My induction into the arts of PR was distinctly old-school. A typical day included meeting journalists for drinks in gloomy basement bars, creating my own little black book, and printing out press releases.. I began with a music publicity company, working on big names like George Michael, but within a year had branched out on my own, running a PR agency that specialised in restaurants.
In 2004 I started teaching business owners how to do PR through courses, programmes and workshops. I wrote two text books along the way, Get Noticed and Do Your Own PR. Whilst many of my clients went on to have great success, some struggled. They procrastinated, wanting everything to be perfect, or letting PR fall to the bottom of their to-do list. Uncovering what was holding them back, I realised that most of it stemmed from a lack of confidence around visibility. This inspired me to do my Masters in Business Psychology, along with a coaching diploma, to help them deal with fears around being visible.
Retraining as a business psychologist means I get to use psychological profiling with my clients and their audience. I show people how to use their own uniqueness to build their businesses. I also walk my talk and build my own businesses, Scarlet Thinking, and The Redundancy Recovery Hub, as well as plenty of writing. My latest book is The Career Pause and Pivot, and I have been featured in publications that include The Guardian, the Express, Marie Claire and The Mail Online.
Finally, I am an apprenticeship PR coach for the PRCA and about to become a PR examiner for an exam board. I love helping young people into the PR and marketing industries, and am working on a new book on breaking into PR.
I was on the advisory board of a women’s business club for three years and I am now a volunteer coach with AgeUK. Additionally, I’m the mother of three children, two of them now in their twenties, and two cats, Simba and Bamboo. In my spare time I love playing poker (it’s that psychology again) and am learning Bridge. I’m in a love affair with Italy and occasionally run retreats in beautiful Italian cities like Verona.
If you would like to chat through how we could work together, please do get in touch with me. “
You can find Paula Gardner in The Guardian, Stella magazine, Marie Claire, Psychologies and HR Zone, among others. Paula’s books are Do Your Own PR and Get Noticed. Paula is a Member of the Association for Business Psychology.