Malini is a consultant in ESG and purpose. Malini works alongside some of the worlds’ largest companies to help them develop and articulate their purpose, which is based on a deep-rooted understanding of their impact on the Environment, on Society and in terms of Governance. She then works with organisations to communicate their impact to audiences from employees and customers, to policymakers, investors and beyond.
Describe yourself/your background in 5 words max?
Londoner with Indian/American background
How did you get into PR/communications?
I started my career in PR and communications right after university, where I studied History and French. While looking through the University of Warwick’s internship programme I uncovered the one opportunity in PR, which stood out to me among the finance and business management roles. I felt I could best demonstrate my critical thinking and interpersonal skills as well as my love of research and writing in this sector. My internship confirmed my hunch and I subsequently applied and was offered a role as an Account Executive in the same company. Ironically, my area of specialism today combines management consultancy and communications!
What do you love about your job?
I love that working in the areas of ESG and purpose enables me to put the skills that I have honed during my career to help businesses to meaningfully address some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.
My employer Blurred best encapsulates why I love my job in its company purpose, which is to “bring depth to an industry characterised by the superficial.”
[Ed. Blurred’s company purpose has since been updated since this blog was initially published to: “We deliver work with depth that drives positive impact for clients, people and the planet.”]
What are you most proud of?
I am proud that I went from not knowing how my professional career would unfold to a position where I have found my niche and a job that motivates and inspires me every day. I certainly did not get here without learning from some brilliant and talented individuals who I am very thankful to.
What’s been the hardest lesson to learn?
That it is okay not to have the answer straight away. Working alongside companies to tackle complex issues from climate change to diversity and inclusion means that finding the right approach that will deliver the best outcome takes time. As someone who is not always patient, I have learned that the best results often come from taking a step back, asking the right questions and sharing ideas with others.
Who is your favourite person in PR and why?
Kate Clough has inspired me the most. She is not only the person who guided me into the world of sustainability and ESG but she is an excellent role model for how to bring your whole self to work and lead with empathy.
What skill do you think every PR/comms person has to nail?
How to be a critical friend and partner to clients. I believe that the best client relationships are based on mutual respect, solid partnerships and the ambition to be authentic in all that you do and communicate.
What is your favourite social network and why?
I like Instagram the most because it allows me to curate my own visual ecosystem based on my interests, including yoga and meditation, cooking and fashion.
What’s your favourite podcast and why?
Recently I have been enjoying “I’m Fine, You?”, which is hosted by Chrissy Rutherford, writer, consultant and one of my favourite people on Instagram. It is an initiative by Maybelline to help break the stigma around mental health and features Chrissy interviewing a series of guests to normalise the conversation.
Who is your favourite journalist and why?
I always enjoy Chrissy’s newsletters, FWD JOY, and her opinion pieces which provide honest and informed insights into the journey of self-discovery, self-care, and self-investment.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I have received is to understand the “why”. Knowing the why enables you to achieve the best outcomes and make the most impact.
Biggest PR campaign fail and yay of 2022 so far?
The best campaign was the Gender Pay Gap Bot on Twitter that revealed the pay gap at the companies that tweeted on International Women’s Day. I think it was an excellent way to hold firms accountable and encourage them to walk the talk. I would like to see a similar campaign for the ethnicity pay gap, disability pay gap etc.
The worst was Innocent’s “rewilding’ campaign that saw plants, flowers and tress being temporarily placed in Trafalgar Square. Without clearly demonstrating and articulating the ways in which the company is protecting nature across its value chain, I felt the campaign lacked depth. As a general rule, I believe companies need to act and communicate authentically and transparently on issues such as biodiversity if they are to make a real impact.
Finally, on the D’ word… What can the sector do to encourage diversity?
Companies need to ensure visibility of people from different backgrounds, sexualities, genders etc. across all levels of the organisation but also establish a truly inclusive culture that means that once diverse hires are made, they stay. There is no point hiring someone if you are not going to listen to the perspective they bring or give them a seat at the table. I think inclusion is the key to making diversity efforts stick.
Connect with Malini on LinkedIn.