Some of us posit that part of public relations firm Edelman's success is rooted in its elaborate annual trust survey. Invitations to present what Edelman has found come from prestigious organizations like the World Economic Forum.
In its own survey of the growth among public relations firms, StevensGouldPincus (SGP) indicates, "Although Edelman participated in the survey we excluded their stats because they, admirably, skewed the averages." Here are the highlights from the SGP survey.
Public speakers can get an edge in leveraging their speaking invitations by first doing a survey, examining results, and presenting in forums the implications. No, this need not be expensive. For years now the ambitious but budget-challenged have been turning to free software service SurveyMonkey. Some stay with the basic offering. Others then go on to subscribe to SurveyMonkey's more sophisticated services.
Before she took her current position in social media at Cox, marketer Toby Bloomberg used SurveyMonkey brilliantly for branding her firm Bloomberg Marketing and reporting on her famous Diva blog. The brand message was: Bloomberg is on the top of picking up on and deconstructing trends.
For both speechwriting and ghostwriting clients, I recommend getting out there and finding out what might be going on. That could be as informal as contacting several people who will be in the audience and journalist-style probing the pain points and where joy is being created these days. Or, if they are a deep pocket, they can sit with a survey expert and design a breakthrough initiative. An in-between initiative is to play with SurveyMonkey.