcasting and real estate sector in the past 15 years. Notably she worked with the Delaware Alliance of Nonprofit Advancement (DANA) for three years and owns her own marketing consulting firm, QuBella Designs. Bell joined Hook PR in 2021.

“When I met Patricia in 2016, I was always impressed by Hook PR, and we’ve kept that connection. When they asked me if I was interested about two years ago, it was something that certainly felt right, to be with an organization that’s passionate about the nonprofit world,” Bell said. “These women and our entire team are very inspiring, and I’ve never felt that way about an organization before.”

Hook PR was launched in 2008 by Rivera, a former journalist who worked with the New York Times, The News Journal and The Dallas Morning News. It has now blossomed into a firm with 15 team members in four different countries, with past clients including 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.

“The attention span keeps getting shorter, so how are you going to capture that audience? For me, that’s the biggest challenge that stands out: how to get our clients’ voices heard,” she added.

With 90% to 95% of its client base in Delaware, Hook PR has two offices: one in Lewes and one at The Mill cowork space in Wilmington. But in the months ahead, the three partners hope to start looking beyond the First State and expand more into Maryland, Virginia and the Washington, D.C.,marketplace. 

“We do have a three-year goal for growth, and the idea is that by looking at the D.C. and Virginia markets will give us a greater focus on nonprofits and foundations,” Rivera said. “The hope is to expand our presence there in the third or fourth quarter.”

Aside from expanding its team, the firm plans on offering more consulting and training services in addition to developing marketing campaigns and content. The first training session is slated for early March with DANA, geared to helping nonprofits market directly to their needs.

“Patricia has built a foundation that is so strong and so ready for these next steps,” Barwick said. “Jess and I are incredibly blessed to be the benefactors and new partners in her incredible hard work over these years.”

 

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