How long have you worked in the NHS/ health and care?
I started my role as social media manager in January of 2014, wow, that’s nearly four years! Prior to joining NHS Blood and Transplant I worked in India for about three and a half years in the marketing and communications space at a big data analytics company, and I also worked at the Credit Bureau of India - TransUnion.
What’s top of your to-do list today?
Sorting out my Christmas shop and finalising messaging for Christmas and New Year’s content across all of our social platforms.
Sum up your approach to comms in a tweet.
Tweeting it real.
Which campaign – inside or outside of the NHS – has most inspired you, and why?
#MeToo is one of my favourites. It’s amazing to see a global community of female solidarity take place online – a place that can be quite daunting and intimidating. Empowering. It’s also a great example of grassroots activity coupled with great elements of pre and post-modern campaigning.
Social media at work – best thing since sliced bread or one more thing to worry about?
Bit of both. Social media is unpredictable and I seem to have this ongoing love hate relationship with social. It’s great at times, but can be downright mean at other times. It’s all about striking the right balance.
What one thing would make your job easier?
A body double and more hours in the day. Social media is constantly changing, and it can be quite difficult staying on top of so many changes while meeting the constant demands for content development and audience engagement. I could also do with a nice Caribbean holiday every couple of months.
Where/ when do you have your best ideas?
In bed. I know it sounds dodgy, but the best ideas usually come to me while I’m in bed and it’s usually at that point when you’re about to doze off yet you’re still awake.
Your work – what’s coming up next?
What’s not coming up? The organ donation opt-out consultation has started, the government wants to make it easier for people to give their consent to be an organ donor. This would increase the number of organs donated and save more lives.
I’m also working on a new blood donation web series, called Date 2 Donate, launching in the New Year, watch our social channels for more.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Silence is acceptance. My mum would bang on about this when I was younger and it didn’t really make sense until I started working. Don’t be afraid to speak up and challenge.
From WhatsApp to augmented reality - what’s the next big thing in comms?
Visualisation, Collaboration and Storytelling! We’ll see greater user of tools like Slack and Airtable making it easier for teams to work seamlessly across different locations and wider use of data visualisation tools to present data in easier to understand language that everyone understands.
Storytelling is already happening, but I think this will continue to grow and evolve with the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual relaity (VR) devices coupled with artificial intelligence.
You can follow Melissa and NHS Blood and Transplant on Twitter and hear Melissa speak at this year's NHS Confederation communications conference.
Do you know another NHS comms professional who deserves to be in the spotlight to share their comms work? Nominate them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.