When the boss talks, what’s it worth to the company?

Marianne Eisenmann (Determinus, Chandler Chicco Agency) and Katie Paine (KDPaine & Partners) have authored a new paper entitled “Measuring the Effectiveness of Speaker Programs.” It offers tools and methods for doing just that.

Speaking opportunities are often sought by executives who want to profile their organizations and products to live audiences for seemingly little cost. In reality, the investment can be quite substantial. The costs may include preparing the speech, producing presentation materials, and travel – all for a fairly brief shot at the podium.

Eisenmann and Paine, both members of the Commission on PR Measurement & Evaluation, have developed a set of straightforward measurement tools. The authors acknowledge that this is not hard science, and not every recommendation will be relevant to every situation. But the basics are pretty similar to any public relations measurement effort:

  • Set clear objectives at the outset so everyone knows what the program is trying to achieve. (Without clear objectives, how can you line up the right speaker and messages?)
  • Determine audience composition, and whether it represents a valued target.
  • Determine what associated opportunities are involved (think media), and how the event will be promoted.
  • Prepare the speech or presentation based on well-considered key messages.

At the speaking engagement itself, it’s important to collect data in the form of audience feedback. You’ll want to document tangible results, including media coverage, inquiries from prospective customers or clients, and whether your messages actually got through. The paper describes ways of doing this basic follow-up work, as well as more sophisticated metrics such as cost per minute spent with a prospect and opportunities to see or hear a key message.

Click here for complete paper and tell us what you think.

Frank Ovaitt
President and CEO
Institute for Public Relations

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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