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Meet our Founder, Becks Wiper

Sitting at the head of our thriving PR agency is the brains behind the business, our brilliant founder, Becki Wiper.

We sat down with Becks to delve into the origins of Hop, her career choices and the exciting future she envisions for her company, which will be celebrating its 8-year anniversary in January.

Photo of Becks

What made you choose PR as a career?

"When I was leading up to my A Levels, I think I was still holding onto my childhood dream of becoming a children's TV presenter. So, when I finally chose my degree, I went with Broadcast Journalism - which in some way felt I could keep the dream alive but with lots of modules throughout the degree, it gave me choices for something more sensible at the end!

"During my time at university, I did a PR module, and actually, being really honest, I didn't quite get it and didn't enjoy it. It wasn't until I landed my first job in marketing that I got the PR bug, and it has quite literally changed my life. It was the right person, right place, right time, and I got asked to move from a marketing assistant to press officer and from then on, I have lived and breathed PR - probably a little too much!"

When did you start Hop?

"I started Hop thanks to my daughter Ruby and my now best friend Meg. I had the left the agency world for maternity leave and I already knew I wanted to look for something new when it was 'return to work' time.

"However, that was never meant to be setting up my own company! During my maternity leave, I met Meg, a PR freelancer, earning a lovely salary and seemed to have just the right work-life balance too. She managed to convince me over my time off to risk it. And in her words: "If you can give it a whirl for six months and can afford to do so - why not try!" and eight years later, I'm still doing it. Meg is still one of my biggest cheerleaders and my forever work confidant."

What does the future of Hop look like?

"Hop, over the years, has grown, developed, and learnt and I can honestly say that now more than ever it's ready to fly, especially in its new identity.

"Hop is eight years old in January, and it felt like exactly the right time to rebrand, especially with our new team of experts! Hop is so much more than just PR now. We are a social media, influencer, content and PR agency - with expert sidekicks that help support a 360-degree approach with video, photography, websites, PPC and SEO too.

"We are ready to take on new clients - which in itself is different. Many agencies pitch and then hire on the fly when they get the work. I wanted our agency to have the right people in the right place before welcoming new brands aboard."

How would you describe your company's workplace culture?

"I know very quickly when I want to hire someone. I get that feeling in my gut. The right people are absolutely key. People buy people. So, it really is a handpicked team here at Hop&Co.

"I want my team to flourish - I want them to feel they are very much part of this business; it is what we make it. I would say I try and create a very fun and happy environment but one that is filled with hard work and dedication.

"I am HUGE on team ethos - we are in this together. Every day before anyone leaves, they always ask their teammates if they need any help - which makes me smile and feel very proud of what we are creating. I am trying to create an agency that is different, and so far, so good."

Which qualities do you look for in your team?

"Drive, passion, kindness, humour and dedication. I believe you can teach the right person anything. I also like to give those with little experience a chance. I struggled to get into marketing as I was always told "You've no experience!" So, now I feel very passionate about allowing the right people the chance to enter the profession."

What does success mean to you?

"Success to me is building something that means something to people. I really hope my team and my clients feel part of something special."

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

"My kids. I think since becoming a single mum my drive has increased even more. I also have to add - my team. I am as much part of that team as anyone - and I actually get excited to go to work... still!"

What advice would you give to somebody looking to get into PR / someone who's just started an exec role in a PR agency?

"Work hard, go the extra mile and be a team player. PR can be long hours, it can be a hard slog, and there are about 10 people fighting for a foot in the door behind you.

"I didn't get where I have got without putting the time in. I have worked extremely hard, and still do, but sadly, I love it. I love my job, I love my industry, and it will be a very long time until I hang up, rolling up my sleeves and helping out!

"I would always, always advise that anyone looking to get into PR goes and does some internships or work experience. It will give you invaluable experience and a chance to see what it's like in the agency world."

What pieces of advice would you give to your younger self?

"1: Believe in yourself. 2: It's never too late to start over."

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Becks@hoppr.co.uk

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01625 462546