One of our goals is to help all of our clients not only find their voice and tell their story, but become effective and trusted thought leaders in their respective industries. In addition to establishing them as thought leaders in columns and as sources in relevant news stories, we also feel strongly in the power of positioning clients as leaders through speaking engagements. Getting executives of B2B companies directly in front of target audiences — crafting their message, training them on how to deliver it — produces positive PR within industries and establishes our clients as authoritative voices. Not to mention, it can truly have a direct impact on helping us achieve their business growth objectives.
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Q: What kind of speaking engagements should I be looking for?
A. This varies widely from company to company and depends on your overall PR campaign goals. For brands looking to carve a niche within a specific industry, we recommend targeting specific trade shows or events reaching your target audience within that industry. This can also come in the form of partnering with a complementary brand through a shared webinar or livestream.
For companies looking to bring about broader awareness through speaking engagements, they may want to cast a wider net.
A PR agency can help you take a pragmatic look at speaking engagements and decide how to best use your resources to create submissions that give you the best possible chance to be selected for those engagements.
Q: How can I use speaking opportunities to boost my brand’s visibility and reputation?
A. Speaking engagements are a great way to boost your brand’s visibility. The speaking engagement itself offers you the opportunity to be in front of a specific audience listening to you in the moment discuss a topic that’s valuable to them and portrays you as a thought leader in your industry.
But speaking engagements are also important to repurpose after the fact; they should go into executive biographies, be shared across channels like LinkedIn for days or weeks to come. For example, if your brand has videos or photos from speaking engagements, those can be repurposed on LinkedIn with quotes or anecdotes from the engagement that offer your LinkedIn audience useful insights, while also illustrating that you are a thought leader who speaks publicly at relevant events.
Q: Do you have to pay to speak at events?
A. This depends on the type of event. But increasingly, events will require speakers to be a sponsor or exhibitor of the event. There is still a great deal of value in this opportunity, but it is something to keep in mind when you consider your PR budget and speak to your agency about events to target.
Q: Can I promote my product as a speaker at an event?
A. We strongly discourage clients from using events—even those they have paid to exhibit at—as infomercials for their product. These can often turn off people in the audience and make you seem desperate. Also, people are attending events because they want to learn more about their industry and understand trends and useful information they can bring back to their company. That may also very well mean they are shopping for tools or services. But, in our experience, the best speakers at events educate first and sell second. It establishes them as thought leaders and positions their brand as one to take note of because they understand the problems in the marketplace and how to solve them.
Talk to us today to learn more about what we can do for your brand to drive awareness and help you find the honey jar you’ve been looking for with all the other agencies and campaigns you’ve run before. It’s time for some real organic honey.