Coaching, Consultancy, Training and Psychometrics for PR, Media and Tech

Prior to retraining as a psychologist, I worked in a very Wicked Industry.  I ran my own PR company and consulted and trained with business owners who wanted to learn how to do their own PR and marketing. It’s an industry where you have to learn to live with high levels of ambiguity, stress and communication issues. You are often juggling multiple projects and clients with deadlines that can be moved forward seemingly on someone’s whim. Its reliance on the media means that, like the media, it is constantly changing. You never feel as though you’re on top of things as there’s always something new to learn. The results – I saw in others, and experienced myself – a loss of motivation,  the utter exhaustion of burn-out and finally, the desire to move on.


When you look at the above from an organisational level, that can often mean reduced engagement, lowered staff retention, and high absence due to sickness.


It’s not just PR where you see these things happening. Media, as a whole, can be just, if not even more brutal, and Tech has the potential to be the most demanding environment of them all. All these fast-paced. highly driven industries can severely impact those working within them.


Helping those in Wicked Industries


Move on I did. After retraining as a Business Psychologist, I now work with people in Wicked Industries, helping them build resilience, cultivate the ability to thrive (and not just survive) in ambiguity, and build outstanding teams.


My experience as an agency owner myself means that I understand what all these things mean at an organisational level: why they are so important to the health and culture of any company.


Serving those who work in Wicked Industries, Scarlet Thinking offers:




At both leadership and executive level. Common issues I work with are building a business, helping new managers build a respect and presence, increased visibility and stress and resilience issues. Our signature programme for leaders, managers and business owners is called How to Build a Fairy God-Parent Firm in a Wicked Industry.




Ten years ago psychometric testing was something that was offered to struggling staff. It was a way for them to get their act together. Now, it’s an investment in your people, a way to bring out the best in your staff and create a workplace where they feel nurtured and valued. Any company that wishes to improve engagement and create a culture of talent management can benefit from using personality testing for development and/or recruitment.


I also run an unusual but much needed consultancy service around the issue of attracting female applicants. Designed for the currently male-dominated tech industries, this offers practical solutions at a number of levels to increase high quality female applicants. Click here to see more about the Athena Recruitment Review.




I also run off the shelf and bespoke workshops that I have specifically created for people working in Wicked Industries. Subjects include How to make Better Decisions and Stick to Them and Self-Discipline, Habits and Rituals.



Why Scarlet Thinking


Paula Gardner Personality testingScarlet Thinking was founded by ex PR turned Business Psychologist Paula Gardner.  Gardner has worked with business owners, CEOs and executives for over 15 years. She has had two text books published and has written for The Guardian, Psychologies and HR Zone, among others. With a background as a PR agency owner, author and speaker, and an MSc in Business Psychology, Gardner has been named in a list of 100 inspiring women by She is a member of The Association of Business Psychologists, and also mentors PR apprentices for the PRCA.


Please contact Paula to arrange an initial chat or meeting here

“Paula has truly re-energized my business. Her creativity, passion, and ability to see the larger picture were evident from day one. Working on my own, I value her collaborative and supportive process.  I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.”
Clinical psychologist and personal brand consultant,  Lisa Orban of Golden Note Book.
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