Karen's Blog

Karen Floyd is founder director of Symmetry PR and CBO of intraHouse.
An entrepreneur, communications professional and linguist, Karen loves to write about all manner of topics. Here you'll find the articles she's written for Shaping The Odds.

Intuitive intelligence and entrepreneurship

"It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover."  Henri Poincare  As an entrepreneur, who do you trust? If the answer is not that you trust yourself first and foremost, then you could be missing a key ingredient of successful entrepreneurship, that of your intuition. Yes, it's important to trust others too, but if you can't trust yourself, how can you trust anyone else? Sadly, our society has not valued intuition enough, instead favouring logic and reasoni...
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The importance of shaping your content from passive to active

To help shape the odds in your favour you need to use the right language in all your dealings. Today, if content is King, how you express that content can mean the difference between content that grabs attention and content that turns an audience off. To ensure your content cuts the mustard, mind your tone and your voice, by using active rather than passive language. According to the Oxford Dictionary explanation of 'passive versus active verbs', passive verbs – including 'is', 'are', 'was', 'we...
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Tips for digital advertising


In today's digital world, to help shape the odds in your favour you need to consider including digital advertising as part of your marketing mix. According to eMarketer, digital advertising is growing, with spend predicted to reach $335 billion globally by 2020, representing almost half of total media spend. It is, of course, important to get it right. Here are some tips to help you. 1. Use emotion You'll have probably heard that people remember how you make them feel. American poet, memoirist, ...
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Tips for hiring and working with a PR agency

To help shape the odds in your favour you need to do PR. If you want to hire an agency, how do you choose the right one? Hiring a PR firm can be a daunting prospect and not finding the right PR representation can be costly. PR is a powerful tool. You have to 'touch' potential customers repeatedly – some say as many as seven times – before they'll buy. PR is a great way to do that by reaching your audience via the media they consume and the best PR is hardly noticeable, although we're surrounded ...
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Tips for winning the hearts of investors from Bill Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures

 One way to shape the odds in your favour is to get the right investors on board, but first, you have to win their hearts, not just their minds. You have to get them to say 'wow' and fall in love with you, your team and your product or service. But how do you do that? Speaking at the DNB NXT event at Oslo Innovation Week, Bill Reichert, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, which was founded by Guy Kawasaki, shared his top ten tips to help start ups win the hearts and minds of Si...
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The importance of avoiding bad PR

PR is all about managing reputations and there's nothing quite like some good PR to help shape the odds in your favour. Many individuals and companies know that. Bill Gates says he'd spend his last dollar on PR, and Sir Richard Branson believes a good PR story is more effective than a front-page ad. PR is powerful and it permeates all aspects of our lives and influences our purchasing habits, lifestyle choices and political decisions. PR has the potential to build up or tear down a business or l...
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Tips for pitching to the media

​I've been working in PR for the past 20 years, both in-house and agency side. My Number 1 Rule has always been 'know your audience', and this applies to journalists as an audience. Whether you're an entrepreneur or work in PR and marketing, at some point you'll have to pitch your story, company, product or service to the media. Here are my top tips to help shape the odds in your favour and ensure your story gets covered. 1. Research Before even considering pitching your story, company, product ...
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How the demise of a PR giant brought the industry into disrepute

​I've been working in PR for the past 20 years and I'm amazed that for a profession whose primary task is to manage, enhance and protect reputations, the PR industry has never quite managed to do this for its own reputation, with practitioners labelled as spin-doctors and likened to lawyers who'll take on any case that pays. PR differs from Law in several ways, though. The law profession is heavily regulated and you have to have at least a degree in Law to become a lawyer, whereas the PR industr...
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The GDPR – a Great Dirty Pain in the Rectum - or an opportunity?

​On 25 May 2018 the GDPR comes into force in Europe – the world's largest, single digital market – and any company handling the data of data subjects who live in any of the 28 EU Member States must be GDPR compliant, or risk facing hefty penalties of 4% of total global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater. The GDPR outlines the responsibilities of Data Controllers (organisations that process personal data) and Data Processors (companies that provide data hosting services) as well as the...
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Tips for engaging in influencer marketing

​As entrepreneurs, at some point we have to delve into the world of marketing to help shape the odds in our favour, because it's all very well having a brilliant product or service, but if no one knows about it we won't get anywhere. The field of marketing and marketing communications is vast, and thanks to rapid technological developments, it's constantly progressing, changing and evolving and keeping abreast of marketing trends is a job in itself. One aspect of marketing that technology has ha...
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