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WNC Business

Formation PR + Brand expands to meet growing demand

Feb 25, 2023 04:20PM ● By WNC Business

HENDERSONVILLE – In response to rapid growth in client scope and demand, Formation PR + Brand, a strategic communications agency based in Hendersonville, NC and serving clients throughout the country, has expanded its leadership team with the addition of two new senior strategists. The addition of Annie Carlson and Julia Hockenberry equips the agency to better meet the burgeoning needs of clients within the agency’s focus areas of higher education, nonprofit and philanthropy, healthcare, and regional and economic development.

Since its inception 16 years ago, Formation PR + Brand has expanded from a team of one to a team of nine, offering crisis communications, brand strategy and development, public relations campaigns, communications planning, web development and content strategy, and media buying. “We are thrilled to provide a level of specificity in the expertise we offer our clients with the talent of our two newest team members,” said Erica Allison, founder and CEO. “Having Annie and Julia on board will enable us to meet our clients exactly where they are as we expand our reach and resonance and continue to grow into the future.”

Formation PR + Brand has experienced steady growth over the past three years, and anticipates an expansion in clients and revenue for the next two years. The agency prides itself on its distinctive approach to strategic communications, particularly among organizations who have a significant and positive impact within their regions and communities. This approach has resulted in a national reputation among regional development organizations, as well as a strong portfolio of intentional work with community colleges, and nonprofit and philanthropic organizations throughout North and South Carolina. The agency recently rebranded the D.C.-based National Association of Development Organizations and Dogwood Health Trust (Asheville). In addition to serving as the retained communications partner for Dogwood Health Trust, among others, Formation has served as the retained PR agency for Pardee UNC Health Care since 2015.

Senior Strategist Annie Carlson joined the team in a full-time capacity several months ago and brings more than 10 years of experience in marketing and communications operations, including management of marketing and fundraising campaigns, brand development, public relations, event promotion, and organizational communication. In her former position at Montreat College, Carlson and her team operated as an in-house agency for internal clients, where she spearheaded two institution-wide branding campaigns as well as the college’s Centennial celebration.

In February, Formation PR + Brand also welcomed Senior Strategist Julia Hockenberry to serve alongside Carlson. Hockenberry spent a decade working in print and broadcast journalism before entering nonprofit leadership in 2009. For the last 13 years she served in senior roles at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County and was a two-time national winner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s prestigious Marketing and Communications Award. In 2016 she assumed the post of CEO with a focus on strategic growth and quality outcomes for the organization.

Allison notes that the addition of two senior strategists will allow for segmentation within their clients’ focus areas. “Annie will capitalize on her expertise in higher education to build our higher education and community college portfolio. Julia will maximize both her experience in journalism and nonprofit management and communications to cultivate our philanthropic and nonprofit arm of the agency, freeing me up to focus exclusively on healthcare and regional development clients.” 

Founded in 2007, Formation PR + Brand is guided by a simple mission: Listen. Create. Empower. Impact. The agency is committed to investing locally while also working with clients across the country who are dedicated to creating social and economic impact throughout the communities and regions in which they work. To date, the agency has served nearly 300 clients across 10 states and the District of Columbia.

About Formation PR + Brand

Founded in 2007 by Erica McArthur Allison, Formation PR + Brand is a public relations and branding agency guided by a simple mission: Listen. Create. Empower. Impact. The agency’s client base works in higher education, nonprofit and philanthropy, healthcare, and regional and economic development. Formation PR + Brand is a member of the Public Relations Society of America; AdClub WNC, an affiliate chapter of the American Advertising Federation; Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development; the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce; and is a Living Wage employer as certified by Just Economic of WNC. To learn more about Formation PR + Brand, visit

Source: Formation PR + Brand