Melissa Hobson smiling with log cabin in background

About Melissa (she/her)

PR strategy & copywriting for kind people protecting the ocean

Hi! I'm Mel. I'm a PR consultant and copywriter working with organisations passionate about making a positive difference to our ocean, our planet and people’s lives.

I've been a certified scuba diver for 15+ years, have worked in PR for 12+ years and had my first magazine article published 7+ years ago (it was about a girl on my dive boat that got the Bends, in case you were wondering!). I've worked with companies and charities big and small (both in-house and agency side) to help them achieve their PR and communications goals. Now, I'd love to help you too!

As a PR consultant, I specialise in delivering tailored communications strategies designed to encourage behaviour change and help the environment. I also run PR Power Hours which are completely tailored to your specific project or campaign.

On the writing side, I can help you develop your messaging as well as drafting whitepapers, reports, press releases, editorial features, blog posts and more. Oh and one of my favourite things is to geek out about the ocean so if you've come for articles bursting with marine animal facts, you've come to the right place!

If you have a project you'd like to discuss, please get in touch.

Resources

Need guidance to boost your PR efforts? My resources and templates can save time and help you meet your goals.

PR Power Hour

Find out how I can help you meet your communications goals in just 60 minutes.

Published work

Read my articles about marine science, conservation and sustainability.

Case studies

Read about previous PR campaigns I have worked on.

How did I get here?

I didn't grow up by the sea so, unlike many in the marine conservation sector, I can pinpoint the moment I truly fell in love with the ocean. It was 2007, I was on holiday in Australia and my travel agent suggested I learn to scuba dive. "Sure," I thought, "why not?".

And guess what? I HATED it. I spent the first two days in the swimming pool learning all the scuba skills. With my nose full of water and eyes stinging from the chlorine, I kept telling myself that once the five days were over and I received my certification, I'd never have to dive again. That all changed when we reached the open ocean. It was incredible. I can still see the sillhouettes of sharks gliding above me on my very first night dive. And the turtle gently snoozing under a crevice. And that was it. I'd caught 'the bug'.

I didn't know it at the time but this chance decision to certify as a scuba diver was one that would transform my life. And, eventually, my career too. Little by little, my interest in the ocean nudged ever-closer to my work.

My early days as a grad in a busy PR agency taught me a LOT about PR strategy. But my most important discovery from this time was that work that wasn't purpose-led didn't do anything for me. I wanted to make a positive difference through my work. I moved into the charity sector, working with the wonderful team at Cancer Research UK for two years, before returning to 'agency land'. This time, as a senior member of the team, I was able to influence the type of clients we worked with. I was proud to lead a team landing brilliant PR campaigns for JustGiving, GoFundMe, British Deaf Association and many more. On the side, I also started writing articles about scuba diving, marine conservation and eco travel (I still pinch myself that this now includes several bylines in Nat Geo).

Eventually, I burned out and moved to Mozambique (isn't that how every fairytale goes?). It was another serendipitous moment for me. I needed a change and the brilliant Marine Megafauna Foundation needed comms support. It was a no brainer. And the rest, as they say, is history. I now specialise in providing PR strategy and copywriting services for kind organisations and people who are working to protect the ocean. If you've read this far, perhaps that could be you?

Read more case studies…

FAQs

Do you only work on ocean-related projects?

No. The ocean is my passion but I work with plenty of non-marine clients too. In fact, I'm doing regular media work with Guide Dogs at the moment and absolutely love it. The important thing for me is that my clients share my values – if you're a charity, B-Corp or purpose-led business, I'd be happy to chat about whether we could be a good fit for each other.

Do you work with PR agencies?

Sometimes. I do provide some consultancy to agencies but, these days, do most of my work directly. As a member of Clean Creatives, I absolutely don't work with PR agencies who have retained fossil fuel clients.

Are you a scientist?

No. I like to describe myself as 'marine biology adjacent' – aka I have lots of brilliant marine biologist friends but I'm very on the comms side of science comms. I tend to find NOT being a scientist is usually beneficial because it easier to explain complicated topics in a simple way that anyone can understand.

Where are you based?

I'm currently rather landlocked in sunny(ish) Reading, England.

Your 'contact me' page says there could be a long wait for new clients – why is this?

Luckily for me, I have some brilliant clients who like to book ahead (I currently have some bookings already confirmed until December 2022). Because I'm usually pretty booked up, the potential wait time for a new client could be around six weeks. The exception to this is if you'd like to book a PR Power Hour as these are are already woven into my calendar. If you have an urgent deadline, you're more than welcome to get in touch to see if I can squeeze you in but please be aware I might not be able to accommodate your project.

Are you insured?

Yes. I have professional indemnity insurance with Beazley.

What's your day rate?

I don't charge using a day rate or by word count. Instead, I offer package pricing and all my quotes are bespoke depending on the type, length, timings and complexity of your project. We'll agree the price before I start work and, if my quoted fee is out of your range, we can reduce the scope of work before getting started. Having a clear fee for the agreed deliverables means you know exactly where you stand and there are no nasty budget surprises if something takes longer than we anticipated.

Do you charge VAT?

No. I do not currently charge VAT on my services.

Ready to chat?

Hello! So great to hear you're interested in talking about how I can help you with your PR strategy or messaging project.

Depending what works best for you, you're welcome to book a call or send me an email.

I usually have a waiting time of at least six weeks for new clients so please give as much notice as possible.

Melissa holding a ginger cat and standing on a wooden balcony with the blue ocena behind her

I do not work with the fossil fuel industry or PR agencies that retain fossil fuel clients. If that's you, please look for support elsewhere. Thank you.

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I support Project Seagrass by donating 1% of every cleared payment from my services via Work for Good

Please be aware, I do not work with the fossil fuel industry or PR agencies that retain fossil fuel clients.

If that's you, please look for support elsewhere. Thank you.