World's Top Executive Speaking Engagements on the Rise, According to New Weber Shandwick...

Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:30am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

World's Top Executive Speaking Engagements on the Rise, According to New Weber
Shandwick Study
- Speaking Opportunities Rise 50 Percent in Past Three Years -

    NEW YORK, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The world's leading companies
are increasingly leveraging C-level executive voices to build thought
leadership, executive visibility and enhance reputation in the rapidly growing
global speaking circuit, according to new analysis by global public relations
firm Weber Shandwick.
    (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080114/NYM042 )
    The "Five-Star Conference" study of CEOs and C-level executives (CMOs,
CFOs and CTOs/CIOs) in the world's top 50 most admired companies found that
executive participation in top-tier, or Five-Star, events is soaring. Since
2005, there has been an extraordinary 525 percent* increase among elite C-
level executives at five star speaking forums. For elite CEOs during the same
time period, there has been an increase of 35 percent in participation at
these distinguished events. Strikingly, the rising importance of these events
as a vital communications tool is underscored by a 50 percent rise in the
number of top-tier global conferences from 2005 to 2007.
    "CEOs and C-Level executives are clearly considering new ways to connect
with customers and industry peers," said Jennifer Risi, Executive Vice
President of Weber Shandwick's Global Strategic Media Group and creator of the
company's proprietary VOICEBOXX(TM) service offering, which identifies and
secures executive speaking engagements that help shape corporate agendas.
"CEOs clearly recognize that speaking opportunities serve as platforms for
senior executives to further amplify corporate messages to key stakeholders
and increase mind share and market share."
    Top Five Events for CEOs and C-Level Executives
    Among the findings revealed in the Five-Star Conference analysis, the top
events for CEOs include (in rank order): World Economic Forum, Chief
Executives' Club of Boston, Fortune Innovation/Fortune iMeme, Fortune Global
and The Wall Street Journal's "D".  The top events for other C-level
executives include (in rank order): Fortune Innovation/Fortune iMeme, Wharton
Leadership, Milken Institute, Fortune Global and Committee to Encourage
Corporate Philanthropy Board of Boards, Clinton Global Initiative and
Economist Global Agenda.
    Risi added: "Our new data confirms that CEOs and their executive benches
are broadening their arsenal of communications tools to include the strategic
use of high-level speaking opportunities. By sharing responsibility for
getting the company's message in front of the right audiences, CEOs and
executives are providing assurances to key stakeholders that they are not only
well-led but that they have worthy successors in place."
    About the Research
    The Five-Star Conference Study was conducted in late 2007 by Weber
Shandwick using the following method:
    1. The 2005 and 2006 All-Stars of Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies
       were identified by Weber Shandwick. These are the top 50 most admired
       companies overall, according to Fortune Magazine's annual survey. The
       2006 list was used as a proxy for 2007 because the 2007 Fortune results
       have not been issued yet (due early 2008).
    2. CEO and three other C-level executive (CFOs, CMOs and CIO/CTOs) names
       were identified and appended to the All-Star company list.
    3. A total of 21 2007 top-tier conferences and three top business school
       conferences for 2005 - 2007 were identified by Weber Shandwick's Global
       Strategic Media Group. These events were chosen based on client
       feedback and event media coverage.
    4. Agendas for each top-tier event were secured and a review of each
       agenda was performed to identify which, if any, CEO or other C-level
       executive from All-Star companies spoke at these events. Google
       searches were conducted in the few cases where agendas were not
       available.

    * Note small sample size.

    About VOICEBOXX(TM)
    VOICEBOXX(TM) is a unique suite of exclusive executive service and product
offerings offered by Weber Shandwick that helps companies strategically secure
senior management visibility and positioning. Please contact Jennifer Risi at
212.445.8375 or jrisi@webershandwick.com for more information.
    About Weber Shandwick
    Weber Shandwick is one of the world's leading global public relations
firms with offices in major media, business and government capitals around the
world.  The firm specializes in strategic marketing communications, media
relations, public affairs, reputation and issues management, and offers
corporate communications counseling services.  Weber Shandwick also provides
specialized integrated services including Web relations, advocacy advertising,
market research and visual communications.  Weber Shandwick received the
highest client-satisfaction honors in the 2007 Agency
    Excellence Survey by PRWeek U.S. and in 2006, was named Large PR Firm of
the Year (PR News U.S.), European Consultancy of the Year (The Holmes Report)
and Network of the Year (Asia Pacific PR Awards).  The firm also won the
United Nations Grand Award for outstanding achievement in public relations.
To learn more, please visit www.webershandwick.com.

    Weber Shandwick is a unit of The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), which is
one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing
services companies.

    Contact  Jennifer Norton                Jennifer Risi
             Weber Shandwick                Weber Shandwick
             212-445-8314                   212-445-8375
             jnorton@webershandwick.com     jrisi@webershandwick.com

SOURCE  Weber Shandwick

Jennifer Norton, +1-212-445-8314, jnorton@webershandwick.com, or Jennifer
Risi, +1-212-445-8375, jrisi@webershandwick.com, both of Weber Shandwick
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