Melissa wearing a blue top and smiling at the camera with a blue wall and painted mural of jungle plants in the background

About Melissa

The ocean writer

Ocean storytelling

Hi! I'm Mel (she/her). I'm an ocean writer passionate about telling stories that inspire people to make a positive difference to our ocean, our planet and people’s lives.

I've been a certified scuba diver for 15+ years, 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 NGOs and organisations big and small (in-house and agency side) to help them achieve their communications goals.

Now, I'd love to help you too!


I can help with messaging development, 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 need help crafting articles bursting with marine facts, you've come to the right place!

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

Published work

Read my articles about marine science, conservation and sustainability.

Copywriting services

See my copywriting services and pricing.

Resources

Use my PR resources and templates to save time and meet your PR goals.

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 silhouettes of sharks gliding above me on my first night dive. And the turtle gently snoozing under a crevice. That was it: I was hooked.

I didn't know it at the time but this chance decision to certify as a scuba diver would transform my life. And, eventually, my career too. Little by little, my love for 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 was that work that wasn't purpose-led didn't do anything for me. I wanted to make a positive difference.

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, on the senior team, I could 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 more. That's also when I started writing articles about diving, marine conservation and eco travel on the side (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: 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'm now a published writer (with bylines in Nat Geo, the Guardian, New Scientist and more - check out my published work page) and specialise in writing for organisations dedicated to protecting the ocean. If you've read this far, perhaps that could be you?

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 based a stones throw from the seaside in Hastings, East Sussex, 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 so please do get in touch with plenty of notice about a new project as I do usually have a wait time. 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!

Great to hear you're interested in working together - I'm always keen to hear about exciting new stories from marine conservationists, potential commissions from editors and suitable briefs from prospective clients.

So, let's chat. You can send me an email (I aim to respond within three working days, usually sooner) or book a call below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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

Please note: due to high demand, I often have a wait time for new clients and cannot guarantee last-minute availability.

As such, please give as much notice as possible for your projects. Thank you!

Or book a call:

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

The Ocean Writer Ltd. Registered company number: 14772669

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

N.B. I do not work with the fossil fuel industry. If that's you, please look for support elsewhere. Thank you.

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