Study: 44% of communications pros have no process for placing execs in conferences

How do you go about making sure the executives you support are appearing in front of the most important audiences, and don’t waste their time speaking to audiences that don’t matter?

If you’re like most of your peers, it’s catch-as-catch can, and if you’re like many of them, you have no process at all.

These are the findings of a study released today by Vital Speeches of the Day and Weber Shandwick.

Titled “From Guessing to Planning: Placing C-Suite Executives in the Most Strategic Forums,” the study found that 44 percent of executive communicators surveyed have no process for identifying the best venues for the speakers they support.

Of the remaining 56%, only half of those executive communication professionals have a forum-identification process they’re confident in.

Executive communication pros rely on networking with peers, monitoring a plethora of event websites, conducting media searches, getting agency help and even cold-calling conference organizers to get their schedules.

“It’s needles in a haystack,” says David Murray, editor of Vital Speeches.

“As the economy slowly recovers and companies reposition themselves for growth, executives are increasingly looking to engage more publically with key constituencies and industry peers,” says Murray. “Communications professionals who support C-suite executives are under a lot of pressure to identify the best forums and get their chiefs placed strategically and successfully.”

Executive communicators also report that leaders are speaking either more frequently or about the same than they were two years ago … the most prestigious speaking venue is the World Economic Forum in Davos, by a huge margin … Twitter is considered an effective tool for executive communication, however only six percent of respondents actually used it.

Video is hot too, noted Weber Shandwick’s chief reputation strategist and executive communications expert Leslie Gaines-Ross, “because of its ability to viscerally humanize executives. Twitter has also has the added advantage of being immediate and customer-centric. We expect that these online channels of executive communications will grow over time as executives recognize how they complement, not replace, traditional means of communications.”

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