After falling into the PR industry nearly two years ago Anthony Mba has accrued experience in both agency and in-house. Having his property pitches featured in publications like the Telegraph and The Week was only the beginning. Anthony has managed his current company’s social media running various successful campaigns and achieving record levels of engagement, follower growth and impressions, whilst contributing to the work that saw his current company list on the London Stock Exchange. Anthony has also juggled numerous writing projects appearing in publications like the TCS Network, Media Diversified and The i.
Describe your background/yourself in 5 words max?
Africa made, London raised trailblazer.
How did you get into PR/comms/creative?
One day, when trawling through the web for vacancies I saw an ad for the Taylor Bennett Programme. I applied and was invited to the assessment day with all the other shortlisted candidates. I wasn’t successful but was put in touch with a firm to do a two-week internship, and the rest is history.
What do you love about your job?
I most enjoy the amount of autonomy I have in the role. There’s obviously a degree of oversight but I’m also free to be creative in the work I produce and that has definitely helped me to grow in the role.
What are you most proud of?
I recently had an article featured in the i newspaper. It was a feature on ethnic minorities that voted leave. I know how hard as a writer it can be to be published in a national. It was a fairly large feature too!
What’s been the hardest lesson to learn?
There’s really nowhere to hide. You can have a support system as long as your arm but you rise or fall on the quality of your work. It was a shock to the system but now it’s what pushes me to be the best professional I can be.
Who are your favourite people in PR and why?
I have two:
Anna Geffert, I worked with Anna briefly at my first job and not only is she excellent at her job whilst juggling a million things at once but is a passionate advocate for increasing the presence of women at the top of the PR industry and puts her time and energy into achieving that.
Also, Sarah Stimson, formerly of the TBF and now Chief Executive of Ladder Talent. Sarah dedicated years of her life to increasing diversity in the PR industry and is a testament to what somebody can achieve when they put their mind to it.
What skill do you think every PR/comms/creative has to nail?
What is your favourite social network and why?
Twitter. It’s the social network where people are ‘themselves’. The tweets I see can range from the mundane to the morbid and it’s that variety that keeps me opening the app every day.
Who is your favourite journalist and why?
David Pilling at the FT. He’s currently the Africa editor and every time I read one of his articles he pushes me to challenge convention and the preconceptions I held beforehand. I appreciate those kind of writers.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Probably to find out what makes your boss’s life difficult and then find a way to solve it.
Best campaign of 2019 so far?
Paddy Power’s “Loyalty’s Dead” campaign was excellent. It touched on a topical issue surrounding consumer behaviour in a way that was humorous, bold and jaw-droppingly biting. Brands could learn a thing a two.
Finally, on the D’ word… What can the sector do to encourage diversity?
Support organisations that seek to increase diversity in PR. Beyond that, work with brands that resonate with young ethnic minorities and then encourage a hands-on approach. For example, run a competition where young kids come up with their own PR campaigns. Beyond building awareness of what PR is, expose them to how fun and rewarding it can be.