A great speech doesn’t count for much if you’re talking to the wrong audience. Most PR professionals know that speaking to the public is important, so they create great seminars and presentations for those who attend the event. However, no matter how much you advertise this event, it always seems to be family members and existing customers or clients who show up to “learn more.” Right? While it’s great that you have loyal customers, you want your audience to be full of new faces. I like to think of it this way: 1/3 of a PR agency is producing quality work, 1/3 is maintaining current customers and clients, and the other 1/3 is grabbing new clients. Therefore, it is extremely important that your expert speakers are heard by prospective clients and people who actually need to learn more about your company.
Presentations and seminars are great for a variety of reasons:
- You gain visibility if your speakers have quality information to share. The audience will be impressed; thus putting your agency on the map.
- Prospective clients will have the opportunity to talk with one of your professionals directly if they attend a seminar or presentation of any kind. This ensures that no prospective clients leave because of confusion.
- Your executives get to practice their speaking skills. This will also give them an opportunity to brush up on the basics of the company and keep them on their toes while answering questions.
Because public speaking is so important for a PR agency, the right audience is key. While an agency should continue to hold seminars in-house, it is important that the speakers find ways to maximize their locations and audiences. Consider a few of the ways your agency can make this happen:
5 Tips and Tricks to Help Increase Speaking Opportunities
1) Network through Social Media – This may seem obvious, but many PR firms are still using social media as the outlet to advertise. Consider using social media to find opportunities for your speakers to show off what they know. In other words, don’t let social media be the end location of a speaker’s “presentation.”
In addition, be sure not to wait for an opportunity to come your way; actually seek it out.
2) Speak with Event Organizers – Just as with most PR duties, pitching your presentation correctly is a must. Your firm should be actively talking with event organizers about what your speaker could bring to the event. Be sure the event is one where your speaker will not be out of place, and then get to pitching.
3) Get the Right Speaker – Many PR agencies only consider their executives for speaking opportunities. This limits both the topic as well as the geographic location of your presentations. If there is a college seminar coming up in your area, consider sending one of your younger employees. This will also likely help you book that specific event.
There is also a good possibility that an event is at a faraway location. If this is the case, don’t immediately discount the opportunity. Talk with your staff to determine who can go; even if they aren’t an executive.
4) Create Customized Presentations – Don’t limit your speakers to specific presentations. Try to book the event before writing the presentation so that you can cater what the speaker is saying to the event. This will also help your pitching, and therefore help you to book seminars more often.
5) Follow-up – This is one of the most basic rules every PR professional must learn. Everyone is moving at a fast pace, so it’s easy to forget an email or forget a phone call. Part of the PR industry is reminding others about these emails and phone calls. Make sure you follow-up about all seminars you pitched, and you may be surprised with the outcome.
In the end: The more publicity the better. No one knows this better than someone working in PR. By branching out from company held seminars, your agency can gain publicity amongst many other companies’ audiences. The audience is half the presentation, so it’s certainly worth your while to find this great audience.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to VoIP providers. She writes for an online resource that gives advice starting a small business to small businesses and entrepreneurs for Business.com.