Thelma Falaiye started out her career as an on-air personality and over the last 11 years, she has carved a niche for herself in the communications and public relations industry. In her interview with us, she shares how the journey started and critical lessons she has learnt along the way.
Read Thelma’s profile below and enjoy her interview with us.
Thelma Falaiye has a cumulative 11 years’ experience in Communications, Public Relations, Brand and Marketing. As a graduate of English Language from the University of Lagos, she started her career path as an On-Air-Radio personality for Unilag FM, Lagos and Rhythm FM Abuja before delving into Event Management. She worked with a Telecoms firm as the Brand and marketing Communications Lead.
Currently, she is the Head of Communications at Harvesters International Christian Center; a faith-based organization that is committed to changing lives and connecting people to God. She also consults and coaches entrepreneurs and executives to authentically articulate and brand their purpose for global impact and profitability.
Can you tell us about what you do as a Brand Communications Specialist?
Your brand is the identity your business (or YOU) puts on. I help personal and corporate brands create and/or articulate identities that delivers their brand essence and value proposition to their desired audience . I help create authentic brand perceptions that guarantee desired outcomes for both brand and its target audience.
Take us back to how you began your career. What steps did you take?
This question makes me remember one of my older friends many years ago. He was a brand consultant at the time, and I remember clearly how my face would light up just listening to brand stories and see creative designs he had done for some brands he worked with. I was fascinated at how a simple statement, colours, font, packaging and all could inspire an ‘action’ from a consumer. From then on, I could see the world through local and global brands and I was pretty aware of this ‘gift’.
This is what hastened my corporate ladder climb as a Marketing Executive with E-Stream Networks – a Telecommunications firm in Lagos. I was able to spot what was corporately missing and how to fix it. I had what it took to design, align and communicate the vision of the organization to its target audience despite being an entry level employee. I created and deployed a PR/Marketing communications strategy that earned the firm and its CEO prestigious recognitions and championed the rebranding of the firm in 2016.
I discovered a genuine love for personal branding and worked with Lanre Olusola – The Catalyst -rebranding his academy and positioning his personal brand for a global audience, before working as the Head of Communications for Harvesters International Christian Centre, Lagos. If I were to ‘nugget’ the steps I took towards getting to this point, I would say;
1. I identified a problem.
2. I translated my thoughts of a solution into a plan.
3. I got the buy-in of key stakeholders.
4. I implemented what I had never done before.
5. I learnt everything I had to learn and as fast as I could.
6. I did it afraid yet confidently.
7. I succeeded.
What are some of the key lessons you have learnt from your professional journey so far?
I have learnt a whole lot but the most profound lessons I have learnt so far are;
– To be outcome-oriented.
– Review your plan/strategy from thre perspectives (the C.E.O, the client and global standards).
– Demonstrate impeccable work ethics wherever you go.
– Get the necessary skills and/or certifications that makes you irresistible in your industry.
What are some of the things comms professionals who want to work in faith-based organizations need to be mindful of if they want to succeed in that space?
Faith-based Brand/Marketing communications is such a peculiar one. Particularly because you have to find a balance with what God says/wants, what the Lead pastor wants, what the audience expect and at the same time deliver what the corporate brand promised but on a WEEKLY basis. This right here is what makes Faith-based brand and marketing communications FAST paced and intense.
To succeed in this industry, you must;
– Find your balance.
– Guard your heart.
– Take time to understand your target audience well and have a concentric approach towards segmenting them.
– Have a communications strategy as your framework.
– Don’t be afraid to build the team that would help you implement your strategies.
– God is a ‘creative’ too so I recommend keeping Him close for inspiration, Insights, wisdom and guidance.
Looking back at your career so far, what are some of the things you’d do differently?
I would say getting a Coach and/or mentor earlier would have helped me achieve much more.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Ok.. this is tricky but I do have an answer. Aside ice cubes being bad for your teeth, I would say; “Don’t ever judge yourself in comparison to others. Instead judge yourself against what you know you are capable of.”