Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
8:29 AM 11th May 2020

'10 In 10' Karen Tinkler

Karen Tinkler, one of two owners of Yorkshire PR and digital agency, The Partners Group, is in the hot seat today answering our ten quickfire questions in ten minutes.

Karen Tinkler
Karen Tinkler
What does a typical working day for you involve?

Currently, a socially distanced walk with the dog first thing, then back at my desk (kitchen table) with a cuppa by 9am. Under normal circumstances, I rarely spend a full day at my desk as I’m out meeting clients, seeing prospective clients or networking. Many of these meetings have become video calls, which I’ve surprised myself by enjoying, although I am missing a good coffee.

At 1.00 each day I’ll be on a video call with our team to see how everyone is doing and what’s happening across client accounts. I lead on business development and publicity for the agency, and my days are a mix of working on existing client campaigns and thinking about new ideas, both for clients and for Partners. This is particularly relevant in the current situation, when communication priorities and messages are changing for just about every business.

What makes your company special?

First and foremost, it’s our team. Some people have been with us twenty years or more; others only for a year and everyone shares the same values and approach to doing the best for our clients and supporting each other. We are often praised for our integrity as a business, too. We won’t take on work if we don’t think we’re best placed to deliver it, or of if there’s crossover with an existing client that could represent a conflict of interests.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
Lead by example and treat others as you would like to be treated. I also try and follow the advice my very wise mum has always given me: do your best. If you do your best in any situation, based on the information and resources you have available to you at the time, then you’re doing all you can do.

Do you dress up or down for work?

I am dressing down now we’re working at home, and my daily uniform is jeans and a T-shirt or sweatshirt. At the office, we take a ‘dress for your diary’ approach. If I’m going to meetings I dress quite smartly and I’m a big fan of jumpsuits and dresses, as they mean there’s one item of clothing to think about in the morning! If I’m spending the day in the office I dress more casually, particularly if I have my dog with me, as I’ll usually take her for a walk at lunchtime.

What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Trust in yourself: you can do whatever you put your mind to. And say yes to opportunities - who knows where they will take you. I wasn’t thinking too seriously about owning my own PR agency until Partners’ previous owner sat me down, along with two other colleagues, and asked if we wanted to buy the business. I had no idea how we would do it, but I knew opportunities like that wouldn’t come along every day, so I said yes. Here I am, almost fourteen years later, still feeling very glad that I did.

What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?

We spent an afternoon not long ago with our team at Yorkshire Heart Vineyard for a tour, wine tasting and afternoon tea to celebrate work anniversary, new client wins and new team members joining the business. On a sunny afternoon, a glass of Yorkshire wine and a vineyard tour is hard to beat.

How do you prefer to travel for business?

I would love to be able to walk to every meeting, but with clients as far afield as Berwick-upon-Tweed and Portsmouth, that’s obviously not practical. I like travelling by train: our office is close to York station and the journey gives me time to think or to catch up on an audiobook or podcast.

What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?

About five minutes’ walk from our house there’s a patch of woodland with a stream running through it. If I’ve had a long day or week, that’s where I go to unwind. Walking by the stream, with the sun shining through the trees, listening to the birds chirping and the water flowing is very calming. Slightly further afield, I find Yorkshire Sculpture Park a relaxing and inspiring place to be.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?

We’re very lucky in Yorkshire when it comes to eating out, completely spoilt for choice. The Reliance in Leeds is a place I’m always happy to go back to. It’s relaxed and informal, the food is great, and they mix seasonal dishes with really good menu staples. Their banoffee pie is incredible.

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you are away?

Fish and chips from Clifford Fisheries.