Telum Talks To... IPRS PRISM Awards 2021 Awardee - Sharafah Malihah, Outstanding PR Student

Telum Talks To... IPRS PRISM Awards 2021 Awardee - Sharafah Malihah, Outstanding PR Student

Telum caught up with Sharafah Malihah who was conferred the Outstanding PR Student at the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore PRISM Awards 2021.

Congrats on winning the IPRS PRISM Awards 2021 - Outstanding PR Student. What sparked your interest to study communications at Temasek Polytechnic?
Thank you! It is a massive honour! I have always wanted to know more about the communications industry in Singapore. Choosing the industry wasn’t difficult either, as I knew that joining communications would provide a sense of variety in the work that I would do in the industry. As for why Temasek Polytechnic (TP) specifically, Communications and Media Management (CMM) in TP provides students with not just communications and media skills but also business skills, giving us an edge above other students in the country. 

And my final reason is that I got to know that the very first IPRS Student Chapter was first established in TP. As someone who was interested in communications and contributing to a sort of legacy, I felt that joining the student chapter in Year 1 was a very natural decision to make.

Do you have any favourite PR or mentor and what lesson from them that you keep in mind for your future career?
If Public Relations were to ever embody a person, it would be my student Chapter advisor, Ms Lily. Ms Lily has always been a big help whenever we needed to execute events throughout the year. Working with Ms Lily made me always ensure that the Chapter was always presented well and that everything was done on time. After all, ‘time’ is the real enemy here in this industry.
I would also like to mention Andy and Beth, the Chapter’s previous Presidents! Beth always kept the team’s composure even if we were in a tight jam for time. That is what I really remembered about her. She really exemplified what a President ought to be when guiding a chapter and her committee.

As for Andy, he was also a recipient of the same award back in 2019. I felt really honoured when it was announced that I won the IPRS PRISM Student Award 2021. It reminded me of the legacy he left behind. He would always speak about the Student Chapter with a tremendous amount of pride. He would share how he wishes to make the Chapter a vibrant place for students to connect regardless of school or diploma. That was the legacy he left behind and the ambition I decided to take on for the Chapter. Because of them, I felt a strong sense of responsibility to do my best to lead the Chapter, not just as a president but also as a friend.

What do you enjoy the most from being a comms student?
Definitely the people that you meet! I have always been fascinated by the idea that as people, we also know of other people who also know other people! And in a way, we are all interconnected. I have always believed that ‘people influence people’, so whenever I get to speak to PR experts from, say, the music industry, or even those in tech, you will always get to learn something new, and it becomes a positive exchange between people.

Can you tell us about a project that you're proud of being part of it?
A project that I am proud to be a part of would-be TPIPRS’s fundraiser ‘Art from the Heart 2020’!  2020 was such a rough year for everyone. However, it was especially so for our migrant workers. Many of us in the executive committee were disturbed by the situations they were being placed in. And so, the Executive Committee of AY20/21, three talented artists, our advisors, Ms Lily Lim and Ms Elaine Ng, were able to put together a fundraiser selling personalised portraits. The event happened nearing Christmas, which tied in nicely with the overall message of giving. It was a successful event, and we were able to raise a large sum to donate to the Migrant Workers Centre. Major shout-out to my committee especially my then Head of Events, now President (AY21/22), Alysa Pitchamani, for leading the event.

How do you keep yourself up to date across media and industry trends?
Honestly, I wish I could say that I’m kidding, but I’m not. I keep up with all my trends mainly on TikTok! I am always trying to figure out what is the newest trends that are being used to promote products, or what products are being vigorously sponsored by content creators on their channels, etc. For me, TikTok is about exploring the many creative ways of conveying the message of a product. Some challenges, campaigns or even trends are really fun to watch and do. I just love how quick and succinct everything is, and the variety of ways to grab a person’s attention has always been a fascinating concept to me.

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