"I love learning about new businesses, what they do, what makes them tick and thinking about how we can help them achieve their goals."

Karen Tinkler

 
 

A day in the life

Karen Tinkler is one of two owners of The Partners Group; a PR, digital and communications agency based in York.

I am not a morning person but my other half is, which means that most days I’m awake at around 6am. And if by some stroke of luck his alarm doesn’t wake me up, an enthusiastic morning greeting from the dog invariably does.

I’ll usually glance through emails on my phone before I get up to see what’s happening, both in the Partners world and the wider world, and see whether there are news stories clients ought to know about. My morning routine is always sound tracked, usually by music (6 Music is my radio station of choice) but sometimes by the Today programme if there’s a news story I want to track.

Our dog spends her days between the Partners office and my partner’s workshop. If she’s with me, we’ll go for a walk before setting off for the office. I rarely eat or drink anything before I leave the house; I like a leisurely breakfast at weekends but during the week breakfast is more of a necessity than something to savour. Unless I call in for a coffee on my way to work, my first cuppa of the day will usually be at my desk, or with a client at a meeting.

I’m a pretty organised person, so if I’m in the office I will usually have mapped out my day the previous day. I rely very heavily - some might say too heavily - on my phone: if something isn’t in there, the chances are it won’t get done. I like the fact that I can use the calendar to plan my day and allocate chunks of time to jobs; it helps me stay on track and get through my to-do list, although I do sometimes miss the satisfaction of physically crossing something off a written list!

My role is split between leading client accounts and business development, and usually I spend around half of my time in the office. The rest of the time I’ll be out meeting potential clients to take a brief, catching up with clients, speaking at events or meeting the people who regularly refer work to us.

I love learning about new businesses, what they do, what makes them tick and thinking about how we can help them achieve their goals. And if there’s a factory tour involved - which there often is, as manufacturing is one of the sectors we work in - then I couldn’t be happier.

I do always try to be in the office on Mondays, though, which is when the team sits down together for our weekly team meeting. We’ll look at what’s happening with clients that week, new business opportunities and share stories or campaigns that have caught our interest. It’s also an opportunity for people to say if they have a particularly demanding week ahead, so that others can step in and help. My business partner Monica and I make time on Mondays for a management meeting, too, to make sure we stay focused on the big picture.

I’m a board director for York Professionals, and our board meetings and events are a regular fixture in my working life. I volunteer for York charity MySight, too, where I’m working with the fundraising team to put a PR and comms strategy in place. We meet monthly, and there are usually emails and conversations in between times if the team has any PR or marketing questions.  

I also represent Partners in a global PR network. We have partner agencies across five continents, which means clients can work with an agency in their home country to access PR and communications expertise around the world. As the current network chair, I’m involved in regular conference calls and every year we meet to discuss the development of the network, joint working opportunities and share best practice and experiences of running a PR agency. It’s a great support network and being able to offer our clients global reach is unusual for an agency of our size; a strength we’re keen to promote and develop.

Whilst I might be involved in a few evening events I try not to commit to too many, particularly in the summer when I like to go for a walk with the dog after work, have the chance to catch up with my partner on our respective days and generally unwind. We live in a village, and I love the calm of an evening walk - ideally in the sunshine - it helps me relax.

I know I’m not a morning person and I’m not sure how much of an evening person I am either. Unless I’m out catching up with friends, you will generally find me dozing off in front of the TV or my Kindle, possibly doing a bit of work, and contemplating the big issue of the day: namely how early is too early for pyjamas? (The answer: it’s never too early).

This article was first published in The Yorkshire Post on 10th October 2019.
    
 
The Partners Group

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