In the latest installment of ‘Five Minutes with…’ we spoke to Content Executive and avid cinemaphile Melissa Alabi.
Melissa, how did your career in media begin?
I’ve always had a passion for writing. As a child, I spent a lot of my time either reading or writing short stories, poems and plays – often inspired by the last thing I’d read. While I studied and loved English Literature at school, I followed my interest in history, sociology, and politics to study International Relations at the University of Leeds. This allowed me to hone not only my critical thinking and analytical skills but explore different writing styles like opinion pieces, essays and academic criticism, reports, and policy documents which vastly improved my written communication skills.
When I graduated, I pursued a political communications internship at a communications agency in London which exposed me to the wide range of careers available in public relations. I took the initiative to shadow colleagues in corporate, consumer and digital communications and took the leap from political communications to roles that were more creative.
What brought you to THPR?
I was very familiar with Thinking Hat PR as I had worked with the strategic communications team as a client in a previous role. As a client, I always found the team to be diligent, collaborative, and fun to work with – they acted as an extension of our in-house PR team rather than an agency. Producing content was a small part of my role, but I was becoming more and more interested in it. When my contract was over, I reached out to Claire Creagh who is the Head of Strategic Communications at Thinking Hat PR -the rest is history!
It’s been around 7 months, but I’ve already worked on many amazing creative projects and challenged myself with the help of my very supportive colleagues.
What’s the best part of your job as a Content Executive?
Having a productive outlet for my creativity and working alongside an amazing team who are constantly striving to improve and learn new skills. I love seeing the finished product through from ideation to delivery and whether it’s a blog, video, whitepaper, or eBook – it always feels terrific to see the tangible results of our work.
What has been one of your highlights so far that you’d love to share?
I worked on an eBook for our innovative client OnePlan when I first joined Thinking Hat PR. I acted as a ‘project manager’, worked closely with a graphic designer and even learnt a lot about event site planning software in the process. The learning truly never stops when you work at Thinking Hat PR, and I can’t wait to create another eBook in the future.
Do you have any causes close to your heart?
Social mobility in the UK is among the lowest in developed countries, and one’s social background still significantly influences their life trajectory. I firmly believe that everyone, regardless of their background, should have the chance to reach their full potential. I have been fortunate to benefit from charities like the Newcomen Collett Foundation, which offers bursaries to low-income students and the Taylor Bennett Foundation which helps young people from underrepresented groups establish careers in public relations. I enjoy giving back by mentoring, tutoring, and giving career talks to young people from similar backgrounds as mine. I hope to continue doing more of these kinds of activities in the future.
What’s your favourite way to wind down after your work week?
It’s simple but I love going to the cinema after a long week. I’m obsessed with movies and there’s always something to fun watch. I’m really looking forward to Barbie, Oppenheimer, and Past Lives this year and now that it’s summer I’m on the lookout for outdoor and rooftop cinemas. I also love travelling so when I can, I like to go away with my friends, and I can’t wait to kick start that again now that it’s warmer!
Got five more minutes? Spend it with some of the other Hatters in our Five Minutes With… blog series.